Will you win based on offense or defense? When it comes to cold calling, you will often hear these words of wisdom: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Although I agree with that statement, I would take it even further yet.
“Numbers don’t lie” … or so an old saying goes.
If you’re in sales, you know all about numbers. They drive your daily activities. They’re plastered everywhere on tracking sheets. They determine your success (or lack thereof).
When you’re constantly dealing with quotas and goals, it’s easy to get zoned in on numbers. It’s easy to overlook that, behind every sales prospect, is a real live person (or people).
Do so at your own peril. If this is your perspective, and your sales outreach uses cold calling, you’re not just dead on arrival – you’re dead man (or woman) dialing.
Yes, those are real people you’re calling … not numbers on a sheet. Your mission is to interact with them in a positive fashion, ideally sparking the embers of a long-term relationship.
These tactics encompass Psychology, the third Pillar of The Three Pillars of Cold Call Success.
Why psychology? As long as you’re calling people, different moods, thoughts and emotions inevitably factor in. Your goal is to connect with them on an elemental, human level. Whatever you’re selling, the first priority is to sell yourself.
Think about this: When someone calls you, what do you like to hear? A confident, cheerful voice that lifts you up? Or a droll, monotone speaker who sounds like the nearest cliff is beckoning?
If you don’t have the energy to sound enthusiastic, delay your cold calling(or find another job). If you can’t get excited about what you’re selling, why should a prospect?
Above all, the psychology of successful cold calling relies on thinking like a prospect. Time is valuable. People are busy. Very few (if any) welcome being interrupted by a salesperson they don’t know.
As detailed in my last article, the Structure of a cold call – the second Pillar – is about what you say, and for how long.
The third Pillar, Psychology, focuses much more on what isn’t said. Your goal is to hit an emotive point with the prospect, where curiosity is piqued and desire to learn more is spurred.
“Yes!” you might be saying. “Then I close the sale!”
Well, no. Understand your goal here. Sound “salesy,” and you’re done. Go overboard, and suffer the same fate. Of course, if you begin with the three deadly words, you won’t even get this far.
You want an appointment – nothing more. Think “relationship,” not “fast sale.” Forge a strong relationship, and a “sale” is far more likely to become “sales.”
Open your call with a statement that’s friendly, and non-business. Don’t lead with a mention of your company, or your title, or your product or service … all of which scream “SALESPERSON!” (cue the sirens and red flashing lights).
Once you’ve made this initial connection, it’s like playing poker. Less is more. Make the prospect hang on your words … largely because of what you don’t say. In other words, leave the “closing statements” you learned at Sales School on the shelf.
Psychology is equally important when dealing with two scenarios that cold-callers typically encounter: a gatekeeper (remember, they’re human too) and voicemail (yes, it can work to your benefit). Be respectful, be brief … and remember that less is more.
Want to learn a LOT more about successful cold calling? Attend – in person or via live stream – my Thursday (Feb. 28) Three Pillars of Cold Call Success seminar. If you’ve enjoyed my recent articles on the Three Pillars, you’ll be amazed at how much more there is to absorb.
You might just come out feeling like you finished a crash course in psychology. In other words, you’ll finally understand the how, why and why not of cold calling.
As important as they are, numbers don’t feel. People do. Connect with the right people, and sales – i.e. numbers – follow. Channel your best amateur psychologist … and get to work.
Paul M. Neuberger is President of The Starr Group, as well as the Founder/CEO of The Cold Call Coach. Struggling with cold calling in your sales outreach? Consider Cold Calling for Success or Cold Call University. Contact Paul at 414-313-8338 or via e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.