As a business development assistant, I am subscribed to many news, pages, blogs, etc., one of them is also BNET, a website for business management. And there, I came across an interesting article about sales. Geoffrey James posted a poll titled “Is Cold Calling Really Worth It? People in sales know how stressful and weird can cold calling be is it is very hard to be equal and strong if you are practically begging for an appointment. There were many answers and comments, one of the impressed James (and me) so much, that he decided to make it an official post.
Ron Silver, sales coach, states that cold calling does not work, because people sound like they are making a cold call. Even the expression itself is unpleasant so Silver suggests we switch it with »Dialing for Dollars«.
When cold calling, most people want to get something from somebody. They are trying to get an appointment or an order. We are in nature reluctant to give something to someone we do not know, therefore many salespeople fail in their attempt. At this point, Silver makes a statement that “to get” is not the purpose of cold calling.
Dialling for dollars is a disqualifying process. Your objective is to disqualify as many people as possible and as quickly as possible. That saves us time and money.
Salesperson has up to one minute to express a specific reason for the prospect to wish to continue the conversation. You will be the most effective when your minute causes the prospect to identify the problem they need to solve. People will talk to you if you help the illuminate the problem they need to get fixed. Problems in business are mostly focusing on loss of money, wasted time, inefficiencies, loss of market share, etc. If the potential client (and not us) does not see something that has negative consequences for their business and seriously wants to get rid of the problem, we have the possibility of continuing the conversation. If there is a “fit”, we have a possibility of asking for a meeting where we could together with the prospect explore the possibilities of cooperation.
Five cold calling essentials
Essentials of cold calling according to Silver:
- Tell them your name and your company.
- Ask for permission for one minute and tell them they can end the conversation after that if they want to.
- Get right to the point.
- Never try to convince the prospect, let them try to convince you it is worth your time and effort to meet with them.
- Respect your agreement.
He also gave an example, but I think it is better to give one for Vizuarna:
“Hello, This is Lea Lipovšek from Vizuarna, strategic design consultancy. May I take one minute to tell you why I am calling and then you can tell me if we should continue speaking. Today in a time of fierce economic conditions we all want to downsize our costs. Not the best planned and structured website decreases its visit and increases communication costs. Corporate identity and brand architecture within it that with time become incoherent, diminish happiness of the employees as well as happiness and loyalty of the clients. Mrs. Novak, are you maybe dealing with some of these problems or is everything running smoothly?”
In less than a minute we have someone on the line we can help or not. If they do not have any problems that we can fix at the moment, then it is over – for now.
Silver recommends that calling is scheduled as an event in our calendar. As such, it will be easier to do it with consistency. The post is concluded with an optimistic thought. The best thing about cold calling is that we do not have to do it forever. Once we have a satisfied client base, they will become promoters of your business and there will be a far lesser need for cold calling.