Cold Calling Is Dead?
Cold calling – “Is it really dead?” I am frequently asked this question, and my answer is a resounding “NO”. However, processes have changed and cold calling is simply practiced in a slightly different way than it used to be.
My trainings have always advocated techniques to make a cold call a warm call by starting with :
- A referral
- Something you know about them, e.g. I understand you have ……. is that correct?
- Commenting on an action they made that you saw
- Noticing a comment they made on social media
- Having a connection with them on linked in
- Commenting on an article they wrote in Google News
There is so much information about companies now online, that there is no excuse not to find out something of interest about your prospect before you call.
What Is The Most Popular Way To Get Leads Nowadays?
Here is a Telesales Coaching Call I did with a customer and it’s part of my CD series “Telesales Coaching Calls Live”. I have copied the transcript of my critique below if you would prefer to read it than listen to it on Track 3.
For trainers who are reading this, I suggest you get your staff to listen and then ask them to critique the call themselves. You will then have my critique in the transcript to add to the coaching.
I hope you get some “ahas…” from these. Here you go:
For the whole series of coaching calls click here for more information
Telesales Coaching Call Critique (Transcript of the call)
1. Never use the word “BUT” to counter an objection in Sales Conversations
This one little word is often used when responding to an objection and it can spoil everything else you say. “But” negates everything you say before it so disagreement is all the customer hears in sales conversations.
If a customer comes up with an objection, acknowledge it and follow with the word “and” not “but“.
Customer: This software sounds like it would take a long time to install.
Salesperson: Yes, it does take a long time to install and that challenge is taken care of by our own expert consultants who set the whole thing up for you as part of the service.
Customer: It’s very expensive
Salesperson: I understand you thinking that and that’s why I would like to include a free service contract in the price for you for 5 years. How does that sound?
This building rapport technique requires you to listen for your customer’s language patterns. This is a challenging skill to acquire but if you can start to be aware of your own communication style and that of others, you will quickly become a great rapport builder. When we use our customer’s preferred language style, we become like them, and we all know that people buy from people they know like and trust.
We communicate in 3 ways but we generally have a preference for one or a combination of 2 of the following ways.
1. Building Rapport Technique with Auditory People
These people communicate through their ears. They use language like “I hear what you are saying”, “Tell me more about it”, “Explain to me how it works”, “It sounds good”, “That rings a bell”, “I hear what you are saying”.
2. Building Rapport Technique with Visual People
These people communicate through their eyes. They use language like “I see what you mean”, “Can you show me how to do that”, “It looks like I will be going ahead with that appointment” , “I see what you mean”.
3. Building Rapport Technique with Kinaesthetic People
These people communicate through their feelings. They use language like, “I get the feeling this is not the right product for us”, “I would have to experience it to get to grips with what it is about”, “I need to grasp the concept”, “How do you feel about that?”.
Why Ask Questions?
It is important to ask great questions on a telephone sales call to build rapport early. That way you find out people’s needs before you start telling them what you have to offer. Ideally they should begin with What, Why, Where, When, How, Which and Who so that the customer has to expand on what they want and they cannot answer “no”. They should create pain with the customer or give them pleasure because those are the two reasons people want your services.
Inactive customers are people who may have bought only once from you or placed a small order. Never think they are not worth calling. It is a vital sales strategy to stay in touch with these customers as well as with your existing customers because you will be able to make more sales from them. Here’s how …
Maybe at the moment inactive customers might not justify a face to face call but you can certainly pick up a phone to stay in touch. You might be afraid to call them because they might tell you that they have gone to another supplier or they had a bad experience with you.
Making sales by phone requires skill. One of the main reasons some staff (particularly new staff) fail at prospecting is that they do not sound confident . Well, if you are new, understandably you may not feel confident so you might need to be trained in some simple techniques how to sound confident. You might have to fake it till you make it. This is so important as no-one is going to buy from someone who is not sounding confident in themselves or their product or service. Your job is to generate such confidence in your product or service and transfer your energy to the prospect on the other end of the phone.
When making sales by phone, here are 5 simple techniques to sound confident
1. When you call someone with an offer and they say “NO,” you can call them again because the next time they might be in a different space. Persistence does work if you do it in a nice, non pushy way.
2. When negotiating, don’t drop the price too dramatically just to get the sale. It makes it look like you were trying to rip the client off in the first place and makes the client suspicious that the products have much less value.
3. Do not lie to get a sale. Offer the client the right option for them even if you lose a bit of commission.
4. Pay the client a compliment when you first meet them . Comments and criticism do not build rapport.
5. People like to know the name of the person they are dealing with so provide it.
6. Do not be too familiar with new clients. Not everyone likes hugs and kisses from a stranger.
7. Do not make the customer call you about an error on delivery. You call them as soon as you find out.
8. If a client complains, acknowledge the client straight away before they tell thousands of people .
Here’s the full story of what happened
A great Lead generation tool is LinkedIn but so often when people want to connect with new prospects on LinkedIn, they send the standard request “I’d like to connect with you on linkedIn.”
Prospecting Emails must create curiosity and interest
The prospect has not got the faintest idea “why”, so I recommend you make it more personal and give a reason to create curiosity and interest with the prospect. Just writing the above requires the prospect to look up who you are and take time out from their busy day. Make it easy for them and write an email like you write a script for a cold call.
1. (Flatter the prospect with something you noticed about them) e.g. “I read your article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday and noticed you are moving to Melbourne soon.”
2. (How you can help them personally) “We can offer you a reliable removal service between Sydney and Melbourne. (Get the word “you” in there)
What sets us apart is __________ (or)
What you get from us that no-one else offers is………
I would firstly suggest we connect on linkedin. Please feel free to accept and do let me know when and how I can best assist you when you are ready to move.”
It’s easy to find something out about prospects nowadays to accommodate Point 1
I like to go to other Sales Trainer’s seminars occasionally to hear what they are teaching. My curiosity got the better of me when I actually went to hear Jordan Belfont, (from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”), now turned sales trainer after a stint in jail. Personally I felt very uncomfortable in his presence as he was a high pressure salesperson and swore every second sentence. It was interesting that his whole seminar session was all about your tone on the phone and the importance of it more than your actual sales skills. I agree with what he says with the proviso that you are selling with integrity. In the movie he used these tonalities to hoodwink the client into buying stocks which were not going to make them money.
Jordan’s top 5 phone tonalities you need to learn are:-
Certainty – Sounds like you are an expert in your field. You take control of the conversation and sound like the authority on the subject. (I quite agree, I call it “confidence” and that is what I teach all new salespeople how to be)
Sincerity – (When you love what you sell, that comes naturally and you can talk from the heart )
Sound reasonable – (Don’t ask the customer to buy the most expensive thing first)
Sound Intriguing – When you come to your offer, lower your voice to make it sound like a secret specially for them.
Caring – ( Become a problem solver, say “Let me ask you a question” and ask about them.)
Your Next Action Step
Listen to your voice on the phone, record your next sales presentation and give yourself a mark out of 10 for using each one of these tones in your sales call. That way your customer will be engaged and you will keep them on the phone longer.
You can find out my way of teaching the all important subject of tonality in my e-book “Don’t Get Hung up”
A hard copy version is also available in the book store. “Don’t Get Hung Up” Book