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Cold Calling As You: How To Prospect Naturally

Like most things, the more prospecting you do, the better you’ll feel about and get at it. Day One is tough. Day Fifteen, on the other hand, is natural. Set specific times to do your cold calling, and put them in your calendar. I recommend cold calling for one to two hours at a time, then taking a break. You can’t cold call all day. It’s important to be in an ‘up’ mood (when you feel like a ’10’, as valuable as any top officer out there, but not full of artificial enthusiasm).

Adjust your script in accordance to the feedback you get. Drop reasons that people do business with you that don’t resonate, and include new ones to replace them. As you do the work, certain key phrases will stand out as getting prospects’ attention. Make use of them. Keep your voice natural.

Let’s look at an example of how I go about a cold call, keeping it natural, following a process and being genuine:

Salesperson (S): John?

Prospect (P): Yes. Who’s this?

S: Hi, John, my name’s Jason Kanigan. Am I calling at a bad time?

P: No. What’s this about?

S: Appreciate the question. Let me tell you why I called, and then you can decide whether we should keep talking or not. Does that sound fair?

P: Sure. Go ahead.

S: All right. I’m with XYZ Training in Mytown. Typically we work with technology firms who are serious about steadily raising their top line revenue, and are:

  • Concerned about trouble prospecting consistently and effectively
  • Upset that they hear price too often as a major objection
  • Frustrated with having to constantly chase prospects, and having to keep ‘following up’.

I don’t know if any of these are issues at your company, though…

P: Well, sort of…I mean, doesn’t everybody have those problems?

S: Maybe. Which of those really stands out for you?

P: I guess the ‘following up’ one. We do a lot of quoting that goes nowhere.

S: Oh, that surprises me. I figured it would be the price issue. Well, tell me about having to follow up. How many quotes a month do you think you do?

P: Around forty…

And it continues from there.

Note the differences from slavishly following a script, and pumping your talk full of false enthusiasm. First, you’re having a real conversation. That means you’ve gotten over some of the trust hurdle. Second, you’re talking about true pain the prospect is experiencing. This isn’t something you’ve pushed in their face: it’s real because they’re saying it. Third, you’re able to find out if what you have to offer is potentially a fit for their problems, because they are telling you facts about their situation. This makes for a much smoother and more likely continuation along the sales process.

Picking up the phone with the goal of having genuine conversations with other people, to try and find out whether what you have to offer is a fit to solve their problems, is the key to natural and low-stress prospecting. Cold calling with a script to guide you and with a natural voice will make you calm and well-received.

If you’d like to talk about your specific cold calling and prospecting issues, send me an email and let’s set up a time to speak.


Jason

5 Comments

  1. Cold calling always gets the bad reputation. When, really it should be email. That seems more cold than the calling. I am going to start calling it warm contacting, to take the mental fright out of doing it. Great site. Thanks, Jason

  2. As it is, everyone dislikes telemarketers because “they want your money”. When doing call calls is very important to remember this:
    1. Make a basic script to help you remember the basic points of the intention of your call but don’t stick to it and sound like a “robot”. Nowadays, people know all the “generic” scripts and it’s easy to sound like that.

    2 The person being called will always be defensive and will already be bothered by “another telemarketing call”

    3. Find out as much as you know about this person, before you call him. That way he won’t feel like a number.

    4 ALWAYS make sure that you know what you are selling and that you believe in what you are saying to the potential lead.If you don’t believe it, neither will they.

    5. Always speak in “layers”. Say one thing at the time and let the person allow you to continue.

    6 Make them feel appreciated and let them be the focus of the call, telling them how they can benefit from your service, etc. Customer don’t really care about yourself when you call.

    7. Maintain control of the conversation and don’t let it go too long without being fruitful. If they say “no”, then say “no problem” and “sorry for the inconvenience” and “Have a good day”.

    8. People that get called like to be called “Mr”, so use it unless he tells you otherwise.

    9. Be grateful for his time and consideration.

    10. Don’t get down on yourself if you get rejected. After all, we all have grown to not trust people that we don’t know and call to offer something.

  3. I appreciate the time you took to write this up; however, it would not work. These are the main reasons why:

    Never ASKED to speak to “John” or sounded like the S is afraid.

    Never said greeted the person with a “good morning” or something.

    You should never say “Am I calling at a bad time?” at least not before you say what the call it’s about.

    In my experience as an “appointment setter”, they will always say that it’s always a bad time, unless they hear “what’s in it for them”.

    You also say in the script; “you can decide whether we should keep talking or not”. At this point I’d be annoyed already since I haven’t heard any benefits for me.

    You “bombard” the person with too much information and talk about what you do instead of the person you are talking to.

    You don’t sound confident if you say: “I don’t know if any of these are issues at your company, though…”.

    You never use the word “maybe” if you are well informed about your targeted market.

    If I was to say: “Oh, that surprises me”, a person would think that I got very little experience in what people need in the field.

    Your script gets a 3 out of 10. I do like it but it’s all said in the wrong timing. Thanks again Jason!

  4. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, Al. This is the script, with a couple of mods, taught by Sandler! And I’ve used it for years to get to real problems prospects are experiencing.

    Do you have a foundation of knowledge about consultative selling and how it works? It’s completely different from traditional selling. If not, I could definitely see why this would seem to not work for you. Many of the things in consultative selling are counter-intuitive, but they work. This script does work. I have recorded calls which I share with my clients that demonstrate so, and clients who use it successfully.

    We are picking up this script at the point after which you’ve gotten to the person you want to talk to, ie. beyond the gatekeeper.

    You ask if it’s a bad time before saying anything else because you don’t want to get identified with something bad going on over there. Or to find out if you’re interrupting something important but they picked up the phone out of politeness or obligation.

    The three pain points are reasons for doing business with you; they are better than benefits. If your prospect recognizes them, the reason(s) resonate and they realize you know something about their business–unlike the features & benefits pushers.

    I don’t get told it’s a bad time very often. If it is, then I’ll call back another time.

    You want to sound a little unsure because people will move to “rescue” you. It’s psychology. I use this with gatekeepers and turn them into friends who open the doors for me all the time.

    I approved your comment because you took the time to write it up, and I want to be fair. But it sounds to me like you know about the transactional model of selling, which is the traditional way, but not consultative selling. So it’s no surprise that what this script is doing doesn’t make sense to you.

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