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.
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
A postcard from Stephen, a salesman at Mcgrath Real Estate arrived the week before Father’s Day with a competition to win a $500 prize. “Write in 25 words or less why your Dad is the best”. I let my 2 sons know and asked them to do the competition. My younger son did it straight away and after 4 days of reminders, my older son had not done it. I asked him if there was a reason why he had not done it and he said, “Oh, it will just be an excuse for the real estate agent to keep ringing us or mailing us because they will want us to give our phone number and email.” I pointed out that the reason for doing it would be to win a prize for Dad and that he could easily unsubscribe from any information that was sent by the real estate agent in the future. He then sent his submission in but I feared it would have missed the deadline of 5pm Friday before Fathers Day.
As my older son predicted, sure enough, at 9.30 am on Saturday, the phone rang and it was Stephen from Mcgrath Real Estate.
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.
Happy New Year! I hope you made some good New Year’s resolutions.
One of my major messages to people I train is “Never delete people off your database”. You see, you never know when people are going to be ready to buy from you in the future. Their situations change and they are going to do business with the salesperson who keeps in touch with them, the salesperson who shows they care about them, the salesperson who demonstrates consistency so they know they can rely up them.
Let’s look at the idea of a telesales person selling new cars calling 10 people. Probably only one person is interested in looking for a new car right now and the other 9 are not. However if this person were to call the same people in 6 months time, they might get another person interested out of the remaining 9. If they were to call again in 12 months time, yet another person might be interested. It is worth keeping all these people on the database then isn’t it? That’s how telemarketing works. My favourite saying is “No” means “No, not now, not forever”.
When I was working in the seminar industry promoting Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and Jim Rohn I worked in a team of 10. Everyone except me used to delete people off the database if they said “No, not interested” on the first call. I was aware that they might not want to see the speaker I was calling about but I realised that there would be other speakers to offer them in the future that might interest them. I was in business for the long term so why delete people with whom you have already started to build rapport? You can put your initial “Nos” into a separate folder in your database to be brought out for the next time you have something to offer.