This is the moment. All your plans for successful cold calling have brought you here.
Targets identified. Talking points tuned. Lucky seller’s charm (you have one, right?) at hand.
Preparation begets success, you’ve been told. Well, you’ve done your research. You’re primed for success.
Phone in hand, you’re armed and ready. So … why the hesitation? What’s wrong? Why aren’t you dialing?
Sure, even the savviest salespeople occasionally come down with phone phobia. The trick is to make it short-lived. Cold call reluctance happens.
Yet, you know that cold calling, like so many other activities, requires practice to improve. Did you hit a home run the first time you swung a baseball bat? Was your first golf tee shot a hole-in-one?
By the way, if your answer to either of those questions was “yes,” you might be in the wrong business. If not, why aren’t you dialing that phone? You’re in sales, right?
OK, then, maybe you aren’t so sure about your preparation after all. Perhaps a detail (or two, or three) was missed. Or, despite your best efforts, you fear you’re going about this all wrong.
Cold calling has one fundamental goal: getting in the door. Once in, you can create the relationships that lead to sales. Landing that all-important first appointment requires a message that piques curiosity, creates urgency and contains a killer value-add proposition.
Nailing the elements of the message is critical. For example, if your script starts with “My name is …,” don’t even bother. Put down the phone. Tear up the plan. Go back to square one. Successful cold calling involves NOT sounding like a salesperson. These three deadly words are a self-inflicted knee-capper.
Have a different introduction ready? Good. Is the rest of the script crafted correctly? An effective script has five parts, each following the next. The cumulative effect is to arouse interest on the prospect’s part, and buy you time to extend the conversation.
Maybe you’ve practiced your script, over and over. Try again and, this time, set a timer. A good cold call script is 25 seconds, tops. Too long, and the prospect will lose interest (or hang up). Too short, and they won’t know what you’re calling about.
Delivery is all-important, too. Lack of confidence is easily detected over a phone line. Cold calling is a lot like poker. How you say something is vital – and, just as important, is what you don’t say. How can you know the difference?
Maybe all your preparation did miss one important part: coaching on how to successfully make cold calls. Unlike some sports, no one is a “natural” at cold calling. Properly trained, though, the home runs (and maybe even holes-in-one) will occur. You already have the phone in hand – make the next call count, and start swinging for the fences.