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Common Questions and Answers
Cold calling is dead. Or at best it’s on life support.
Why? Because in 2006 anyone cold calling would make an average of 4 calls before getting through to speak to a person. By 2010 the average was 41 call attempts.
That said, if you have to sell anything in your role, you’ll need to make many ‘coolish’ or luke warm calls somewhere along the way.
So this week…a few pointers to help you maximise those calls
What’s your objective?
Many people either don’t consider this at all – or automatically suggest a ‘sale’ or an appointment. That’s too much pressure. In most cases a more realistic objective would be to get permission to send them some details, or even just confirm contact details, email address, postal address, and role in the business.
It takes time to build a productive pipeline. Build a strong base first and you’ll generate many meaningful enquiries and leads later. Go too fast too soon and you’re toast.
Who are you calling?
What can you find out about them — and their company? Nowadays there’s no excuse for not knowing the basics. Having information helps your confidence. That said, don’t hide behind ‘research’ — a few quick enquires then get dialling.
I’ll never advocate a script, but I certainly advocate prompts to help you through the call — a kind of loose script to which you add your magic as you go along. You can improve these prompts the more you practice.
How do you feel immediately before dialling? Many are full of trepidation, mainly fuelled by that ‘R’ word, (the fear of) Rejection! This impacts on the success of the call. So — have a quick mental run through beforehand of how brilliantly the call will go. Replace those thoughts of trepidation with your personal vibrant ‘success movie’.
Remember just before dialling…you’re not trying to waltz off with an order in the next fifteen minutes, you’re just ‘exploring the possibilities’ of a relationship, or if you prefer, laying down the foundations of a partnership. This is crucial to influencing your tone and pace on the call itself.
Stop thinking of the person who answers the phone as a ‘gatekeeper’. Instead think of them as ‘your new best friend – the door opener’. It helps your performance when you pick up the phone.
The call itself
Remember the pace and content of the call should depend on who you are calling. Do they need an overview, or a lot of detail? Go with their needs.
The generic flow would be something like … (where you see a link, click through for additional information)
Moving on to ‘the subject’
Follow up — agree what will happen next
Make sure you’ve got some ideas for all of those areas.
Confident — but not too slick
If you sound too slick you’ll probably put the other person off! Be natural. Try giving the impression you’re an occasional caller. Ask for their help. Throw in a little hesitation in your voice. No need to be perfect in your delivery. If you sound too perfect you might intimidate them.
Getting a no is a fact of life. It’s an old adage but remember they are not rejecting you, they just don’t feel that your offering is right for them, at this current time. Nothing more. Always ask yourself what you can do better next time. Test your techniques, measure the results — and act accordingly to get that sales success.
Remember…It’s all about The Psychology of Selling
Until next time.
About the author
Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy
Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.
The World of Sales is changing.
Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.
My approach takes your sales team through a process that:
* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales
And at a higher level…
* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales
Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.
– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking