Continued from our last article
5. Reading between the lines.
Provide all pertinent information about your company’s services but listen to the responses from the caller. Is she bored? Busy? Multi-tasking? Talking on Skype and two other lines and her Blackberry?
A positive sign is simple to recognise. Does the call recipient ask a question? Especially a question that allows the caller to expand on services or explain benefits. No hype. Just a friendly chit-chat.
Things like yawns, speakerphones and constantly being put on hold are signs that this is a waste of everybody’s time. Time to ring off and move on down the list.
6. Make an appointment to call.
This is one of the best pieces of advice you’ll ever get on lead generation. Make an appointment to speak with the company’s buying agent. The company is expecting the call. They’ve indicated at least a modicum of interest (in setting up the appointment call) and you can at least hope that the individual with whom you speak has cleared her schedule for the 15 minutes she devotes to your call.
7. No sale was ever made with a cold call.
That’s not the objective of cold calling. Your people aren’t trying to sell services. Instead, they’re trying to expand a professional relationship.
A cold call gets your foot in the door. Face time. That’s where the deal is made and closed. So, identify the most desired action (MDA) of all cold calling activity: to get an appointment to meet face to face.
8. Make sure you’re talking to the right person.
You should be talking to the computer person about your 24/7 computer uptime service but instead you’re hooked in with the Sales Manager or CEO. It may be the same person but make sure you’re contacting the right individual in the organisation.
This may require a little research and a friendly phone relationship or some simple questions of the receptionist to get you hooked in to the right decision maker – an individual with the authority to actually make a buying decision.
9. Don’t be a pest.
I like to set a time limit between cold calls. Some companies call every week to a wary receptionist or a company owner who sees it’s you on his caller ID and decides not to take the call.
Keep a tickler file on who gets a call today. Every six months is enough for me. And, make sure the call provides the recipient new information. “Hey, Bob, have you heard we’ve upgraded the H2-111. Yea, we added wheels. Man, does that thing whip around the office now.”
10. Skip the script.
The LAST thing I want to do is listen to some totally bored cold caller reading from a script. You are wasting my time. You’re also wasting your time because when you take a breath, I’m going to say “No, thanks, not today.”
Each call is different depending on who you’re talking to, what the company does and how your service organisation benefits the call taker.
Don’t sell your services. Who cares? There are a millions companies like yours. Instead, focus on the benefits. For example, to which are you more likely to respond:
“Our lead generation service delivers hot leads into your inbox.”
“Our lead generation service will increase your business 250% in 90 days and that’s guaranteed, or you don’t pay a penny.”
I’m listening to the second caller. I’ll be writing a letter while the other caller jabbers on about all of his wonderful services. Benefits sell, so detail the benefits. Tailor your call to meet the objectives of the individual to whom you speak.
Forget your objectives – to close a sale. Focus on client needs, skip the script and use the knowledge gathered from the web without sounding like a stalker.
You’ll see a nice boost in positive outcomes, which ultimately, boost your service company’s bottom line. So the next time you pick up the phone to make a cold call, know what you’re about to say and to whom. Guaranteed, this’ll take the chill out of cold calls.