Cold calling is, without a doubt, one of the most looming challenges salespeople face. Just getting up the nerve to pick up the phone, let alone actually talking to someone, can bring about a range of emotions from exhilarating to exhausting.
Then the real work starts when you hear, “Bob here?” Oh no!!! It’s a natural feeling. Let’s face it, cold calling isn’t fun. If it was, you’d do it on Saturdays.
So we all agree that cold calling isn’t fun (it can even be difficult for people who teach cold calling for a living!) The following three tips won’t make you jump for joy or be the miracle cure for your cold calling apprehension, but they will make it less stressful and lead to more success. And when you’re more successful, well, that is fun!
- Focus on helping people, not selling your stuff. I don’t care how “happy” their current environment is, people are always looking for something better, faster, cheaper, enhanced, improved… can you imagine still using the cell phone you had 10 years ago? If you can change your mindset to helping people versus pushing your product, you’ll establish trust much quicker. And the key to sales is shortening the distance to trust.
- “Can you help me?” We call this the #1 sales line of all time. It works with gatekeepers as well as decision makers. Remember, people like to help people. Be genuine and it works like a charm. “Bob, great to finally speak with you. If you have a moment, I just need some help. I was speaking to Barb Johnson and she pointed me to you and felt if you weren’t the right person, you’d probably know the best person to speak to regarding (your product). So first off, nice to finally meet you.”
- Finally, take a “peer” approach. Don’t approach the call as if they’re a king and you’re a low-level peasant just grateful for their existence. I know that sounds a little melodramatic, but sales reps often feel this way. When you act like the peasant, you say things like, “Hey Bob. Thanks again for calling back. I really, really appreciate it” or “I’m sorry if you’re busy, I know I caught you at a bad time. I promise this won’t take too long.” Sometimes we spend 15 seconds thanking them or apologizing. They called you back, they didn’t cut your grass!! Let’s go!! And that doesn’t mean be pushy. It means be confident and prepared to execute on your objective.
Remember, focus on helping people, use “Can you help me?” and try to think of them as a peer. Do these three things and you’ll find yourself having more fun… whoops, I mean more success! Happy selling!