A friend of mine recently started a new job and was very excited about the potential it offered him, but he was very nervous about one aspect of his new position in particular, the need to make cold calls.
This took me back to the beginning of my career as a young sales professional and remembering that cold calling simply put was scary stuff. I mean you are basically reaching out to a complete stranger and trying to convince that person to buy something without knowing if they have any interest in your product or service. What makes things even worse, is that people get bombarded with cold calls everyday and have built up a natural defense for such calls, namely ignoring them and/or taking their frustrations out on you.
In the beginning I too hated to make cold calls, but then things started to change for me. I learned valuable lessons from countless rejections and started to understand that there is a method to actually make cold calling something actually fun and not scary at all.
Here are some tips I have developed over the years that might help out:
Talk to people like they are old friends:
You never have to call a stranger because you already know them. The customer is directly involved in the industry that your product or service was intended for. You are already speaking their language because you know how things work, what challenges they face, what expectations are, etc. You are just another member of the club just wanting to check in and as a result they will generally tell you how you can help them, just make sure to LISTEN.
Believe everyone wants what you have:
If you love what you sell and believe that your product or service can help people this is simple. My pitch to customers is quite easy as my company provides a product that is top quality and we receive fantastic feedback from our customers. In addition, we are innovators in our industry and everyone really needs what we offer. Be excited that you are able to offer this to a customer and make them realize that you are trying to help them out and not just trying to make a buck.
Enthusiasm is contagious:
Make sure to let your enthusiasm shine through when talking with a customer. Many times customers will say yes or agree to take the next step without even realizing it because they can “feel” your positive energy.
No’s are okay:
You’re not going to make a sale every time. In fact most sales people would be happy with a 25% success rate. No’s are good because they mean that you are getting closer to a yes. Remember patience is a virtue.
Don’t make a sales pitch to voice mail:
Many times you will end up in voice mail. As tempting as it seems to just leave your sales pitch on a persons voice mail, don’t waste your time. Most people do not listen to their voice mail let alone when they can identify it as a cold call. Instead remember my principle of everyone is an old friend. Here is an example of what I say when leaving a voice mail: “Lucy, we need to talk about your clients auto transporting needs. It’s Marco over at Montway” and then I leave my phone number. Hopefully after listening to my message Lucy is thinking of three things: Oh, it’s someone I know, what about our clients auto transport needs and I need to write this number down and maybe even call me back. Even if she does not call me back it will frame my name in her memory for the next time I reach out to her.
Hopefully these tips will help in turning your cold calls into warm calls.
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