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.