One of these four statistics is false. Which one is it?
- Best days of the week to call prospects are Wednesday and Thursday.
- Almost six in 10 buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call.
- 54% of buyers want to see how the product works on the first call.
- Successful sales people talk for 62% of the call.
I know you are keen to know the answer so read on. Cold calling has garnered a bad reputation for itself. Sales people don’t enjoy, and leads don’t welcome it. Warm calling, where a lead has already had contact with you or your company, is seen as more favourable. That isn’t to say cold calling is dead. There is a time and place for it when done correctly. Organisation, planning and the right attitude is required by the sales person. As a solopreneur or small business that maybe you. Over the many years I have worked in sales management and leadership I have learned a few tips. Read on to find out how to no longer dread cold calling and generate leads. For those still wondering, the false statistic in the quick quiz was the last one. Scroll down to tip 36.
Top tip #1: Take 5 minutes to re-read your plan.
Be calm, friendly and smiling. Put the kettle on, make a brew and re-read your pre-call plan to understand where you are starting from, where you want to go and how you will get there.
Top tip #2: Call when it’s the best time for the prospect.
Current research still shows that Wednesday and Thursday between 4-5pm or 11-12pm. Use your weekly schedule to plan this in. Put it in your calendar and try to call 5 minutes before the hour as it’s not uncommon for meetings, calls, etc to be planned for the hour and you want to avoid getting the engaged tone.
Top tip #3: Sound conversational by avoiding a script.
Whilst it may be tempting to have a script, especially if you are new to business or new to cold calling try to avoid writing down line for line what you will say. Think about when someone calls you at home in the evening: you want to know their name, where they are calling from and why they are calling. Of course, sometimes you want to know how they got your number. Instead of a script, use your pre-call plan.
Top tip #4: Speak calmly and at a natural pace.
Wheniwritesomethingreallylongandcomplicatedaboutmylatestproductandhowitwouldbegreatforyou like this you haven’t got a clue what I am saying and have lost interest. Whilst some people naturally have a fast pace of speaking, try to remember the most memorable speeches in history have been done at a natural speaking pace. If you want your prospect to connect with you try to see them as a friend and not someone to be afraid of.
Top tip #5: Plan your questions in advance.
Download my free pre-call planning template from my website to print, make notes and organise your thinking. Working through the template will help you decide your questions and how to frame them. Having your questions planned out in advance will help to quell any fears about cold calling.
Top tip #6: Use questions to find out your prospects pain points.
What can you offer with your service or product that fits the prospects current pain points? Are you able to offer a solution that they don’t already have? Any research you have already done will give you a good basis to approach your prospect but hearing the pain points directly from the prospect will add further context and value.
Top tip #7: Listen more than you talk.
Research shows that the best sales people listen more than they talk. As much as you want to be information giving you also want to be information gathering (make notes) so that you can tailor your responses and how to proceed with the prospect.
Top tip #8: Explain how your product can solve the prospects pain points.
Just as you want to be asking questions, listening to the responses and making notes you should also explain to the prospect how your product or service can help. By using uncomplicated and straight-forward language to show how your product has helped other companies with similar problems.
Top tip #9: Try to secure a next step with the prospect.
Before ending the call try to set a definite next step with the prospect. This could be sending them a proposal, scheduling another call, a virtual or face-to-face meeting. In an ideal scenario you will suggest a time and date and then work around them. It’s such a powerful technique to create a deadline.
Top tip #10: Plan for rejection.
The call is likely to have one of two outcomes:
- Set up a next step e.g. send out information, arrange a face-to-face meeting, etc.
- Prospect gives a definite no.
Remember, every no that you get brings you closer to yes, as the old adage goes “it takes 9 no’s to get a yes”. You want to spend less time with the no’s so you can focus on those suspects that will become prospects.
Top tip #11: Save the selling for when you meet face to face.
Although it is true that 60% of buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call don’t try to sell to them. Ask yourself how many times you have bought something from someone the first time they called you, the chances are the answer is slim to none. As humans we prefer to see the product or service up front before agreeing to purchase. It may be that you have a printing company in which case you can show them some of your high-quality products you currently have in production for other prospects. Or perhaps you have a reiki business in which case you can share testimonial videos from satisfied customers.
If you want to gain additional help with your selling mindset head over to my Facebook group that has over 900 members to learn amongst others in the same position.
To fast track your learning and gain vital skills that will immediately help increase your leads and then convert to sales, head over to my Accelerator course. Currently on offer with a massive £500 off when using discount code ACCEL1.