The Magic Mindset You Need In Selling To Reaching Decision Makers!
If You're Cold Calling To Create Business - You MUST Know This Little Used Approach...
Having worked in many different industries in my life in sales, both inbound and out, plus learning, implementing and testing marketing strategies in every concievable niche you can think of, I have learnt a little bit about what works and what doesn't when you're cold calling and trying to develop business.
Below are 3 of my top thoughts around what has worked for me in the field and for many of my colleagues and clients I've worked with.
1. Treat Your Call With a Grain of Salt!
"WHAT" I hear you say (and you're bosses cry)... We'll I don't mean literally, but I mean you have to get your head straight about sales before you go out and try and sell anything to anyone.
The best way I've found to do this is to "Let Go" of the outcome, don't even assume that you're going to get anywhere... Don't assume the person on the other end of the line is going to be friendly and also, don't assume they'll be annoyed at your call either... Be completely neutral.
By backing away from the outcome before you even pick the phone up to call, allows you to have absolutely "no pressure" on you, or on the person who picks the phone up. And I konw that you've probably come to this article looking for cold calling scripts on how to get around gatekeepers and we will be looking at how to get to decision makers without any hassle at all shortly.
First, however, I really want to emphasize this point of getting your head right first. And if you're hearing this for the first time and you're not new in sales, you're probably thinking this is a load of KODSWALLOP!... And I don't blame you one little bit.
If you're a new salesperson or one that has worked at sales for a while and not quite got the breakthroughs in getting to top decision makers then, the following tips are going to be EVEN MORE important to you, becuase you know that the old school "high pressure" try and close em game doesn't work either.
So what I want you to do before you make any more cold calls on the phone and before you even think of what to say next, is, say to yourself and imagine, that you're calling a friend you haven't known for all that long and you're it's a specific thing your calling them for, so their partner, or son, or daughter cannot help you.
They might answer you and ask what the call is about, and you're going to tell them specifically in a very laid back and "no pressure" voice, a point that is so specific that they will NEED to give you to your new friend.
When you're new friend comes on the phone, you're going to just get to the point, you're not going to go into hyped up "Hi, how are you today!" but after a friendly and low-key intro, you're going to ask them about a problem they migth be able to help you solve and that's going to invoke them to say "What do you mean?"...
If you can get that response from your friend, you're all of a sudden in a dialogue and having a friendly chat, whether or not they can help you or not is "Irrelevant" and you will gain trust.
Now, have the reverse in your mind, you call up and their partner calls and you say "Hi, it's Jack here, how are you today?"... "Can I speak with Harry please?"... They're going to go into battle mode and the contest will be on, you'll probably get to speak to you're friend, because they're your friend, but in the business development world, it's a LOT TOUGHER!
Either way, the outcome of any call with your spouse, your friends a business prospect should all be treated in a way of low-pressure and laid backedness (if that is a word)!
By detaching from the outcome, you're directly tapping into a spiritual law of "non-attachement" which will help you in the long run from a lot of stress and also guide you to a lot of success if you really study it's principals.
2. So WHAT Do You Say To a Gatekeeper Specifically?
Ok the part you've been waiting for, and indeed, what all salespeople are chasing is "What on earth do we say to gatekeepers when cold calling?" and before we go on, I want to remind you, that it's not so much WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it here that counts.
Your tonality on a call is paramount to being successful when doing a cold call in a business prospecting campaign.
So the words you say are going to be the exact same thing you say to the key decision makers, but you're going to go about this in a way that endears the gatekeeper to you and makes them want to help you.
You're NOT going to make the gatekeeper your best friend, nor do they want you to, they're there for a particular reason, and that reason is not to make friends with cold call prospecting salespeople, it's in fact the reverse... To KEEP YOU OUT!
So what is it that I've done in my career as a salesperson naturally that has 9 out of 10 times, gotten me through to major decision makers?
I used to get on the phone and be totally organic and natural in my approach, I didn't take the advice of all the so called "GURU's" out there in sales by getting all hyped up, standing up, drinking coffee then "Nailing It" on the phone (but believe me, I've tried that and virtually every other hair brained idea out there, but none of that worked).
If you try and be anyone but yourself you're going to fail, and I know this is contrarian to what you've been taught and what we've all been taught in sales. Which is, "you need to put on your sales hat to make sales calls!!!"
The truth is, you just need to be yourself and know what you're going to say. Let me demonstrate this by one of the most outstanding cold calls I have ever had in my life, and it was from someone in the security industry who had just bought into a franchise, someone who had never been in business before in his life (I know this, because he spoke to me on that sales call like a "human being" and not a prospect).
What did he say when he called me, well he spoke in a tone of a friend or someone enquiring about what my business at the time sold, computers. He said to me, my name is Mark and I'm a new franchise owner of "So and So Security" and I'm making some friendly calls in your area to see if you'd be open to having a free security and alarm check?
As it turned out, we already had an alarm installed, so I told him and he was completely ok with it, he didn't "PERSIST" and try and get me to replace my existing one and basically tell me it was useless, he did what a good 70% of sales people don't do... He LISTENED to me!
After that, I started talking to him to see what he would do and he opened up to me and began telling me about his new business and thanking me for taking his call as he was so new to selling.
As it turned out, it wasn't what he said to me at all, becuase if you compared what he said to me from a sales training course or text book, he did everything completely WRONG!
But by being himself and not studying any of the traditional sales brainwashing, he was still himself and I ended up giving him 5 referrals 2 of which were very good friends of mine and bought multi-thousand dollar systems from him and that made me happy and he ended up being very successful in selling.
So the key here is, to be yourself and ask specific questions about the problem that you solve to get through to your decision makers, in my case I was a decision maker of the building. However, if I wasn't he may not have got through, but he still would have got the most valuable thing a salesperson could ever recieve and that's referrals.
What could he do to improve?
He could open with his normal introduction, ask for my help, which he did and then see if I'd be willing to look at alternate options for protecting my stores assets.
From there, I would ask "What do you mean?" and the discussion would begin... It's really this simple, and had I have been a gatekeeper, I would probably put him through as I'm not in charge of a stores "Assets" so to speak.
Here's a little video on some of the finer points of "Opening Your Cold Calls with No Pressure"...
3. What Then Do You Say To Decision Makers?
Ok, lets assume you get through to a decision maker, what on earth do you say to them (you weren't expecting to right... RIGHT?)... I know... I've done 20 years of this stuff!
What you say to them is exactly what you say to the gatekeeper... It goes a little like this...
Sam: Hi, Joe... My names Sam and maybe you can help me out for a moment!
Joe: Yeah, well that depends Sam, what are you after?
Sam: I was just calling to see if you'd be open to some key avenues that would... <<< Solve a Deep Problem Specifically >>>... In the security case would be "Protect your assets"? (I'm just making this up ok)...
Joe: What the hell are you talking about Sam?
Sam: What I mean specifically is, a way to lower what you pay each year for building insurance and at the same time protect your staff and assets inside and outside the building... Safety is what I'm talking about Joe.
And from there, Joe is either open or closed, there's no possible way to make Joe buy if Joe has no need for it.
A lot of the time, the Joe's of the sales world and "OUR Prospects" aren't going to need what we have, so there's absolutely no point in blazing glory that we should persist in trying to sell them.
What you can do, and what is very smart to do is have a short dialogue and somehow workout a way to get them on your email or direct mail list to "Stay In Touch" but the KEY is, you must have something very valuable to offer them, even if it's free.
Once you have them on your automated email follow up series / direct mail drip feed list, you can stay in touch automatically and the best part is, they've approved you to do so... Win-Win because you're building trust, and over time gaining referrals even if Joe never buys and believe me when I say this, sales DO come from this simple process.
So begin thinking outside the box, think not only as a salesperson making cold calls, but as a CEO of your own sales entity and how you're going to market YOU, irrespective of what company you work for (if not for yourself).
This is how I've done it and how many of the unheard of, quite achiever types do it, I've studied the quite minority who do this and it's their best kept secret. A lot of them aren't showy, salesy, hypey type Sanguin personalities, they're in fact very meloncholy in their outlook and they build systems of sales and marketing support which over time make them successful, but that's a topic for another InfoBarrel exclusive that I will write about for you.
I hope you take many good points away from this article.