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It’s time to ditch this outdated traveling-salesperson-style pitch and replace it with hard well thought out research.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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Mike & Joe