The cold call is the front line of everything to do with selling and or sales. At some point in your career, regardless of your occupation, you will make a cold call. You will call someone you don’t know. The definition of a cold call is: The solicitation or contact to someone who was not anticipating the interaction.
This includes a parent calling a teacher for their child in which they are trying to convince them of something. That may be for a better grade, time off, or whatever. Cold calling is an action where you contact an individual who did not express previous interest in order to determine if there is interest in what you are selling.
Cold calling typically involves a telephone, but is not limited to phones. This could mean personal visits, door knocking, etc. Also, cold calls are not just to people you don’t know, but will also include many times you contacting someone you do know that you thought was warm, or interested in your product, but find out they are actually cold as ice.
Cold calling can be one of the most difficult things for a salesperson to do, especially when they are not prepared. Your parents did not teach you how to make this call and it is not taught in schools or colleges.
Most likely though, you have been taught to hate this thing called cold calling and that it is a bad investment of time. However, I can prove to you that it is not outdated and that it is extremely effective.
Most people would rather spend money on advertising than to pick up the phone and make calls, do you know why? Because spending money is easier than picking up the phone and spending energy.
Benefits of a cold call
1. Builds courage — you need courage in business! And you need courage to make money
2. Able to work out your presentation on people that don’t know you vs. people that do know you
3. Saves money on advertising
4. Prepares the market for you to get in front of them
5. Helps you get out of obscurity and known by more customers
When preparing for the cold call there are several things you must be aware of first. The single most important thing you need to know about making a cold call is that you MUST have a great attitude. Then you must define a contact.
A contact should be accounted for only if 1) You spoke with a decision maker, 2) You left a voicemail with a decision maker, 3) You spoke with the gatekeeper, 4) You spoke with an influencer, or 5) You left a voicemail with an influencer or gatekeeper.
Next step is to do the math. How many calls do you need to make to reach your target income? When you know this, you will be more motivated and able to stay focused. You will be able to determine how many days you need to work and will be in control of your own destiny.
For instance, if you want to make $200,000 this year, divide that by the average commission paid per sale. Let’s say that is $500. 200,000/500 is 400 transactions. Now divide your closing ratio into that 400 transaction. Let‘s just say you have a 10% closing ratio, which is quite low. Now you know you need to present to 4,000 in order to get 400 sales to make $200,000 this year. Divide those 4,000 calls into how many days you want to work and you know the least amount of calls you will need to make each day.
The list of reasons to call a prospect is endless, but you do need a reason to call. Just have clear intentions, be honest, and make the call.
Build a list of past sold customers, your powerbase, orphan customers at your company, people who left your company and went elsewhere, etc.
Build a script and stick to that script for at least 100 calls just so you can validate it, then make updates until you have a valid script that works and one that you can duplicate.
Role-play as much as you possibly can. Practice makes perfect! Prepare for objections here and practice overcoming them and asking for the close. Keep an objection log and know the most common objections you will get so that you can bring them up even before the prospect does. This is when you will start becoming a pro.
In the call make sure to take good notes and store them in a customer relationship management system for easy access.
In the greeting, have a tight pitch, deliver it with enthusiasm, and know that you can’t fail. The only way failure is possible is if you give up, so just make another call.
Make big claims and be interesting first, grab their attention, and then become interested in them and let them do the talking. Guide the conversation and lead them down the road to the sale.
The purpose of the cold call is to CLOSE A DEAL. The secondary purpose is to identify the decision maker.
Fact-find and qualify during the cold call to determine the prospects wants and needs. Why do they want, and why do they need, your product or service? Have they made a decision like this before? When is the last time? What is the most important thing to them in their next purchase? Would anyone else need to be involved in the decision making process? Assuming you can meet all of their desires, how soon would they like to take delivery of their new product?
Know in the back of your mind that any “objection” they have is not an objections, but merely a complaint. Handle them and push forward to close!
You have greeted, you’ve dropped your hooks, you’ve created interest, and you have the decision maker, now what are you going to close on? Close on a future presentation AND solidify an appointment time.
Always go for today, “how about late today?” “Any chance we can knock it out now?” He says “Oh why don’t you call me Tuesday?” That is not what we are doing, not calling you Tuesday, I want to set something up on Tuesday so I don’t bother you again.
When closing on an appointment remember this, you are doing them a favor, you’re trying to solve their problem. Push for later today or push for tomorrow or the next day. Lock it down and close a future appointment.
This is how it is done and all of this is made possible with the cold call. It is the single most effective thing I have used thus far in my career and when used correctly, you can literally determine your own success and be completely in control of it. Learn these steps, perfect them, and create the life you deserve!