Are You a Telemarketer or a Tele Advisor?

man on phone

Six Ways to Heat Up Your Cold Calling

You know those annoying phone calls that you get at home during dinner? Calls from people you don’t know who sound like they are reading from a poorly written script selling you magazines that you don’t even want or need?

Telemarketers. They usually accomplish little more than annoying their potential customers. If you are in the complex sales business, this is the type of model that you want to avoid. Telemarketers fail because they don’t know their customer. Know your customer, and you can make the transition from telemarketer to Trusted Advisor, a person who your client trusts to deliver them solutions that are actually relevant to their business.If you prepare your cold calls using traditional methods, you will sound like a telemarketer. The biggest mistake that most sales professionals make when preparing to make a cold call is to write out a generic script that is supposed to work for any customer. This will make your call sound mechanical and unappealing to the prospect. Furthermore, if you haven’t done the proper research on your customer, you won’t know what type of products you should be pushing or who in the company you should be talking to.

It’s time to ditch this outdated traveling-salesperson-style pitch and replace it with hard well thought out research. With the technological breakthroughs of the past ten years, getting the information that you need is easier than ever. There is no longer any excuse for making a cold call without first finding out everything that you possibly can about your customer and their business practices. In fact, you shouldn’t really be making cold calls at all; you should be making warm calls.

Here are a few ways to heat up your cold calling process:

1. Google Search

Obvious, right? And yet so many salespeople don’t set aside even a few minutes to Google the customer they are selling to. Many companies post most of the information that you will need online. This being the case, it is ridiculous for you to not know all the details about your customer and the products or services that they sell when this information is so easy to access.

2. The Way Back Machine at www.InternetArchive.com

Looking for archived information on your customer? You can find just about anything that has ever been posted to the Internet on this site. If some information was posted regarding your customer a few years back but has been since taken down, you can still find it here. This enables you to get a long term perspective on the company.

3. Jigsaw.com

Jigsaw is another great Internet research tool built specifically for business prospecting. Let’s say that you need to talk to a particular officer with a company but you do not know that officer’s name or phone number. In many cases Jigsaw can get this information for you, making it much easier to go directly to the person within the company who will be able to see the benefits of your product.

4. TrueAdvantage.com

True Advantage creates customized reports about any company, consolidating all information published about your customer into a single document. You can then request for True Advantage to send you these reports on at regular intervals.

5. SalesRoundup.com

While this isn’t technically a prospecting research tool, it is a great resource for practical tips and educational resources regarding sales and cold calling. Couple the education that you will gain from this (free) website with solid customer research and you are sure to see an improvement in your cold calling skills.

6. Scouting

In addition to these online tools, you should try scouting out your customer through phone calls before you even make your pitch. Call a few lower level employees and get information about the company’s current needs and business trends. Try to find out what types of products they need and who in the company you should be trying to sell to. Make sure that you document all of this information and combine it with your online research.

Leave a comment and share the resources you use?

This post was inspired by the SalesRoundup Podcast episode titled “Dialing for Dollars! Prospecting Part 1 – Prepping for the Cold Call”

We did this show before we changed our website, so you will need to scroll three quarters down the site to find Episode 70 “Dialing for Dollars! Prospecting Part 1 – Prepping for the Cold Call”

Good Selling
Mike & Joe
SalesRoundup Podcast

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5 comments for “Are You a Telemarketer or a Tele Advisor?

  1. simon
    February 5, 2009 at 11:53 am

    We are about to attend a prospecting event that can only be described as corporate speed dating.
    It goes like this: We choose from a list of delegates who are registered to attend a “Strategy Day” Another 12 vendors do the same. The delegates are also asked to choose wich vendors they would like to sit down with. If there is a match between both parties (vendors and delegates) wanting to meet then we sit down for 25 minutes on the day.
    We know in advance the org. they work for and their job title along with 3 strategic issues they entered on their registration form. Then the rest is up to me. I would be interested if anyone has attended a similar event and how they got on – any tips much appeciated.
    Great podcast listened since 2006!

  2. February 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    My Company participated in a smilar event. It was very expensive. All the participants were CIO’s. For the product we were selling it was worth the cost. We generated a lot of great leads from it.

    I think these types of events can be good depending on the product your selling and the title of the people your talking to.

  3. Al
    February 9, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    LinkedIn has improved dramatically since they have company profiles now. You can see recent hires and others that work at the firm. Best way to see if the company is growing and in what markets they are heading in to. Google Alerts are an excellent way to learn where they have been in the news that sometimes gets buried in a normal search.

    The other things to think about is Twitter in particular TweetBeep.com you can see what others have Tweeted about the firm.

    Great stuff Joe and Mike!

  4. Jamie Corn
    February 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    be ready to address each of the most often quoted objection quotes such as:
    – “send me literature” oh yeah, how would I know what to send you, you haven’t told me what your interests are, what your problems are
    – i’m too busy or it’s not a good time” that’s great because I only wanted to look at our calendars and set up a time that IS good
    – I’m not interested” well, many people say that at first until we got some time to talk about your probelms and then present how we can approach them
    – “no thanks, I’m in good shape” so, if I could give you some ideas that would make things even better, you wouldn’t be interested?
    – ” i am not the right person”…well, so sorry, so who would you recommend that I talk to

  5. December 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Superb work!

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