Teach Your Team To Enjoy Cold Calling
Cold calling for business is the most difficult and dreaded prospecting activity for salespeople. Many would rather spend their time networking, also called "not-working," or rely on marketing to send out letters and blast e-mails. But, when you break from traditional tactics typically used by your competition (and anticipated by the prospect), using the phone can be an extremely effective way to keep your pipeline full.
First, you must approach cold calling with the right mind-set and not take the occasional, inevitable rejection personally. The first step is to look at prospecting as a data-gathering activity where you are simply trying to qualify the opportunity on the other end of the phone. Not everyone is right for your product or services.
The next step is to sound different. Attempt to reach the person at the highest level in the organization that makes sense for your industry. The goal is give them your "30-second commercial." One technique to use is a "pattern interrupt" strategy to disarm the prospect and create enough interest for them to listen to you. It could be as simple as telling them right up front that this is a sales call. Who would expect to hear that? The next step is to put a short time frame around the call -- ask them if they have 30 seconds -- and let the prospect decide if the call is interesting and should be continued. How many times have you been "trapped" by a call and you stopped listening? Almost everyone will have 30 seconds to give. Very disarming and effective.
Then, instead of diving into a feature/benefit type spiel, develop and ask questions aimed at solving their business issues and challenges. People will react more positively to someone who can solve their problems versus just another salesperson pitching the best price, quality or service. If you can capture the prospect's attention and have a productive dialogue around their concerns, book an appointment.