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Face it no one person enjoys cold calling. It is laborious; it takes time and it stinks.
In a recent survey amongst 1100 business owners for my latest book, 87% state they dissatisfaction for cold calling. Ask any selling professional or business owner and they state disdain for cold calling. Rejection is the key component. No individual enjoys negation and unfortunately too many align cold calling with negative affects. True, there is much rejection in cold calling but there are certain things you can do to be more effective.
This how to guide will take you through the nine steps of cold calling so that you can place negative thoughts on ice while warming up to the notion of making more calls.
Pre Call Planning
1. Call Preparation
Call preparation is the single most imperative idea about cold calling. Before you make a call, you should understand the client, the industry, and perhaps any competitive issues. Never call a client without premise. Doing so is as foolish as selling those gadgets and gizmos through television infomercials. Those foolhardy programs are concerned about inventory, where your motive is to establish relationship. In fact, one myth about cold calling is to validate that you call to introduce a possible relationship not to sell anything. Your mission is simply to get the prospective client to continue conversation.
Since your mission is to establish a relationship, you need to consider whom you will call and your call motive. Names of those to call can be purchased through database management systems, or obtained through referrals or reading industry periodicals. However, a name is a good as the paper. You need to determine your topical approach, to develop this gain ideas from reading industry newsletters, reading the regional paper, look at customer relationship systems such as Hoovers or Leadership Directory dot com. In addition, consider reading The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post of The New York Times to discover company, economic and industry issues.
2. Competitive Analysis
Once you obtain the required company information, it is necessary for you to conduct competitive analysis. Useful information related to prospective competitors to the buyer is helpful in understanding industry issues affecting the client. A sincere understanding of client issues assists in promoting a stronger relationship. Secondly, conduct a competitive analysis on your firm. Understanding how your firm's strengths align with the needs of the client allows you to disarm competitive threats.
3. Value Proposition not Elevator Speech
The proliferation of both the Internet makes it easier for prospective clients to gain information on you. In addition, with so many competitive players, detailing your services to clients begins to sound ubiquitous to them. Heard one, heard them all as the cliche goes. Organizations today require focus on two complicated issues productivity and profitability- your mission is to create a succinct message that addresses these concerns. In other words, you need to depict your value and outcomes in a succinct method so that prospective clients understand your differentiation.
Be mindful, this is not an elevator speech. The value proposition succinctly addresses the concern. A perfect example is FedEx- absolutely guaranteed to be there overnight. Not only is this one of the most powerful value propositions in the world but one of the best brands.
Value propositions have these characteristics:
Focus on what the buyer gets, it is outcome based Results focused that uses colorful words to gain the attention General in that the statement can appeal to any industry dependent on need
Take your time and carefully think this through since you need to state your value proposition once you get your prospective client on the telephone.
During the Call
4. Call Opening
When you begin your call, state your name, and affirm the name of the person to whom you are speaking. You need to be certain you have pronunciations correct. In addition, have with you paper to take copious notes. Then provide an introduction based on an issue the company is facing. To exemplify,
Hello this is Drew Stevens, am I speaking with Aaron Ross?
Mr. Ross am I correct in understanding that you are responsible for Call
Center Operations? I understand the center lacks customer retention and profits lag.
Then keep silent and await a reply.
5. Value proposition and the Issue
Once you receive affirmation, state your value proposition. Integrate the value into the issue.
"Mr. Ross, we dramatically accelerate business growth and we assist organizations with profitability and productivity."
Pause quickly, and then ask a question. Would this be of interest?
6. Provide past work
After you gain affirmation to continue, provide succinct preferably bullets that describes previous work.
Here is an example:
We can provide you with advantages in the marketplace which include:
1. Reasons why staff becomes unmotivated and unproductive
2. Non-compensation retention and motivational methodology
3. Techniques that drive proper customer service and referral sales strategies
7. Action Step
One you achieve affirmation of the issues, provide value and gain interest, it is now time to bring the call to close. Ask the prospective client if they would like to obtain more information about the issue. If the action step is literature ask them when an appropriate time and date to follow up. If the next step is a direct meeting, then ask the prospective client a convenient time and date. Do not terminate the call without obtaining a date and time. Remember your mission is to gain an appointment, not close a sale. See my other How To Guide on Call Follow Up
Closing the Call
Thank the prospective client for their time. Confirm the date the date of the next call and any action steps, i.e. reading brochure materials, fee schedule etc. Once complete terminate the call and place your notes and action steps in a follow up folder or file for review in the follow-up call.
The most nefarious act of any cold caller is terminating the call and then dialing another. Never simply "dive and dial". Take a few moments with each call to determine the ebbs and flows for needed adjustments. Review every call so that each one following is better than the first.
Never take on too many calls. One can easily burn out quickly cold calling. I understand if you do not dictate call volume, but you can maximize your returns. Use a very targeted list of no more than 15 to 20 people per day.
11. Call Time
Call prospects at the beginning and end of the day. Individuals are too busy during the day and you will waste more time. Your odds are better in Vegas.
Cold Calling is about numbers and mostly rejection, and lots of it. Statistics for cold calling:
1000 leads = 100 suspects 100 suspects = 10 prospects 10 prospects = 1 customers
Keep you head down, maintain perspective and remain focused, your business is certain to grow!
Source: Drew Stevens link