Recently I heard that cold calling is old school and any sales person worth their weight, should be more sophisticated. There are many ways to cold call. We are all familiar with knocking on doors, presenting your business card and hoping that you get a glimpse of the decision maker. I would agree that this method might be a little outdated but in some industries this is how reps get new prospects and it still works.
When I interview sales people; the part of the sales cycle that they dislike the most is the cold calling. Every time you call a sales recruiter for a job, that’s a cold call. I was probably not expecting your call and don’t know you. If a sales candidate calls me and does a very good cold call, I’ll see him for an interview; after all my, job is to find great sales people for my clients. I have successfully placed several candidates who cold called me.
I know very few people or companies that have enough business that they do not require new prospects so cold calling is here to stay.
There are more many ways to cold call such as networking. Whether your cold call is via telephone or face to face, preparation is key. Find out some information about the company, its officers and recent activity. If you have sold to this industry before this would be a great time to name drop.
Set yourself a goal for cold calling. Remember ABC-always be closing. Your goal may be to gather information or speak to the decision maker. If you do get the decision maker remember that you have 1 chance to make a great first impression. Write and practice a great opening statement. Get your prospect interested and engaged. This does not include speaking about what your product/service does but more about benefits to your prospects. Keep in mind “what’s in it for me”.
So many sales people no longer cold call that your cold calling can perhaps be unique. So many sales people rely on emails and phone calls because it is easier than face to face cold calling. Again, you will be set apart from the pack if you are different in your approach. A face to face makes it personal and different.
Where some sales people fall down is their contact with the gatekeeper or receptionist. When you are rude to them or dismiss them as unimportant that gets back to the decision more often than you think. I definitely want to know my receptionist’s opinion of the cold caller because this will give me an indication of their emotional intelligence and quite frankly their manners.
You can’t go into cold calling thinking that you will fail; you will. You have got to go in with a positive attitude especially if you are cold calling via the phone. The client needs to feel your enthusiasm and smile. Remember that a large percentage of communication is non-verbal.
Cold calling is still an effective tool to bring in new business.
Cold calling- “reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated”