This is part 2 of my blog titled- How To Make a Flawless Cold Call
This part will cover points 4 through 6 and complete the series for you.
I hope that the points that I have raised have helped you make some quick notes and create a personal playbook that you can refer to, wherever you may be, which part of the world you may be working today and in the future!!
These points sure helped me succeed in India and Africa…so the logic is, if they worked in these 2 very tough markets, it should be a cinch in the mature markets of the US and Europe ….right??!!
So here goes….
STEP #4: SCHEDULE THE RIGHT TIME
You’ll never get the cold calling done unless you schedule a regular time each week to make the calls. The trick here is scheduling your cold calling at the times when prospects are most likely to agree to a future meeting and thus become a potential customer.
The “right time” varies according to whether you’re working from a static list (like one built from the search of a database) or working on leads being fed to you from a web site where potential prospects are constantly coming and going.
If you’re working from a list, the best day to call is Thursday while the worst day to call is Friday. In addition, the best times to call are 8am to 9am and 4pm to 5pm, while the worst time to call is 1pm to 2pm.
If you’re working from a website feed, the best time to call is within 5 minutes from the time that the potential prospect was viewing your website. Turns out you are 4 times more likely to successfully qualify a lead if you call within 5 minutes than if you call between 5 and 10 minutes. And you are 21 times more likely to qualify a lead if you call within 5 minutes than if you wait for 30 minutes.
STEP #5: GET THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
Most of your success in cold calling will depend not upon your product or the quality of your leads, but on your attitude as you approach the cold-calling process. Here are five tips to help you achieve the best attitude for this part of your job:
Use a headset, not a handset. You want both hands free so that you can talk as if you’re talking in person.
Sit up straight and smile. If you’re slumped and frowning, the prospect will “sense” it, even from a distance.
Visualize success. Think of a time when you won a big sale. Put your mind and memory and emotions in that place.
Practice your script. Practice what to say if you reach a gatekeeper and what to say if you reach a decision-maker.
Lay aside your sales goals. These get in the way if you focus too much on them. It’s about the customer, not about you.
STEP #6: MAKE THE CALLS
You are now ready to make your cold calls. Remember, cold calling is a process of disqualifying leads, not finding prospects for your pipeline
This is a VERY important point. As my boss often pointed out to me, “cold calling” is a “discarding” or “disqualifying” process, like panning for gold or digging for diamonds. You have to turn over a lot of dirt before you find the gems.
If you fail to get this, you’re destined to get frustrated. So, rather than trying to get as many leads as possible into the pipeline, use the cold calling process to avoid wasting time and effort on people who will never buy.
Because of this, you must make a point to make every cold call into a “win.” It’s a BIG WIN every time you can scratch a “lead” off your list, because that means you’re not going to be chasing wild geese around mulberry bushes.
Hope you liked my posts….keep writing and keep connected!
Hi confident cold callers!!
I bet I got your confidence up by many a notch after the last 2 blogs on the subject of cold calling jitters and how to win!
So I thought that it is now the right time to discuss some key steps that will help you make flawless cold calls and deliver results!!
I have a total of 6 points to discuss with you and I shall do that in 2 parts- THIS IS PART 1, which will cover the first 3 points..
STEP #1: TARGET REAL OPPORTUNITIES
If you’re going to cold call, you need to target people who are likely to buy.
There are many ways to get lists of leads, but typically you’ll either get them from your marketing group or you’ll have access to an online service that allows you to pull potential prospects off the web.
The challenge is winnowing down that list to the prospects who are most likely to buy. There are three general criteria that are always important:
- Target Industries. Based upon your experience (and that of your colleagues), figure out which industries have both the greatest need for your offering as well as the money to purchase your offering. You should limit your target to one or two industries at most.
- Target Job Titles. Within each industry there are “natural” buyers who either purchase offerings similar to yours or greatly influence such purchases. Based on your experience (and that of your colleagues) figure out the two or three specific titles that this natural buyer usually has within your target industry.
- Trigger Events. For most products (especially B2B) there are key events that signal a likelihood to buy. For example, if you sell services to help companies integrate normally-incompatible computer systems, a corporate merger or acquisition will usually open up a sales opportunity. Other trigger events are job changes, reorganizations, big sales wins in the prospect’s firm, etc
STEP #2: CREATE A WINNING SCRIPT
An effective cold calling script has the following characteristics:
- It is about 30-45 seconds long.
- It includes absolutely no small talk.
- It delivers a specific, compelling reason for the prospect to want to continue the conversation.
- It uncovers a problem in their business that you can help them fix.
If the prospect (not you) identifies something that is having negative ramifications on their business (a problem) AND they are serious about getting rid of that problem, then you “may” have a possible reason to continue. If so, you can set an appointment to explore the possibilities of helping that prospect in some way get rid of that problem.
An effective cold calling script has the following structure:
- Tell them your name and company
- Ask permission for 45 seconds and tell them they can end the conversation after that if they want to.
- Get right to the point
- Help then identify their business problems by offering a short “menu”
STEP #3: PRACTICE YOUR TECHNIQUE
Many sales reps “sound like” sales reps — and that can be a big impediment to making the sale. If you’re selling to decision-makers, you need to sound like a decision-maker, not a sales rep. Every time you sound “like a salesman,” you’re communicating that you’re only there to sell and your credibility flies out the window.
So how did you find these points?? Write back to me , comment on this blog and wait for PART 2!!
Hi “cold feet Claude”
Is cold calling getting the better of you lately?
Is , trying to sell a product or service to an unknown and unqualified prospect getting to be so confronting that it freezes you into a state of inaction? Are you daunted and stopped dead in your tracks at the prospect of making cold calls?
Well , Claude, you are not alone, and I have been there!!
Sadly, as the need for cold calling frequently accompanies the launch of a new business, or the launch of a new offering, such inaction
(caused due to numerous reasons) can have dire consequences for your personally and definitely for the business.
Let’s try to fix it by looking at what actually causes our dislike and then introduce some new strategies- shall we?
- Not surprisingly, the biggest reaction that’s generated by cold calling is the fear of failure. We know the incidence of sale is extremely low; we know the chances of even getting to the decision-maker are slim; is it therefore any wonder we are fearful of failure?
- Running a close second, is the fear of rejection. No one likes to be rejected at the best of times and less so when the rejection is at best, abrupt and at times, downright rude.
- The third fear is that of giving offence. It’s natural we don’t want to be seen as a nuisance — after all, this is not the atmosphere we look to foster with a potential customer.
So, we know cold calling has a low success rate; we know it generates fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of offending. How can we combat this and move forward with any degree of positive action?
I reckon the answer lies in our measurements of success.
Imagine you set yourself the goal of making twenty-five cold calls to set up meetings to promote your business.
Now let’s assume that twenty-three of the calls are met with either rejection or total failure to connect with a decision-maker.
In this scenario, the chances are you’d be feeling pretty miserable. You might feel like you’ve failed in twenty-three out of twenty-five of the calls. And you’d be right.
Imagine instead, you had approached the exercise with this goal:
‘To attract people who are genuinely interested in hearing about my work’
By choosing your language carefully and not linking your goal to a finite number of calls or sales, it is possible to switch the emphasis away from the fears of what may be coming (failure, rejection, offence) and more towards your sense of what you’re actually hearing.
By listening out for those ‘who are genuinely interested’ it is possible to quickly disqualify anyone appearing unsuitable or disinterested. Through these means, you’ll move more quickly to the next call and with a greater sense of purpose. What’s more, you’ll do so without being rendered inactive through fear.
Too easy? Try it and you’ll see why successful telesales people are able to make call after call, seemingly totally unfazed by any of the classic fears.
Confession– This piece is motivated by a patch in my life as a sales professional when I went through this rut myself and it was a friend of mine who worked in a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) firm who put me through the paces and taught me how to overcome my fears on cold calling.
This piece also helps young sales reps to understand how to qualify a serious lead through the process of cold calling, which is very important!