I don’t believe cold calling does work anymore I know smart calling works. Smart calling is being a little bit smart before the call and doing a little bit of homework. I would recommend no more than three minutes as you may end up with a voice mail. Cold calling is where you literally are going in cold, with no contact name, no idea about the company or industry you are calling, no angle as to how you can help or add value to the business, etc. Many sales gurus claim cold calling doesn’t work anymore as buyers have wised up to them, to some extent I agree, however, smart calling does work. I have learned some wonderful ideas and techniques from a fantastic US sales guru Art Sobczak.
When preparing to make a smart call there are certain steps I always think about:
Step 1: What does the company actually do that I am about to call? Once I know this, I can think of any companies similar to them I may have helped and be prepared to name drop them if appropriate. I can prepare a couple of facts of how I have been able to help those companies as well i.e. increase their conversion rates by 30%, reduce their lead costs by 25%, etc.
Step 2: Who do I actually want to speak to within the business, who is likely to be the decision-maker? I can look on the website and there is normally a meet the team page or an about us page and within that content, there should be a name. Now, this may not be the contact you require however once you have a name you can use it. You can say to the gatekeeper “I have been recommended to speak to John Doe but I don’t believe he is the right person. Who would you suggest I speak to regarding…?” The gatekeeper will be slightly more receptive than if you just said “who can I speak to regarding my products and services?”
OPENING STATEMENTS HAVE A WIIFM (What’s in it for me)
“Good morning Mr. Estate Agent, thanks for taking my call. My name is Tony Morris and I am the Director of the Sales Doctor. We deliver bespoke training and cover an array of courses from sales through to management. The reason for my call today is to see how are you developing your negotiators?”
“Good morning Mr. Estate Agent, thanks for taking my call. My name is Tony Morris and I am the Director of the Sales Doctor. Are you familiar with my business?”
“Yes” – Great as you are probably aware…
“No” – Okay to make you aware…..
We have been successfully delivering training to many estate agents like A, B, and C (name drop ones they’d have heard of) by helping negotiators qualify applicants more effectively, resulting in more qualified viewings and a significant increase in deals being tied.
In this market, our clients have found one of the biggest challenges they face is lack of stock, “how have you found this at the moment?” (Very likely to be the same if it’s a big problem for the majority).
So the reason for my call today is to see if we can help your team too. So how are you currently developing your negotiators?
I hope you’ll agree example B is better than the previous example and all I did differently was explain very briefly how I have helped businesses like theirs. Now there may be situations where you haven’t helped companies in their industry; so for this, you need to think of examples where you have helped companies that have faced similar challenges to them. This happened very recently in my business, we were approached by a very big publishing company to train their forty inbound salespeople. I knew we hadn’t worked with companies in the publishing industry so I found out what challenges their salespeople faced and the key areas they felt needed developing. Fortunately, I had trained a big tour operator who had a large inbound sales team who had similar issues and challenges, and I explained very clearly what I covered with them and most importantly the benefits they received as a result of it.