For those of you who know me, I love using analogies and visual imagery in my training. I find that most people are like me in the sense that they are visual learners who process difficult concepts more readily if they have a visual image to work off of.
It is with that in mind that I share with you two sayings that I am quite fond of that I believe are very appropriate when it comes to successful cold calling. The first is this: “You’re not going to check a patient’s cholesterol level when you are giving him a blood transfusion.”
What that means to me is, before we can take a deep dive into nuance and specificity, let’s just ensure that the opportunity to do so stays alive. If the patient dies, he will have no cholesterol level to check. If we cannot stabilize the patient in the first place, nothing else is relevant moving forward.
My second favorite slogan is one that might be better known to my readers. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” We need to put ourselves in a position to succeed first before we can succeed.
Interpret both of these mantras however you desire, but I see plenty of parallels between the theses of these particular slogans and effective cold calling techniques.
I do not believe that cold calling should be used to sell a service, product, or other offering on the phone. Yes, you can complete a transaction via a cold call from time to time, just like a blind squirrel can miraculously stumble across a nut once in awhile, as well.
Luck and random coincidence aside, to get very good at cold calling with impeccable consistency, you must modify your approach and your style to witness the types of results you desire.
I believe the purpose of a cold call is simply to get dedicated time with the individual whose audience you are seeking, whether that is an in-person meeting, follow-up phone conversation, online meeting, or some other version of dedicated time.
I always assume going into every single cold call that I make that the prospect is busy, was not expecting, nor is interested, in my call, and probably has a thousand other things on his or her mind at the present time.
I am increasing my odds of success if I can, in short order, pique curiosity, create urgency, and impress upon them a profound value add proposition that will get me dedicated time where I can have the prospect’s full attention and interest.
Basically, I use cold calling to just get inside the house. Once I get inside the house, I can become a known commodity, gather incredible individual and organizational intelligence, get an advocate or two within the confines of the house, and start the process of delivering a profound value add proposition that will set me up for future success.
Once I am in the house, all bets are off! This is where the first slogan of mine comes into play. Keep the patient alive and then focus on the other aspects of his health. If he dies, nothing will be available to us moving forward. If you cannot get inside the house, it does not matter what you do, the organization you represent, the importance of the services you provide, or how amazingly talented you are. Nothing will ever come next if you cannot first get inside the house. That should be your sole and only focus of the initial cold call!
Most people fail to cold call because they over complicate the process. They don’t know what to say on the phone, who to ask for, what the needs of the organization may be, or how to overcome any objections that might be sent their way.
Accordingly, convincing themselves that it really matters, they spend weeks and months researching organizations, stalking people on LinkedIn, reading every single page on the company’s website, and memorizing mission statements and Annual Reports.
By the time all of that has taken place, priorities change, events occur, and other opportunities arise where attention is diverted elsewhere and nothing ever happens.
These are the same people who wonder why they are not making as much money as more successful people in their industry. They wonder why they get passed up for promotions or why life just doesn’t seem to go their way as often as they would like.
As The Great One so articulately stated, “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” If you do not pick up the phone, you will never get in the house. If you busy yourself with work that you think is important, but eventually never sets up your opportunity for dedicated face time, you will forever miss out on potential opportunities.
Knowing your ideal customer and client are important, of course, but much of the information that you seek can be gleaned from somebody inside the confines of the business by asking him or her in person after you schedule the appointment. My clients have a ridiculously high cold call success rate because they know their priorities and they simplify the process.
They know that the most important step to closing business is simply to get inside the house. Once inside the house, all bets are off!
They can gain the intelligence they need during the meeting. They can educate on who they are and what they do during the meeting. They can start to cultivate the prospect during the meeting. They can set themselves up for future business during the meeting.
By the time you finally get around to doing all of the pre-call research, mustering up the courage to pick up the phone, asking for the right person to speak with, and practicing what you are going to say to get the appointment, you will have missed out on closing the business because one of my clients already beat you to it.
Simplify the process, bring clarity and focus to the really important objectives, and you will accomplish great things via cold calling.
Want the keys to the house? Give me a call today at 414-313-8338 and let’s get to work!