By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.Benjamin Franklin
From a very young age we are told the importance of preparing.
It applies to everything in life, from getting your first job, finding your first home and as a business owner making that first sales call.
Yes, business owners need to make cold calls.
I can sense the cold sweat trickling down the back of many business owners and sales professionals just with the thought of picking up the phone and calling someone that’s not expecting your call.
But with 82% of buyers saying that they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with a cold call, you can’t afford to not be considering cold calling in your sales prospecting mix.
How can we make cold calling more effective.
Spending time before a call to plan what you want to say, and what you want to achieve can increase the change of getting your intended outcome.
Be that a sale (incredibly unlikely), getting someone to download one of your lead magnets, signing up to an event or even to arrange a follow-up call (probably the best objective 😉).
Using something like my pre-call plan allows you to outline some of the key questions that you need to ask, and write down answers to some of the questions you anticipate you might be asked.
Though a pre-call plan is not just there for when someone picks up the phone, statistics state that for those that don’t answer, prospects wont listen to more than around 30 seconds of a cold call message.
Wouldn’t it be better to have planned that message to maximise the chance of that prospect calling you back or picking up next time you call?
Never forget to ask the key questions.
We’ve all been there, on a call with a prospect that’s hooked in, you feel they’re ready to buy and all you need to do is ‘ASK”.
But the excitement has got the better of you and you’re now going off on a tangent reminiscing over your favourite childhood sweets that are no longer sold but that you both have a memory in common.
There’s now no way to get the call back on track and it ends with the call objective missed.
You forgot to ask that golden question ‘so are you ready to buy’ or ‘when shall we speak again’.
By using an effective pre-call plan you can create a roadmap with key questions to ask at set stages to take the prospect from A to B and onto the sale.
We’ve all heard the phase ‘sell me this pen’ most recognisable from the Wolf on Wall Street film starting Leonardo DiCaprio.
The trick with this question is to not overthink it because it really is a simple question, yet while under pressure most people struggle.
Questions like this pop up all the time during a sales call, ‘so why should I buy from you’, ‘how will your product help’ or my favourite ‘it sounds expensive’.
Spending time before the call to write down answers for the most commonly asked questions will allow you to answer those questions with confidence should they pop up.
Without a pre-call plan, you’ll be left kicking yourself when you put the phone down and suddenly remember a better answer than the one you gave.
Remember every second of that call is about adding value.
Knowing your prospect.
Being a business owner or salesperson for an SME is highly beneficial when it comes to preparing for a sales call.
Instead of being in a call centre where a name appears on the screen and the phone starts auto dialling, you have the time to research your prospect
You can also add some information on their competitors and facts of how your product has been effective for others in their sector.
You can be armed with the best advice and closing arguments to reach your objective.
What can you do now?
If you’re unsure on the best approach to using traditional sales techniques, such as cold calling, in a modern-day selling environment then here are three quick steps you can take.
One, download my pre-call planner from TheSalesMindsetCoach.co.uk
Two, take a few hours out of your day to read my book, Funnel Vision, Selling Made Easy.
Three, join me on my upcoming course, Plan Grow Do and gain the skills you need to increase your sales over the next 12 months.
Find out more regarding our upcoming courses via head to our website.