People don’t dislike cold callers; they dislike bad cold callers. Bad cold callers have held on to outdated sales tactics from the 80s and 90s and in doing so have taught the public to not trust unknown numbers. Picking up the phone book and dialing for dollars just won’t work anymore because people no longer wonder if unknown callers are from their kids’ school, old friends, or family members who need help. Instead, they assume that unknown callers are cold callers and hang up right away. Too often salespeople think this means that the cold call is dead but they are dead-wrong. Phones, people, and sales have changed and so must the way we go about them.
This month, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with a business owner who built a multi-million-dollar B2B Service Company primarily by using modern approaches to cold calling. Dozens of articles on the internet still repeat that good salespeople don’t cold call anymore but this owner made it work . In this article, let’s explore some of the ways that this business owner got customers to warm up to cold calls and how you can too.
Know Your Audience
Calling someone you don’t know anything about is a fast way to get hung up on. Trying to sell that person a service they don’t need is an even faster way to get hung up on. To be successful with cold calling in today’s social climate, you must identify your target audience and then take some time to learn about them. Taking some time to figure out who needs your service before picking up the phone will immediately improve your chances of keeping a lead on the line, and being familiar with your lead’s interests and perspective is how you will seal the deal. Some modern-day sales gurus refer to this as “warm-calling”. Whatever you call it, there is a mountain of proof that shows that it works. The research involved in learning about your target audience will be time-consuming but the time you will save on the phone makes it time well spent. Researching a target audience can be a tricky task but ShapeUp Sales Coaching has developed time-effective research methods that get results. Learn more about effective research techniques by sending us a message.
Don’t Sell A Thing
One of the main reasons people dislike cold callers is because they hate feeling like they are being sold something. This is why ShapeUp Sales Coaching recommends developing a script that makes the customer feel like you have something to offer rather than something to sell. A pitch crammed with product details and confusing industry language is intimidating, frustrating, and motivates a potential lead to hang up. The goal of a cold call should be to get yourself in the door with an offer so that you can deliver value face-to-face. To illustrate how to avoid selling and focus on value, I’d like to share an example of a type of script that successful cold callers are using to book more appointments.
“Hi, My name is Mike, I’m with XYZ Solutions, how are you today?…Great, the reason I’m calling is because I’ve recently helped a few of your competitors double their online lead generation in the last month, and I want to be fair and share the wealth. Can I quickly share with you how I’ve done it?…Fantastic, the process has a few steps to it and it can be a little different for every company. I’ll actually be near your office for another appointment next Wednesday at noon, can I just pop in for a quick chat say around 1?…Alright I’ll see you then”.
This script is effective because it frames the service in terms of something that the customer wants and needs. People aren’t interested in what you are selling but are instead interested in how you can benefit them. The most effective script may change depending on your business model, target market and personality but all good scripts should be simple and offer something to the customer. To learn how you can use these tips to tailor a script to your specific needs, shoot us a message on the contact page.
Change Your Attitude
Demoralizing rejections and wasted time turn inexperienced cold callers away from picking up the phone, but the best salespeople learn to love it. The first and most essential step to learning to love cold calling is time blocking. Getting started is often the hardest part of it all so set up appointments for you and your phone to make cold calling a routine. Having time set aside in your calendar gives you an opportunity to do your research and to prepare mentally for cold calling, makes getting started a lot easier. Start by picking a few days out of the week and schedule an appointment with your phone for 1 hour at the same time each day. Before you know it, what was once a chore not worth doing will become an appointment booking power hour.
The best cold callers will also learn to change their perspective on rejection. By focusing on the value that you offer your prospects, you learn to see a rejection as their loss. If you’re confident in your product or service and truly feel like you can do something for the person you’re calling, then they have ultimately lost, not you. It is important to learn to not take rejection personally. The person you’re calling likely knows nothing about you and has no reason to reject you on a personal level. Rejections are a simple rejection of a commercial offer and not personal attacks and must be viewed as such to avoid a demoralizing cold calling session. Change your attitude, learn to love cold calling and you’ll have more appointments than you know what to do with.
Let’s Get Started
Cold calling isn’t dead but is has changed in the last 20 years. By changing yourself and learning to love the cold call you can stand out as a top salesperson. Mastering a skill that so many salespeople refuse to even try makes you invaluable as a member of a sales team. It isn’t opinion, and it’s not made up. The cold call works. Clients who have worked with Shape Up Sales Coaching are booking appointments and growing their businesses right now using the approaches discussed in this article. If you aren’t cold calling, you’re missing out on leads that your competition might be getting. Are you ready to gain the upperhand? Determine your target market, develop a script that works, and fall in love with making those calls. Don’t brush it off. Let ShapeUp Sales Coaching show you how it’s done.
About the author:
Michael is a sales trainer and coach as well as a public speaker. He works with salespeople of all types to coach them to success. He has personally closed millions of dollars of sales throughout various industries using the exact methods he teaches his clients. Growing up in a military household, he has traveled the world and lived in nearly every region in the United States. Today he is passionate about spending time with his wife and daughter and enjoying the outdoors anytime possible. Email him with your questions or comments at [email protected]