In any industry and in any economy the cold call process and telephone can be your fast track to more sales and customer contact. It is a simple fact that the process of telephone prospecting will bring you more leads and market information.
So the Sales Manager tells you that you need to prospect more. He (or she) starts to focus on you and your efforts. Each night you are told to email them your call results. The sad thing is that many sales managers do not help you with the mindset behind the call process. If you can shape your thinking, the whole process is far more productive and the momentum is a lot easier.
Here are some facts for you that are likely to help your cold call and telephone prospecting processes:
- How you think has a major impact on your progress and results. In most cases the calls that you make should be to see if the other person has a need or an interest. When you really understand that fact, the efforts you make in the calls become more connecting and real.
- Base the connection you make with prospects on a conversation. Ask questions, and do not pitch. When the conversation moves forward, you can see where a meeting or more information may be helpful.
- It is OK if the person says ‘No’ to your offering. It is very easy to move on to others that may have an interest. Stop pitching your services in the call, and your connections will be more productive.
- Track your call ratios so you know when things are improving from a given set of outbound calls. Track calls out, connections made, and meetings created. Keep your call numbers up.
- You must be systemised as you contact people. Use standard forms and a database for capturing the right people. As a general rule do not enter unqualified people into your database. The only people or prospects that reach the database are those that have some relevance or interest.
- In most cases it takes about 4 telephone calls to the same person for them to allow you to set up a meeting. Spread those calls across a 3 month time frame. Eventually you should get a meeting.
- As a last resort in any call, be prepared to send out information to the people that ask for it. That being said, most contact calls are designed to generate a meeting first and foremost.
- A lot has been said about sales dialogues and telephone pitches. The reality of the situation is that the call you make and the words that you use should be in your words and conversational tone. If you try to use phrases and words that you are not comfortable with, the prospect will hear that discomfort. To get around this problem you can practice your script each morning so your conversation starts to flow.
If your market is a bit of a challenge right now, consider the prospecting processes that you currently use. Start some practice and shift your thinking as you do that. Remember that you are a sales specialist and you have valuable products and services that your market needs. Make more calls and improve your skills and focus in the process.