Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. When you give your prospect your contact information and when you are repeating the meeting date and time, use your voice to direct your prospect to write everything down. Speak s-l-o-w-l-y and distinctly, at a pace that they can write. Your prospect will interpret this way of speaking as a direction to write. This way, they, too, will have the meeting in their calendar, and there should be no mix-ups.

2. Having a script frees you to be yourself. You are prepared, you know your product, features and customer benefits, and you know what you want to achieve with the telephone call. You are ready for any objection your prospect may voice. You can relax-you can be yourself.

3. Your script is fluid. It is not meant to be read word for word, but is an outline or a guide as to how you wish to represent yourself, your company, your product or service and what you want to accomplish.

4. When prospecting by phone, it is not just what you say-it’s how you say it. To achieve the maximum effect with your delivery, you will want to practice what you will say and practice different ways of saying it. Do this until you come up with the way that you think is most effective and will give you the result you want.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Many times, introductory callers worry about closing the sale, when they should only be focusing on making the introductory call. You cannot allow your anxiety about closing a sale to interfere with the step you need to take to start the process that ultimately will affect that sale.

2. When making introductory calls, stay ‘in the moment.’ That means that you are only thinking about what you are doing right then. You are not looking at the past; you are not looking into the future. If your previous call was a disaster-it doesn’t matter. It is now history. Don’t worry about future calls, they’re in the future. You are in the present-moment by moment. And what you should be doing at the moment is making an appointment.

3. If your prospect is using a similar product/service, most likely that prospect believes the product/services to be of value in some way. That means that your prospect needs you or someone just like you to provide the value they want.

4. If your prospect is already using a similar product or service, then making the decision to purchase this particular item is part of their job. And they are supposed to do their job to the best of their ability. Part of that would be finding the best for the least, staying on top of new developments in the field, exploring options, contingency planning… Meeting with you works to your prospect’s advantage. By introducing yourself and your product or service, you are helping your prospect to do her job.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling – Asking the Right Questions

1. Which existing customers might be in a position to offer great referrals?
If you don’t routinely ask customers for referrals it’s now the time to start. If you do routinely ask for referrals, when is the last time you asked? It might be time to go back and ask again.

2. How many prospects do I need to contact in order to close one sale?
If you haven’t already done it, figure out your average. Then do the math so that you know exactly how many prospects you need to contact in order to reach your sales goals. Bear in mind, the number may be higher than usual because of the recession.

3. How can I better organize my time?
Tighten up your sales cycle. Tighten up the time you spend on non-productive and nonrevenue-generating tasks. If you’re not selling, you’re not making money.

4. What do I most need to learn to help me sell more? How can I learn it and how soon can I learn it? Do you need to improve your skills? Will improving your skills help you close more sales? For most sales professionals the answer to this question is “yes.” Identify the skills you need and take steps to acquire those skills. They will help you, in this recession, and beyond.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Make telephone calls. No one will ever say, ‘yes’ if they do not know of your existence.

2. Feel your prospect’s pain. Articulate that pain. Your prospect will see you as someone who understands. Then, offer a solution.

3. Position yourself as an expert, someone who has knowledge and authority. Do this by discussing your expertise and your credentials. Answer the question, ‘What makes you (or your company, product or service) different from everyone else in the entire world who is selling something similar?’

4. Know the goal of your telephone call–and this goal may be different from your ultimate goal. For example, if you are calling to set up a new business appointment, the goal of your call is an appointment–not a sale. Once you know the goal, make sure to ask for what you want.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

  1. Projection is when your prospect says something and you hear something else. It is vitally important not to read extra meaning into statements made by prospects. Remember, your priorities and those of your prospect are not the same. Your number-one priority, of course, is getting in the door and, ultimately, making the sale. But that is not your prospect’s number-one priority.

  1. It is important to separate yourself from whatever the prospect (or her secretary) says. When you hear from the secretary that your prospect is “not available,” “on the phone,” “in a meeting,” “out of the office”… this does not translate to: “My prospect knows that I am calling, and she does not want to take my call.” “She doesn’t like me.” “She doesn’t want to buy from me.” “She doesn’t want my product/service.” “She hates me.”

  1. When making introductory calls, focus on the “yes’s” and not the “no’s.” If, for example, a prospect tells you that she is not the decision-maker, this is not a “no,” and it is not a rejection. She is not the decision-maker. Most of the time, she will tell you to whom you should be speaking-and that is a “yes.” She’s helping you. If your prospect does not use your type of service, that is not a rejection. She does not use your type of service. All the common objections-“I’m too busy…” “Send me literature…,” etc.-are not necessarily rejections. Looking at introductory calling from this perspective will give you many “yes’s” and very few “no’s.”

  1. Keep records of your calls, so that you can determine your calls-to-appointments ratio. You might find, for example, that, on average, it takes 30 calls to schedule one new business meeting. So then, you know that if you make 30 calls, you should be able to schedule at least one appointment. As you continue to make calls, if the ratio stays at 30 calls to one appointment, then you will know that those are your personal numbers. More than likely, however, as you continue to make calls, your skills will improve and that ratio will lower.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Sell something in which you believe–something that offers a value and benefit.

2. Think of your cold call as the beginning of a sales relationship. Pick one tip to implement today. Take action now to change your prospecting results.

3. You are on an equal level with your prospect. Yes, you need them, but they also need you. It is a reciprocal relationship.

4. After a successful call, keep calling. Your energy and enthusiasm will be higher–it will translate to even more success.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

  1. If you are giving a sales presentation, make sure to only give that presentation after you thoroughly understand your prospect’s specific problem and motivation to solve that problem.

  1. Ask the Magic Question: “After our conversation (discussion/you see our presentation…) if you see that our product/service is a perfect fit for you, what would happen next?” Any answer other than the prospect would be ready to move forward means that you have more work to do to close the sale.

  1. Be relevant.  The more relevant you are to your prospect, the greater will be their interest in your product/service. Conversely the less relevant you are, the less will be their interest. There is a direct correlation, so only present those aspects of your products/services that are relevant to your prospect’s specific challenge.  Generic does not work.

  1. Ask for the sale. One of the biggest reasons that sales professionals do not close sales is that they never ask. Determine how you are going to ask for the sale, practice out loud and when the time is right, ask your prospect for that sale.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Give yourself breaks when you need them. Get up and stretch. Take a brief walk. Drink plenty of water, so that you do not dehydrate.

2. Determine the benefits of what you are selling. That is the ‘what’s in it for me’ from your prospects’ point of view. ‘People want quarter-inch holes, not quarter-inch drills.’ Focus on the benefits, and talk about the benefits.

3. Most sales are made, on average, after the seventh contact with a prospect. These contacts can be by phone, e-mail, fax or letter. Most sales people give up after three or four contacts. If you do that, you are leaving cash on the floor behind you.

4. When a prospect puts you on a speakerphone, try whispering. They’ll more than likely pick up the receiver, so that they can hear you.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Ask a few friends or colleagues to listen to the tape of your script. Ask them to evaluate it by the following criteria: Listen for warmth and passion in your voice. Do you sound interesting? Convincing? Confident? Is your speech clear, professional and pleasant? How is the rhythm and pacing of your speech? Do you sound angry, tired, tentative or bored? Is your speaking voice nasal, a monotone or singsong? Do you speak too fast or too slow? Do you mumble? Compare your friends’ or colleagues’ evaluations with your own. This way, you will know how others perceive you. It may be different from your self-perception. Work on improving what you may need to improve. Try to work on just one element at a time. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming.

2. Building rapport with your prospect starts with you and your prospect. Think about it-do you enjoy speaking with someone who is thinking about something else and not about your conversation? Of course, you don’t! People can sense when someone is not paying attention-your prospect will be able to tell whether you are focusing totally on your interaction with them or whether your mind is elsewhere. Do your preparation, so that you can focus on your prospect.

3. Salespeople frequently are told to be “enthusiastic,” but merely forcing enthusiasm will make you sound phony. Enthusiasm comes from within. It comes from integrity, believing in your product and/or service and being real. If you believe in what you are selling and are prepared, you will not sound phony.

4. Projection is when your prospect says something and you hear something else. It is vitally important not to read extra meaning into statements made by prospects. Remember, your priorities and those of your prospect are not the same. Your number-one priority, of course, is getting in the door and, ultimately, making the sale. But that is not your prospect’s number-one priority.

Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. One of my colleagues refers to telephone prospecting as “telephone theater.” I love that description because when you are making calls, you need to decide what it is that you want your prospect to hear and also to feel. How will you get them to hear and feel what you want them to hear and feel? Which words will you emphasize? Which words will you move through quickly?

2. To better your “telephone theater” performance, record yourself. It’s very valuable to hear how you sound to others. If you do not like the way you sound, you can work to change how you say what you say.

3. Bear in mind that it takes time to learn new habits. You will not change over night. It may take you weeks of working on an approach to get it right. Once you get it right, however, it will be crystal clear because it will be working. The people who are really successful are the ones that do not quit.

4. Make phone calls. All the training, skills, practice and role-playing will be worth nothing if you do not make your calls.