One of my personal favorite rebuttals about making prospecting calls--frequently made by experts in fields other than sales training--is: "Cold calling puts you in a bad position."
It does? I must have missed that memo.
I guess if you don't know how to get the decision maker on the line, begin badly, and try to sell right off the bat, yeah, cold calling would put you into a pretty bad spot. Those three issues are conversation killers.
Funny. Those are the same three basic problem that companies bring me on board to fix. So-called salespeople with two decades of experience don't know how to do those simple-sounding things.
You'd think they would. But they don't. They're actually order-takers. When the phone rings, they're on it. Product knowledge, features and benefits, maybe even a little checking for budget...they can do that. But give them a handset and a dial tone and oh boy do they freak out.
Starting a conversation?
See, here's the problem with nearly everyone who makes a cold call: they're trying to sell immediately. As soon as they get past the awful, "Hi, how are you today?" that trumpets "Here Comes a Salesperson!" Shields Up, Garage Door Down.
No, this isn't going to work.
Consider these steps for effective prospecting calls instead:
1. Get the decision maker on the line. Save your 'good stuff' for those who have the power to buy.
2. Start a conversation effectively. This means getting the prospect out of whatever they were doing and onto the call.
3. Quickly find out whether this prospect has a NEED (or urgent Want; same thing) for what you offer.
By accomplishing these three steps, which most people never even think of, you will begin your calls well. You will get real conversations. You will use your time efficiently because you can screen out those who are Not A Fit within a very short time.
And you will definitely NOT be in a bad position, because YOU are doing the rejecting. If they're Not A Fit, you end the conversation politely and move on. You're not trying to sell immediately. You're qualifying. It's not about price, because price hasn't entered the picture. It's far too soon for price.
In every prospecting call, one person is in control of the proces. Either you or the prospect. Start thinking about this in your business.
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