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I was talking to my wife about some cold calls I made earlier today. I thought I was having one of those days where I just wasn't connecting properly and my cold calling efforts had not produce the results I would normally expect.
It left me feeling very frustrated at the last of progress I had made.
Now let's remember the point of a cold call is not to get straight on the phone and start selling.
The point is to find out a missing piece of information you need, or to set up a convenient time for a proper appointment with the decision maker
My wife is a receptionist for a local company.
After 10 years of doing this, she is very proud that she can spot a cold caller a mile off.
Very rarely will she put anyone through.
She is one tough gatekeeper!
This is great news for me....
...I am married to someone who could tell me exactly how to get passed the gatekeeper when I am prospecting.
I asked her what is the main thing that bugs her about cold callers.
I thought she was going to say people reading scripts or being too blunt.
In fact, what she said surprised me...
...The callers that really annoyed her were the ones that tried to be overly nice because she found it patronizing and disrespectful.
I asked her why?
She replied, "When you take 200 calls a day, the phone is constantly ringing. I don't have time for small talk, as I cannot actually give the person on the phone the answer they want. My job is to connect them to the right person."
She continued "Cold callers are very patronizing as they assume I am some dumb girl on a reception and just want to make small talk. They have no idea how busy I am and how fluffing out conversions just really winds me up. They are strangers to me. I am not going to discuss how my day is going with them. It is really disrespectful and makes me feel under valued.
There is no way I am going to be helpful to these type of callers.
I felt bad, as I had spent most the day doing exactly what my wife had just told me was irritating behavior!
I realized I needed to make it as easy as possible for the receptionist to help me get what I want whilst respecting the nature of the receptionist job.
Saying something like "I wonder if you can help me" is like waving a red rag to a bull when cold calling.
A receptionist is not able to make decisions or give you in-depth information so don't expect them too!
Respect they are busy and understand a "how are you?" conversation 200 times a day is very draining!
Instead say what you want clearly and concisely....
...something like "I need some help, can you put me through to who deals with XXX"
As long as you say it in a friendly manner you will get the answer you need straight away.
You are enabling the receptionist to do their job easily and not interrupting their flow of work with questions they cannot answer or repeating conversations they have already had.
Try this out and see the impact it has on your cold calling!
Source: Jon Daniels, Jr.