It’s the last week of the month, hitting your sales figure feels like a pipe dream and all of your repeat customers orders have dried up. What do you do? Who’s going to help you? The reality is nobodies coming, your on you own just like the rest of us, you need to turn things around and quick! Your nee jerk reaction is to pick up the phone and start calling anybody and everybody to try and generate some interest; now you wouldn’t be wrong in doing this… But before you do i implore you to take note of my tips for cold calling. Learn from my mistakes and make the most out of what little time your have left!!
1. Leave a message!
In 2007 it took 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts!! Those figure don’t look to good for us do they? Well most of you will hear the beep of the rejection and hang up as the prospect ‘doesn’t’ want to talk… you would be wrong to do so! a voicemail is a great tool, the receiver will have to manually listen to delete so they will get your message whether they like it or not! Short and sweet is the key here, so talk clearly and make sure you leave your name and number. Something along the lines of
‘Hey John, Thomas at Bthree. appreciate if you could call be back on ******’
This kind of message will do a few things, the first is create interest – your prospect may not know who you are and will wonder why your calling them. And if they don’t call you back they have heard your name and company name in preparation for your followup call tomorrow.
2. Be Persistent
These day’s nobody says no to me, well they might but all I hear is I’m not ready yet… Statistics say that the average number of follow up calls before the first purchase is 5 – That means you have 4 attempts to find out the information you need to close, here’s an example:
- Call 1 – I’m not ready because we deal with ‘x company’
- Call 2 – ‘X companies’ products are on our system and designed around our requirements
- Call 3 – I’m busy today
- Call 4 – Send through some information and i will keep it on file.
- Call 5 – Mr Customer, Your a busy man/woman so i will cut to the chase. I understand you deal with ‘x company,’ We can offer an equivalent item, integrate with your system and train your staff free of charge. All i ask is that we can sit down on Thursday afternoon and discuss what i can do to help you.
The final call is where we pull it all together, we take control of the conversation from the offset. Noting the points made in the 4 subsequent calls and using that as ammunition for our attack. Simplifying the thought process and offering up a date will encourage the prospect to if anything get you off their case; we have also added value to the negative points given and taken away the potential hassle caused by a ‘purchase’.
3. Cut to the chase.
Finally you’ve got through to the prospect and now is your chance to shine, your excited and who wouldn’t be? this call could lead to the order you have been waiting for. STOP! don’t let your emotions get the better of you and start talking about your company, products and all of their benefits for the next 15 minutes.. Cut straight to the chase, ask the key questions you need to understand the customers needs/requirements and always wrap it up with a goal.. whether that’s supplying a verbal quotation and asking for the order or setting up a follow up meeting. Nothing is worse then a waffler and you certainly don’t want to put that phone down without an advancement in the sales cycle.
4. Don’t sound scripted
Now it’s always good to be prepared when cold calling, there is nothing worse then loosing your wordflow mid conversation and not knowing what to talk about next; So keep some a few notes jotted down to your side in case you get stuck.. However listen to this warning, do not read directly off a script and especially not word for word! Conversation have a tendency to go in several different ways that you just can’t cater for; so for the love of god (And money) don’t just keep reading off the script hoping the prospect forgets that you have ignored them! And besides you don’t want to sound like a robot, you know those guys you speak to when setting up your utility bills? no banter, just straight to the point, answer these 5 set questions, agree the price and get off the phone – You don’t like it and neither does your prospect, so try to keep it loose and free flowing to take any direction it chooses.
5. The customer’s always right.
More often then not you find your prospect fire back a number of objections, and that’s OK. It’s always a good feeling when you can solve them.. but wait! why can i still feel resistance in their voice? that’s right as much as you want to avoid objections you also have to be very careful in your approach to countering them – Only you can judge the conversation for the direction it’s traveling in however even the slightest hint of argumentativeness towards your audiences view point and you could send yourself right back to the cold calling stage.. listen to any objections and find a way to cover them as your summaries the conversation/offer this way the customer feels like you have listened to them and understood what they need from you to proceed, it will also give you a chance to better understand what you need to offer