How do you feel about the prospect of a cold call?
How can you best prepare before dialling? The answer is in understanding your own reactions to cold calls
We all have a friend or foe mentality when we’re answering the phone. Anything we don’t recognise is treated as a foe before we’ve even spoken to them. That’s a natural response we can trace back to primitive humans. If we treat anything new as hostile until proved otherwise, we’ll survive.
So the first step is understanding that mentality. The second step is in understanding how to show that you are a friend, not a foe.
Keep. It. Simple.
If you launch into a rehearsed explanation of why you’re calling today and how if they just give you 5 minutes of their time you can explain how you can help them…
That’s exactly what a foe would say to make you let your guard down.
You need to let them make the decision.
Calmly and confidently state:
- Who you are.
- What you are.
- Why you are different.
They’ll then ask you for further information in chunks they can understand.
Common questions you will hear when cold calling prospects.
Why are you calling me? How did you get my number? These types of questions. Provided you can answer them sufficiently, then the guard is let down, by their own choosing.
Now you can go into a more relaxed conversation and speak as though you’re a friend. Ask permission to tell them about something that you think will help them. But if you try and do it before you’ve been signalled that it’s okay, you’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
You have something of value to add to these people. You’re not going to be trying to sell them something they don’t want. You’re going to describe the value you add and then ask them if they can see the value for them in their current situation.
At no point in this first initial call should you be actively trying to sell to them. If they are pushing to buy, that’s another question. The whole point of this first call is an introduction. The objective is a follow-up conversation. You are trying to establish a situation where they want to buy from you, not where they’ll let you sell to them.
Key Points to Consider
Friend or foe first. Keep this simple. Think about cold calling like being confronted by the police but knowing you’ve done nothing wrong. Just hold your hands up in the air, clearly and simply state who you are, what you do and why you’re different to the person they have mistaken you for.
Once you’re a “friend”, ask permission. Is it okay if I tell you a little bit about what I do and ask you a few questions to see if it could be valuable to you?
This is not about making a sale. If you have free resources, maybe offer them that at the end of the call. Your objective is to go from suspect to prospect, not from suspect to ordering.
For more support about cold-calling for sales growth and business growth, be sure to further explore the blog. Why not start with How to use pre-call planning to deliver sales outcomes.
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