Articles about how “cold calling is dead” are plentiful. It’s a convincing argument – we can all relate to being bombarded by calls from people trying to peddle their products and take up our time. Nevertheless, the phone remains a critical tool in the sales consultant’s repertoire. If cold calls are dead, then it makes sense that we should make warm calls instead. Rather than taking decision makers’ time, here are three ways you can earn their attention.
Without relevance, your call is wasting everyone’s time. The cure for irrelevance is preparation. Firstly, identify who your ideal clients are. Secondly, only approach companies that fit this profile. Finally, talk to reception to make sure that your expertise is relevant to the person that you want to speak to. “Gatekeepers” are much more likely to put your call through if you are relevant. Furthermore, engaging with assistants gives you a name to reference when speaking to the buyer.
Once you speak to the prospect, focus the discussion on them, not your product. You can achieve this better by asking well-prepared questions and demonstrating that you have already researched their company/industry.
Focus on Giving Value
People hate cold calls because most of the time, the sales consultant is thinking more about their commissions than their interests. You can turn this around by changing your own mindset to giving value. What ideas, industry research, or client success stories can you share with your prospects? Make this the focus and justification for the initial meeting.
Be Novel (Different)
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck… Well, you don’t want to be thought of as a duck do you? First impressions matter. You can have the best intentions in the world, but if you sound like every other gun-slinging sales consultant, you will be treated as such. Think of ways you can change your words on the first call. Test them on your colleagues. Do you sound “salesy?” Are your explanations too wordy? Do you say “I know you’re busy?” (Pleeeease don’t use this!). Keep your script relevant, to the point, and value-centred, and you will differentiate yourself from other callers.
If you haven’t already, write a script for what you will say on your introductory calls. Come up with a few ways to describe your value proposition (for the meeting, not your product). Ensure it is relevant, valuable, and novel, and you’ll book more meetings than you ever have before!
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