Whether you’re a sales professional delivering working from a large prospect list, or a business person on the receiving end of a cold call, the unsolicited sales call often creates discomfort in both parties.
But a review of tips from respected sales experts shows that cold calling can turn into a happy win-win situation for everyone.
Here are the top guidelines that experts consistently mention:
- Be genuine, be yourself. This requires real conversation, not reading scripts.
- Research your prospects to determine their needs and identify what you have in common that can be used to fuel conversation and create bonding.
- Delay pushing for your sales goal right away. Instead, focus on the prospect’s problems, which you can acknowledge and validate, demonstrating that you care.
- You only have a few seconds at the beginning of your call before you risk losing the prospect. Prepare a confident, concise opening statement that provides the all-important WIFM (“What’s in it for me”), drawing in the prospect and creating the conditions for real conversation.
- Remember always: It’s not about you, it’s about the prospect.
Here are a couple of examples:
Inc.com (Inc. Magazine) suggests: “The most effective way to open a conversation is to connect your call to…’trigger events.’” What’s a trigger event? An event or announcement the prospect’s company has made that you can connect to your product or service solution. An example would be that the company recently opened a new facility. Inc.com offers 16 of these trigger events.
Also from Inc.com comes the case study of an art consultant who generated surprising sales from a list by using light-hearted, self-deprecating humor: “Hi, this is Patty Glass with the Art Co., and this is a cold call. I bet you get a million of these. Fasten your seat belt — here’s another one.”
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