( this is part two. Part one was Cold Call or starve. Choose wisely )
This post is how to cold call. I am going to keep it in bullets and avoid any flourish or long narrative, I think this way it can make lasting creases in the brain.
- Cold calling is about optimizing. It is quality, not quantity. It is better to have 10 cold calls equal 5 meetings than 50 calls equal 5. This will also benefit your time management, your ‘positive’ emotional reserve, your energy.
- Creating a high quality list is imperative. There are several things that make a list ‘good’. Does it match the prospect profile? Do you have referenceable/marquee clients in their industry or that match up to the demographics? has that industry been statistically more likely to philosophically embrace your product/offering? Do you know if they are a new’ user or are you trying to lure them to change vendors to you? The objective must be to have a high quality pipeline that if 80% of your pipeline fails to close on schedule, the other 20% will close. Ultimately you want to optimize that number also but before you can get to the middle you have to get to the start.
- Cold calling should never be about persuading, that is time draining and emotionally depleting with little payoff. It will take years. Be professional and let them know down the road if they have any questions or when its time, to please give you a call.
- If a company is not a prospect, let them know that they are not and why. You will lose them but you will likely gain them as a future referral source.
- You must know your competition and be honest about the differentiators. Prospects hate industry jargon. Prospects also do not differentiate vendors by relatively small nuances, most likely the difference that you think is HUGE is unimportant to them and at worst can be worked around.
- Prospects differentiate (particularly on a cold call) by the brand of the company and on the competency of the sales rep. The biggest difference to them is you.
- Never criticize the other vendors. Say that it is your experience that clients have told you that they prefer your company for whatever reasons.
- Cold calling should not be scripted. If its a script you will constantly be forcing them back to your narrative and not going with the flow.
- Cold calling is stylistic. people will do it differently. But, it must also be objective oriented. We should say different things in a different way but get us to the same place.
- Because you are listening, your emphasis should be on being responsive to what they actually say.
- Their objections should be qualified.
- A cold call is divided into three parts: The first part is the first 6 seconds. Within that time they have decided whether they are interested and want to listen to the pitch.
- The second part of a cold call is their interest in the product and how they perceive it may create value. explain as it pertains to their business, your familiarity with their issues based upon your industry knowledge and your experience with similar companies.
- The last part of a cold call is agreeing on what the next action is.
- It is not what you say, it’s how you say it. Use your voice to convey emotion, passion and also interest in them and their business.
- The principal objectives of a cold call is to find an advocate. They must adopt you as person, they must trust you that whatever your product is you will hold their hand, that it won’t mess up and embarrass them in front of their boss or employees and that it won’t be disruptive. If there is disruptions you will advise them so they can expect and minimize them.
- It is always preferable to condition a prospect to give you a referral down the road. You don’t have to ask for it now, just set the expectation in them that you will ask them in the future. It is a commitment that you both will share. There is an agreement that you must have with a prospect, you will do a fantastic job with them and exercise professional discretionary effort and they in exchange will help you build your business.
- Have fun