There are few sales professionals that can truly say they love cold calling—and for good reason as cold calling has never been tougher. As soon as the prospect figures out you’re a sales person the immediate responses are “no budget,” “we’re in a purchasing freeze”, or “call me in six months if things are any better.”
But here’s the thing: there is always money available to buy something that provides real value to the prospect. The trick is to get your value proposition in front of the prospect in such a compelling way that you turn off the automatic “no” response.
The most effective way to cold-calling success is to spend some time on your “Pre-Approach.” The pre-approach gives you the knowledge and power to have informed discussions with prospects. Analyzing prospect data will help you tailor your approach. But don’t let the pre-approach slow you down and become a barrier to making the sale. Sometimes simply picking up the phone or dropping in on prospect is the best course of action.
Here are some things you should know before you pick up the phone from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Edmonton:
1. Key information about the industry, company, and people
2. Specific key issues and needs they are facing
3. Evidence of your past results with similar customers
4. Common ground or contacts
5. Specific call objectives
6. An appropriate call opening
Whether you’re making an appearance or using the telephone, the sales process doesn’t change. But using the phone presents a different set of challenges that you need to be aware of so you can prepare! Some of the challenges of cold calling on the telephone are:
- It’s very easy for customers to avoid you.
- Your call is an unexpected interruption.
- Attention spans on the phone are dramatically shorter than in face-to-face meetings.
- You can’t see customer reactions.
- Body language, a major communication tool in face-to-face meetings, is eliminated.
- It’s easy for a customer to do something else while talking to you.
- Recorded messages and interactive voice response technology makes getting to the right person challenging.
When making cold calls be prepared by knowing the six points above, and understand that no matter how well prepared you are, there are several reasons why it might not be the right time for your prospect. When that happens, simply give the prospect some time (say, a week or two) and call back at a more convenient time.
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