In sales and business today, the salesperson that masters the cold calling process will build market share and customer relationships faster than others in any business team.
That being said, it is remarkable how few salespeople consistently make calls every day. Most salespeople choose to avoid the cold telephone call. They give the issue a name of ‘call reluctance’. It is a real problem in business.
Let’s say that your business success is really important to you personally. Perhaps it impacts your pay packet or commission. On that basis you should have some clear goals and targets set so you can ‘win’ when it comes to making the calls and building your business.
Here are some rules to help you with making and converting cold calls to opportunities.
- Set a time to make calls and a different time to have meetings. They are two different things that should not be allowed to interfere with each other.
- The call contact process should be made to people that you have researched the day before. In that way you will keep up the momentum in your calls.
- Understand who the right people are and the best times that they should be contacted. Some executives are best contacted early or late in the working day. The rule here is to start calling early and finish your day with calls.
- If you strike any gatekeepers or receptionists that are restricting your access to the decision maker or the target person for your call, show them total respect as you converse. They have a job to do and allow them to do that. If you strike some resistance with them, devise another mode of contact that will reach the decision maker a different way; a targeted letter is the best way to do this.
- If the ‘Do not call register’ is a factor that exists in your location, then research the register and call the people that are correct to call. Do not make the mistake of calling without the right research.
Today you can drive better market share and significant client contact from a call contact program. Make it an essential part of your working day.
Every business should have a solid and defined system when it comes to finding new clients and converting them to customers over time. I like to split the system up into just 3 stages of;
- Follow up
At the end of each week you can do your numbers analysis of each of these pipeline phases. In that way you will know that you are moving forward. As a business or as a salesperson, you have to be moving somewhere positive over time. It takes about 3 months of prospecting to build positive momentum and new market share. It takes the same amount of time for a business to slide backwards in their market.
Great salespeople prospect continually so the 3 months factor never seems to be a problem; the good salespeople just keep driving more market share.
Ultimately the follow-up phase will be the precursor to an order or a sale. This ratio of sales success will change from salesperson so salesperson and will largely be established on experience and relevance of each salesperson to the client.
Most clients will base their decision on the value of the deal and the quality of the product over the experience of the salesperson, but the experience of a salesperson will greatly impact the factors of repeat business. If you want repeat or referral business then the quality of your sales team will have a lot to do with the results that you get.
Here are some tips for new salespeople in any industry:
- Make prospecting your lifeblood so that it features in your diary every day for at least 2 hours.
- The best time to prospect is first thing in the morning before the day gets away from you.
- Focus on making calls to new people for at least 50% of your prospecting time. In this way you will grow your client base.
- Spend more time in face to face meetings each day. The office paperwork can wait to the end of the day.
- Clients like to trust the people that they do business with. Would your prospects regard you as ‘trustworthy’?
In any business at any point in time, there will always be challenges that will arise. If you can be a ‘solutions based salesperson’ you will find that the deals are easier to find and close. Most clients like to work with experts that can relieve the pain of any decision. When you negotiate or close on a deal with a client, provide facts and figures that support their agreement and order to be placed. Top salespeople do that all the time.
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