In Sales we must rationalize that our Teams will be performing a significant amount of Cold Calling in order to achieve our revenue targets. Through some of what Kraig Kleeman says in his book “The Must React System” and my own experiences, I compiled 5 tactics that can help any sales person achieve greater success through Cold Calling.
1. The Cold Call is only Step 1
Too often sales people are trained to “Go for the Kill” and ask for the business on the first call, if you get the prospect on the phone. This prospect does not know you, has no confidence in you, and certainly is not thinking about buying from you. Do not rush the process by asking him if he wants to buy, simply look to set a meeting with the prospect at a later date, where he can be prepared and you can have his attention.
2. Email before calling so you have a reason to call
Email is a powerful tool to use as a prelude to your call, as it easily gives you a reason to be dialing for all Gate keepers and Prospects. Make certain the email is simple and concise and speaks to a need or relevant issue with the prospects. You should always have an A/B test with your emails to learn what is optimal per Industry/LOB. Be clear about who your audience is and speak to their desires with your email.
3. Utilize a message that will resonate with your prospect
You should always reference the email as your reason for calling. Too often we lead with our product or offering (Value Proposition) and the prospect is immediately turned off. Remember they have not asked you to call, so you must instantly engage them in a conversation about a topic that is relevant to THEM. Prior to calling perform your research on the company or the prospect, find out what he cares about, and discuss that.
4. Stay in the No Product Zone
Salesmen love to talk about their company and products as they truly believe they are the best in the industry. Remember the prospect does not agree with you or else they would have bought it already. Utilize 3rd party research as a discussion topic, (Industry / Company / LOB), make it relevant to the prospect. Do not worry when the conversation strays from your specific “Sales Pitch”, continue the discussion.
5. Control the call with an end game
This tactic really works with Executives as they are quick to move on to other pressing matters, and get off the phone with you. Keep the call directly focused on your objective or end game which is to have a focused phone conversation at a later time with them. Do not be afraid to stop the call short and set up a later time if the prospect seems rushed. You want to be sure and have their undivided attention for a meeting that is focused on your product, not this call as this is simply the first step.