There are plenty of pundits who claim cold-calling is dead and an entire website dedicated to learning how to ‘never cold call again!’ Truth be told, the act of cold-calling is alive because when done correctly with a systematic proven process, sales professionals can actually thrive.
Follow these tips to warm up your cold-calls this winter.
Welcome ‘No’s– It’s important to recognize that cold calling has never been tougher, however successful cold-callers know that prospects can typically uncover budget for a product or service that provides real value. Super Mario of Select Surplus in Detroit, MI does not let any ‘no’s sway him because as he stated, “My experience has taught me that there is an average of nine no’s for every yes.” It is also now harder to reach people, so don’t quit calling—in 2007, it took 3.86 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes eight attempts1.
Ask yourself questions before you dial– The trick is to get your value proposition in front of the prospect in such a compelling way that you switch off the automatic “no” response. Investing time before the actual call will increase your success rate. Research the following first:
- Key information about the industry, company, and people
- Specific key issues and needs they are facing
- Evidence of your past results with similar customers
- Common ground or contacts- this one is extremely important because relationships and referrals carry inherent trust.
- Specific call objectives
- An appropriate call opening
Reach for rapport, not to close– Instead of spouting off a product or service’s features and benefits at random which tends to bore the prospect and waste valuable time, focus on establishing rapport and determining if further discussion is warranted. Sales professionals can optimize closure rates by reaching for rapport and establishing common ground (business issues, contacts, etc.) first.
Modify your mindset– In Forbes article, Cold Calling 100 Prospects A Day: One Enterpreneur’s Story, Neil Kane explains how Wilbur You’s cold-calling techniques enabled the founder to grow his company, ‘Youtech,’ exponentially. In fact, his business is tracking to reach over $1 million in revenue this year. You stresses that building relationships with customers, solving problems and earning prospects’ trust are the keys to success.
Use prospecting tools for new business development– If your toolbox is empty, check out the best and most current prospecting tools on the market. Remember that if you follow up with web leads within five minutes, you’re nine times more likely to convert them according to InsideSales.com. According to Jill Konrath, top sellers use LinkedIn six hours per week. Taking advantage of prospecting tools will propel your closure rate.
Plan regularly to persevere– Successful salespeople attribute much of their success to planning, not to luck or chance. Learning and using an effective planning processes is critical, yet most sales professionals simply do not plan. Consider enrolling in the How to Cold Call & Build New Customers seminar to learn our successfully proven sales process!
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Western and Central PA, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Pennsylvania. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegiepa.
1TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group