Use Prospecting to Target Your Cold Calls More Effectively
Let’s just face it. As a sales professional, cold calling probably isn’t your favorite thing to do. It’s something that you do because you absolutely need to in order to keep your business running smoothly. You probably run through your list of potential clients as quickly as possible and then call it a day with one adept wipe of your forearm across your brow to remove the accumulated sweat. Have you ever considered the possibility that that solitary generic sales pitch that you’ve been using just isn’t working?
You might earn a few sales in the short run by using a standard cold calling sales pitch, but this is definitely not the best long term sales plan. You can actually save yourself quite a bit of trouble and make a lot more money if you start using your cold calls like sniper bullets instead of shot gun rounds, making sure that each one is custom fired to hit it’s target and specifically address that unique customer’s concerns. First of all, this means educating yourself on a regular basis. You need to gain cold calling expertize from experts when ever you get a chance. Talking to the top sellers in your organization, visiting sales planning websites like SalesRoundup.com, and reading books about cold calling and complex sales, should all be on the top of your weekly list of things to do. However, for now, this article will serve as an introduction to this more effective type of cold calling and get you started in the right direction.
If you want to halt that forehead sweat before it even starts here are a couple of key pointers that can help you to work smarter instead of harder every time that you pick up that phone to make a cold call.
1. Scout Out the Territory with a Few Preliminary Cold Calls First
Your first cold call doesn’t need to be a sales pitch; in fact, it’s better if it isn’t. Rather, the purpose of your first call should be to gather information. Imagine that you are a scout who is merely searching out the territory in order to become familiar with the terrain. Start out by talking to people who are lower down in the company. Stay on the phone as long as possible so that you don’t miss any potentially valuable information. In particular, you want to find out which officer in the company is going to be your “go to” person. This is the person who will understand most acutely how your product will benefit the company. You will also want to find out what the company’s current major concerns are. Knowing this information will help you to customize your pitch so that you sound like an expert on your customer’s concerns, not just a telemarketer.
2. Put Yourself In the Place of the Person You Are Speaking To.
Once you are finally ready to talk directly with your “go to” person, take a moment to prep yourself psychologically. Imagine that you are in your customer’s shoes. What are their concerns? What types of problems are they experiencing? How can you effectively address these problems and concerns? If you make your cold call with the answers to these questions on the tip of your tongue (instead starting off with a mechanical speech which might as well be performed by a robot from a 1950s sci-fi movie), then you are guaranteed to improve your ratio of successful calls to rejections. Once your customer can see that you understand their needs and have the tools to help them, their receptiveness will be multiplied several times over.
Mike & Joe