One of the most difficult things in business is to find new clients. The obvious way to do it is ‘just do it’ meaning, get near a phone and instead of aggressively waiting for a new customer to ring, pick it up and call someone.
Well, I mean, calling them is easy enough right? But unless you have a really good story to tell them, chances are, there are no chances. Just think of the last time your mobile phone operator got a contact center guy to give you a scripted call, making an offer you couldn’t refuse –and yet you did after half a minute or so.
I for one still think cold calling is a good idea, also in the big ticket segment where my home is. I know for a fact that in the big ticket world cold-calling is vastly under-utilized. The reasons are varied:
- Fear of phone/ fear of rejection by account managers
- A poor story to tell:
- The product or service is faulty
- The product or service is known to be too expensive
- The seller himself isn’t enthusiastic about his story
- The seller herself doesn’t believe her own story
- The story is too complex for a 5-minute call
The main problem in B2B/B2P big ticket sales is that what the customer buys most often has an element of customization, so within certain borders it can be anything the customer decides it needs to be. How do you transport something like that in a cold call?
If you are going to cold call in the solution environment you need to focus on a small and attainable objective for each call. That’s the mistake that most sales people make when they cold call without training, they try to achieve too much on a first contact and that’s because they don’t have a proper staged contact development strategy. After all in the big item world people buy when they trust you, that takes a couple of interactions. So sales unnecessarily overload the first contact and frighten the prospect away.
The key to successful cold calling is to know your target group really well and lead with something that has a high probability of catching their interest within the first three sentences after your introduction.
This is a 2-minute call precisely.The account manager gets straight to the point. It works because there is a compelling event and a good, in fact an excellent story to tell. There are multiple benefits for the prospect (free breakfast, important information of real personal relevance, networking- meeting CSOs peers) and there is a strong close and call to action (accept now or the free seat is gone).
You will agree that this isn’t a difficult cold call to make. The trick with cold calling is not in the call but in what happens before the call.
Like when I'm told that in return for my loyalty I have the incredible privilege of buying a second mobile phone contract for the wife from my operator? Now come on, really? I mean REALLY?
That’s why cold calls are so loathed by everyone on the receiving end: Is because you get myriads of marketing people (the bad kind) unleashing thinly coated crap on unsuspecting clients (who hate it) via low-wage poorly-trained call center labour. Lose-Lose really.
But cold calling doesn’t have to be that. If you have a good story, it can actually be really good fun for you as the caller. I know people who regularly get laughs with total strangers out of their prospecting runs.
Consider what you would want a cold call to be like on the receiving end: You’d like to speak to an intelligent individual, relaxed and not concerned about selling you something on the spot, with an interesting story to tell and a clear call to action (“What do you want me to do?”) that doesn’t require any premature financial commitments before you trust the guy or his company.
Be like that, invest in building a good story and cold calling will be successful AND fun.
If you'd like us to help with that,
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