If you are new to Selling Over The Phone the thought of Cold Calling may send shivers up and down your spine. As a matter of fact, cold calling in-person or over the phone is probably one of the hardest types of sales calls to master.
So what is a Cold Call?
A cold call is contacting a potential customer without an appointment, a referral, or any previous introduction of yourself or company. The prospect is unaware you are coming and you are approaching them cold.
Why is this so scary for many salespeople?
It really depends on the person, but the major reason most find it frightening is due to the immediate prospect of rejection and the potential for confrontation. Even if these perceived threats are real or not, it can be a stressful situation.
You can lower your resistance to cold calling by coming to grips with the fact that it’s a matter of perception, usually your perception.
Be Prepared Before You Make A Cold Call
Most of the apprehension you feel before a cold call is a direct result of not being prepared. This means you need to be up to the challenge which usually means feeling confident that you can handle anything that comes up.
Think about the reasons you are making the call in the first place and understand them clearly. You have to focus on the goal of your sales call. If you are trying to set up an appointment, don’t try to convince the prospect how great the product or service is, it will get done at the appointment.
Write down your goal and what concessions you are willing to make. In the case of trying to get an appointment you must be flexible with your schedule so you can accommodate the prospect.
Clearly identify each step in your sales process for the cold call and make a list. After you’ve made a list, decide how you’ll conduct the conversation for each step.
When it comes to Cold Calling Over The Phone, you can have a script in front of you. This is a HUGE advantage, you can bet the prospect doesn’t, so use it to focus on the end game.
For each of the items on your list, identify any questions that will help you define what your customer wants and how you can accomplish your goal. The questions you ask will form a template so you can build a killer sales pitch. Figure out the leading questions you need to ask.
Anticipate all of the possible objections and write out your response for each one and have them in a binder in front of you for easy access. If you don’t like binders use any method you like. I have actually pinned over 20 pages of pitch and objection responses on the wall of my office, do whatever it takes to be prepared.
Depending on the type of product or service you are offering, a sales presentation will flow in different directions. Rarely is there a one-size-fits-all sales presentation and you’ll need to be able to go in the direction that will end in you achieving your predefined goal.
You must understand your product or service and be ready to answer every question that is asked with confidence. When you get objections, and you will, your ability to neutralize them will enable you to control the conversation.
Controlling the conversation with your prospect will be key to your success. It’s your agenda and if you lose control you’ll get only what the prospect wants, you’ll be dancing to their drum!
If you do everything you can to prepare yourself, you will look forward to Cold Calling and it will be one of your most useful selling skills.
When you realize how important Cold Calling is when you’re Selling Over The Phone, you will embrace the technique and actually look forward to making cold calls. As you get more comfortable, the confidence in your voice will echo down the telephone connection and you’ll be hooked and so will your prospect.
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