Historically, cold calling is one of the hardest tasks for most business owners and sales people to do. I have highlighted 7 ways to make this process easier on you and your team… some may even enjoy it.
1. Research or Know Your Market
As the Boy Scouts say. Always Be Prepared. So before you start your cold calls, do your research, take notes and when you feel you have enough to work from, then call. This way, your prospect feels you really do understand their situation. Research would include knowing more about the company you are calling, identify what issues they are having based on your other clients in their same industry, and if possible, find out the main reasons why people buy the product or service.
The conversation will flow so much easier if you are better prepared.
2. Setup Your Mental Expectations BEFORE the call.
There is a gap that has been created by traditional selling methods. The old ways have always taught us that our main goal of the cold call should be an appointment or a sale.
However, this is a losing method. Here is why: Our mind, if done this way, is focused on the end goal before we even have a conversation with the person we are calling. This creates a conflict because you want to sound natural and have conversation versus being “salesy”. These days, prospect can often sense you focusing on the appointment or sale and may become defensive.
So, setup your mental expectations to focus on building a conversation first. Once that is flowing well, then you can see if you are a fit or not with your prospect. You may be or possibly not. Don’t rush this part.
3. Understand Your Prospect
Before you dial the number, sit down, and think about these 3 things:
- Put yourself in the mind of your prospect.
- What “work mode” are you in?
- Ask yourself what objections they may have & have them answered before the call
Now ask yourself, how would YOU want to be approached, if you were in their shoes?
I am pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be pitched the moment the call started, especially from someone you have never talked to before.
So start the conversation diffusing any mystery as to who you are with “Hi, my name is Jim and you and we haven’t met yet…”. Statements like this can removes the unknown of who you are and allows you to begin talking about how you can help them solve a problem (notice I didn’t say SALE PITCH here).
4. Build Up the Trust By Talking
The process of building up a conversation is the path to cold calling success. Think of this conversation as if you were talking with a friend. Build the trust. That’s all you need to concentrate on while talking to the prospect. You want them to feel comfortable talking with you, rather than trying to get you off the phone.
Build trust by taking out any elements in your approach that connect you to the negative “salesperson” stereotype.
5. Get started with a Question
Questions are fantastic as they allow people to open up and take them off guard. Begin your call with something like “Not sure if you could, however maybe you can help me out for a moment?”
Asking for help is often a great question and often leads to “How can I help?”. Now you are in a conversation that is two way. Also asking for help will help you in the end, as at this point, you really don’t know if you can help them yet… You can’t assume they do or this will be a short call. Until you have the information you need about their situation, you can’t determine if you are a fit or not.
So ask questions, and let it flow from there. Truly listen to their answers. If you do this correct, that answer will lead you to your next question & what they really want.
6. Turn Pressure Points into Key topics.
As you do cold calls, you will find out that if you force your sales pitch, this will cause undue pressure on yourself AND your prospect. Look for the trigger points and massage them into a natural conversation. AND by all means, LET your prospect talk MORE than you talk. Often getting out of your own way, allows your prospect to be more open to the idea of what you have to offer.
When they share trigger points, show them you have heard them by asking a verifying question, such as “So if you could get ___________, that would help you ___________?”
7. The KEY to sales is in the Discovery
Cold calls are for pulling out a sale if there is a fit. So, what is the best way to see if your prospect is a fit with what you have to offer?
Asking questions that discover their needs, such as “Is solving your problem a top priority for your business or something that is on the back burner for now?”
When you identify their needs, you can decide whether or not to keep the conversation going with this prospect, what time frames you are working with and how (and if) you can deliver the solution to their problems.
If you are cold calling them, you feel you have a solution for them. Make them feel part of the conversation, don’t pitch heavy, and listen more than you talk. If you do this correctly, they will “sell” themselves. You will just need to ask if they would like help with it.
Cold calling is a necessary skill for all businesses. Teach your team this skill and you will have given them the tools to increase their sales in ALL areas.
Now we are getting to the real reason for Cold Calls. To empower your team to succeed in all areas of sales!
To learn more about the fundamental skills needed to succeed in sales and how to teach them to your team, check out our Free no-obligation webinar: “How To Predictably Increase Your Sales by 33% In 90 Days Or Less!”