Elements of a Cold Call That Can Make Them Hot
Cold calling is one of the most difficult parts of selling. To be successful at the science of cold calling you must first define the elements, functions and formulas that comprise the call. Then, like all other sciences, experiment (practice) until you have a method that works.
The basic elements that comprise a cold call are:
- Deliver your opener.
- Ask power (thought-provoking) questions to create meaningful dialog.
- Make power (benefit) statements to establish credibility.
- Qualify the prospect as to need, desire, decision-making capability and money.
- Gather information.
- Get what you came for — make the next step in your sales cycle.
- Have the right attitude and focus.
Here are several cold calling elements, guidelines and techniques that have proven to be effective:
- Opening lines are important. Deliver a smooth sincere line. Say you're a single woman and a guy comes up to you in some social circumstance and says, "Don't I know you?" or "You're just the prettiest little thing I ever did see." The first thing you think is, "This guy's a jerk, get me out of here." It's the same in cold calling. The opening line determines if you get to dance or not.
- Opening impressions are important. The way you look and come across in the first 30 seconds often (not always) determines your outcome.
- After you deliver the opener, make the prospect think. Your questions (power questions) and statements (power statements) are critical to gaining prospect confidence. Ask questions that show knowledge, imply prospect areas of weakness, and gather vital information. Make statements that are creatively descriptive, imply benefits and build your credibility.
- Get to the point fast. The prospect is busy and will be insulted if you beat around the bush.
- If you are asked for price give it immediately. Try to do it in the most creative way you can, but give it.
- Determine your prospect's needs
- by understanding the problems of their operation
- by appealing to their sense of greed
- by evoking their fears
- by appealing to their vanity
- by determining what the prospect's customer needs
- by finding (searching for) the hot button — then pushing it.
- They will resist you. So what? It takes seven exposures, seven tries to get the prospect to become a customer. If you quit after just one or two, the sale will go to the next guy/woman who shows up.
- They will buy to solve a business problem or satisfy a need. Statements and questions need to be pointed in that direction. Stress benefits (what's in it for them), not features (how it works). Emphasize what they will gain: profit, pride, reputation. Prove that they will avoid pain, loss, and criticism. Failure to express benefits in terms of customer needs will preclude the sale.
- Focus on negative prevention. Get them to share what dissatisfies them. Motivate them to show discontent with their current situation. Tell how they miss out on profits, eliminate worry, overcome fear, and avoid the terror of customer complaints. Prospects are just as motivated to avoid losing something they already have, as they are in buying something new.
- Gain buyer confidence. Use every weapon in your sales tool arsenal. Bring in testimonials, references and similar situations whenever possible.
- Fear of failure doesn't exist if you believe it doesn't. You will be rejected, the prospect will reject your offer. Big deal! Attitude, humor and action (persistence) will whip fears and rejection. Edison, Lincoln, Babe Ruth, Colonel Sanders: these guys failed miserably thousands of times. Where would they be without their attitude to succeed? (And where would we be without their successes?) You only fail when you quit!
- Set your own goals for achievement. How many calls per day, how many appointments per day. Selling is numbers, but they will only work if you are prepared. You must work your numbers consistently to get them to pay. Push yourself to win. If you cold call enough people, you will make appointments (your objective), and you will make sales (your purpose).
- Visualize it happening. Seeing is believing. Believing is the first step to achieving. It's easier to do what you can see. Visualizing success helps eliminate fear of the unknown. Recreate those visual pictures with your words when you talk to the prospect.
- Every time you go through a door, get what you came for. Know what your objective is for this cold call. Close the prospect on the next step in your sales cycle. The biggest fear isn't making the call, it's asking for the sale. Focus on asking and push for it until you get it. Here are a few asks that work:
- Which will be better for you…?
- Who should I…?
- If I… Would you…?
- When can I…?
The best technique I can give you about the cold call?
It's a big game… have fun and play to win!
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