“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
No doubt, Ben Franklin was one of the smartest guys who ever lived.
You could fill books with his words of wisdom. He was a man of keen intellect, driven by unbridled curiosity and a driving need to shape the future.
Need ultimate proof? Look no further than this quote. He was explaining cold calling more than a century before the telephone was even invented!
How much more visionary, or proactive, can you get? If Ben Franklin was around today, I’d invite him to speak at my cold calling seminar or Cold Call University.
His advice applies to many facets of life, of course. Preparation does beget success, no matter what you’re doing.
Warm Up for Cold Calling
If you’re a sales rep using cold calling, preparation isn’t just important – it’s a necessity.
Look, sales is a hard-enough profession as is. Throw in the notion of calling people you’ve never met – a fate worse than diving into a snake pit for some people – and it can be reallydaunting.
The answer, very simply, is preparation. Embrace the Three Pillars of Cold Call Success.
Learn them. Live them. Love them. Before too long, they’ll return the favor.
The Three Pillars will build you a foundation for successful cold calling. As importantly, they ensure you don’t waste time throwing darts – while blindfolded – at a target that somehow never stops moving.
All Together Now: Prepare!
Are you ready to quit playing a frustrating numbers game that never adds up? Put these principles to work.
1) Strategy: When you make a cold call, the person on the other end should (metaphorically) be named Ideal Client. They already need what you’re selling. All that’s missing is the introduction.
You need to find who this person or company is. Create a list of VERY specific criteria. Research, and use your strategic partnerships, to locate prospects. Then, drill down. Identify those who meet ALL the criteria. Hello, Mr./Ms. Ideal Client!
2) Structure: Every cold-caller has a script. Therein often lies the problem.
You’re not trying to land a sale – merely an appointment. Just get in the door. Your script should be succinct. Pique interest, buy time, and don’t overreach.
Yes, you’re going to encounter voicemail, and gatekeepers. Neither has to be an obstacle. A good script is structured for these likelihoods. You can be ready.
3) Psychology: Cold calling isn’t so much about what you say, as what you don’t say. No trickery or deceit are needed (nor should they be). It’s about what you say, and how you say it.
Think like the prospect. Consider that they’re probably busy, and might be distracted by any number of personal challenges. They’re unlikely to buy from someone they’ve never dealt with. But from you? A different story altogether, handled properly.
These Three Pillars are fundamental to sales. If you’re a salesperson who employs cold calling, you should grasp, study and implement them.
Each Pillar is equally important. My upcoming posts will address them individually. Together, they form a foundation for your sales success.
Want a serious, in-depth crash course? If you’re in the Milwaukee area, consider attending my upcoming Three Pillars of Cold Call Success seminar. Heck, even if you have to travel a distance, I guarantee it will be worth the trip.
Too bad Ben Franklin can’t join us. We’ll take his guidance to heart, though. Let’s prepare to succeed – a concept that, somehow, we suspect he’d approve of.
Paul M. Neuberger is President of The Starr Group, as well as the Founder/CEO ofThe Cold Call Coach. Struggling with cold calling in your sales outreach? ConsiderCold Calling for Success or Cold Call University. Contact Paul at 414-313-8338 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.