Cold calling for a salesperson should be as normal as breathing or walking down the street. If you are a salesperson and you don’t cold call then make it a priority, a daily or a weekly habit. If you are a salesperson that doesn’t cold call, but you are hitting your quota or making a great income, congratulations, because you are probably benefitting from cold calling you did early on in your career. Can you imagine how you might increase your sales if you cold call even with an established account base or even to others you might not know within that same customer organization?
You may have a great product or have others prospecting for you, but you are only going to be able to process orders for so long before the competition swoops in or your quota gets big enough that you have to pick up the phone or get in front of customers more often in order to stay competitive.
Great sales closers cold call to get appointments set, continue to touch base with existing clients, and network to new clients over the phone on a regular basis building rapport and developing relationships. Brian Tracy provides 7 tips in his blog “7 cold calling tips to improve your closing rate.”
Step 1 – Focus on the Client – Make sure to focus on the client and their companies needs. Don’t talk about yourself or your company, but focus on their issues.
Step 2 – Elicit responses from carefully planned out questions. From general to specific, be armed and ready so that you can handle immediate objections and address potential challenge areas.
Step 3 – Don’t use cold calling scripts. Ask questions about their business, their market, their budget, and their challenges. If you are in technology, like I am, learn as much as you can as a sales consultant about the product you are selling so you can immediately identify a customer “gap” or need that your technology might be able to fill.
Step 4 – Don’t overwhelm the prospect on the first meeting. Just bring a basic notebook, but don’t break out an entire briefcase of brochures, etc., as this may be too intimidating.
Step 5 – Don’t try to sell anything on the first call! You want to gather as much information as you can so that you can come armed with a more customized presentation and use case based on the information shared.
Step 6 – Keep the prospect relaxed. Keep it light and easy. The more comfortable they feel the easier they are going to want to open up.
Step 7 – Uncover the real customer benefit. What are the challenges that you will solve with your product? What drives them? How strong are the politics within the organization? Will they get promoted based on making the right architectural decision? Do you know enough about their environment that your product will integrate well and correctly? Have you, as the advisor, truly suggested the best approach and the best formula to make their organization successful?
No matter what product or service you sell, make sure you deliver. One of the best rewards for selling, closing, and keeping the customer happy, is for the happy customer to refer you to another potential customer at another organization.