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?
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
As the leader in telesales training in Australia I am constantly looking for more effective ways to do cold calling and telephone sales generally. I was blown away by the information I learnt from a speaker called Sam Richter at the National Speakers Association conference in San Diego which I attended a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to share this with you as it can relate so well to sales.
1. You know, if you have read any of my newsletters, that I advocate finding out something about the prospect before calling so you can make a cold call a warm call. Well, now it’s easy to find out about a company or a person by using google filters.
For example search in google for a company name like “Trend Micro”. If you write it in inverted commas it will come up top and save you time going through all the irrelevant searches that come up. Then click on “News” at the top, then click on “Search Tools” at the top for most recent news and all the latest articles written about the company or by the company will appear. You can then start your call with “I just did a google search on your company and saw your latest article about _____. That’s really interesting. I’m curious, how did that affect you?” or “What happened exactly?” Often the prospect has not even seen the article himself and will be asking you more about the content. You are then engaged in a conversation about them which is just what you want to build rapport.
I m honoured to be invited to write monthly for “Sold” which is a wonderful digital sales magazine with a circulation of 100,000 salespeople in the USA. Here is the link to my page so you get this month’s article “How to Qualify Leads” and access to the whole magazine. It’s free so you can go there any time for some sales training and motivation
In addition there is an e-book I was invited to contribute to. It will give you inspiration and motivation from many well-known entrepreneurs. speakers and trainers. You can download it here:-
Motivating your mind, inspiring your spirit.pdf
From now on, you’ll be able to enjoy many bus, train and plane journeys absorbing these resources.
So how many of the sales emails that you write get deleted before they are read? If the subject line doesn’t grab your prospects immediately, it will certainly get deleted.
A recent survey resulted in the 2013 Adestra Subject line Analysis Report . It reviewed over 2 billion corporate emails and discovered the words in the subject line that are most likely and least likely to have your emails opened. Here they are below :-
Words that increase the open rate of corporate emails
Free Delivery Forecasts
News 10% (i.e. specific figure) discount
Words that decrease the open rate