Cold-calling is a necessity and a challenge. But how do you go about it?
All that I relate below is based on my personal experience and this is a small attempt to share that experience with you and perhaps you could benefited from the experience, thereby assist you develop that prospect list. Here goes
Cold calling is the first step to acquiring a customer. Unless you are from a large and well known company, you, your organization and your product or service are unknown entities. To make a sale, you have to go out there and make your presence known. There are many ways of doing it, but one very effective way with predictable results is to actually reach out to your potential prospect and get the opportunity to showcase yourself and what you have to offer.
Advertising, social media etc. are as good as fishing in a large ocean. You will only live on hope. Hoping someone will read your message and call. For volume products this is fine but for large value or new products looking to acquire customers, physical reach is the only way out.
Here are some simple steps to achieve this objective:
Step 1: Overcome FEAR!!
Overcome the fear The biggest challenge in cold-calling is the ‘fear of rejection’! What if the person bangs down the phone? Or what if he rudely tells me ‘Not interested’? It is so embarrassing! So humiliating! I can’t do this! These are typical thoughts that will run through your mind. Natural! Everyone goes through this. These are typical thoughts that will run through your mind when contemplating cold-calling and many people not just hesitate, but give up at this stage itself. But unfortunately, there is no alternative. You have to mentally toughen up, think of your targets and business objectives and just pick up the phone and do it.
Step 2: Know your customer
Who are you selling to? What is the nature of their business and what are their pain points? What will make them buy your product or service? What does your product or service do for his business? Does it help the business benefit and how?
You need to research the companies or the target segments that you intend to call. This will help to first, know what to say about your product or service and then position it such that you will be able to create the necessary interest and initiate a conversation that could potentially lead to a meeting. Please note, the objective of a cold call should be to create interest and get the opportunity to showcase your product or service, which could eventually lead to a sale. In most cases it is not possible to make a sale during the cold call itself.
Step 3: Know what to say
Remember … the success of a cold call is entirely dependent on what you say in the first 20 seconds. Your introduction is your passport to a potential sale. In two sentences or in 20 seconds you should
be able to introduce yourself, your product, what it does and the benefits that it can deliver. This is not easy and will need some practice. It would help to write this down to ensure the messaging is right. These first 20 seconds will determine if the person is going to give you another minute and thereafter hopefully a meeting. You screw up this elevator pitch and you may have lost an opportunity.
If you get a meeting on your first call you should be doing back flips. Most often you will be asked to call back and even then you may need to repeat the process a few times before you actually get that meeting. This is the hard part and most of us tend to give up. You may end up feeling frustrated, insulted, angry and disappointed. But don’t get discouraged. Remember the old saying, no pain … no gain. Think of the times when some sales person called you and how you reacted. So, this is absolutely normal. Afterall, you and your company are unknown entities to that person. Why should he entertain you? But, as with everything else in life, perseverance and developing a thick skin will go a long way.
To know more & meet Srikanth, be at the Meetup – Cold Calling on Dec 10th. Check post for details
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Srikanth Vasuraj, is a Business Consultant focused on Sales Training, Sales Consulting and Mentoring & Advising start-ups. He can be reached at +91-98454 78585 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information please visit http://www.nodiva.co.in .