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How to Succeed in Business Cold Calling

By Edited Jan 15, 2016 0 0
How to succeed in business cold calling
 
Inbound marketing through internet is arguably the most effective channel for acquiring leads  interested in your products or services. However, with complex offerings, it is often necessary to meet face to face before the sale, and a phone call is still the most effective means to agree on an appointment. Most people dislike calling strangers, and the phone might become too "heavy" to pick up. However, with a good strategy and a few proven techniques, you can dramatically improve your success rate and make business cold calling efficient and energizing. 
 
Before making the call, clarify your goals. A common mistake is to assume that the goal is to sell the product/service, and start the promotion over phone. Instead, try selecting these two targets:
 
Target 1: Recipient will have a slightly better day because of the call.
 
Target 2: You will set up an appointment where the recipient will learn valuable information.
 
 
The phone call divides itself into three distinct parts: 

Part I - Beginning

beginning the cold call
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/6225886421

 

Step 1. Start by giving 1-2 seconds for the recipient to calm down and get into the listening mode.

Step 2. Calmly and clearly introduce yourself. If the call never leads anywhere, at least you will be able to remind him/her of the presence of your company. 

     You: "This is John calling from Company X, good morning."

Step 3. Wait and let them greet you back. After all, you want to create a dialogue. By starting off with the sales pitch right after introduction you will sound like a magazine sales person.

     Recipient: " Morning?"

 

Part II - Body

 

Step 4. Disclose you're purpose right away. Otherwise you will merely be suspected of hiding something.

     For example: "We received your contacts through the Office Well-being eBook you downloaded last week and now I would be thrilled to meet you in person."

There are people who will refuse immediately, and that is to be expected. You would not get very far with them anyway. Most people, however, will want to know why you would like to meet them. In addition, depending on your brand, 5-20% will agree to the meeting right away.

Step 5. Ask if they have heard of your company. If not, using one sentence tell them how you generally help companies.

    For example:  "(Company name) helps organizations to increase the well-being of their employees, by providing first class break exercise activities."

Step 6. Explain why they should spend one precious hour on you. 

The important part is to keep in mind that the idea is to sell the meeting, not the product. Essentially, you will have to convince the contact of the value of the hour. This comes down to having (a) a great story, and (b) an outrageous promise. Countless books could be spent dwelling on how to create a good story, but basically it should feel relevant, engaging, and surprising.

    For example: "You probably know that counting in lost work efforts,  possible medical expenses, and supplemental work force, sick leave of one person can cost up to $300 per day for a company. During the meeting, I will show how (their company name) could decrease the amount of sick leave costs by 30 percent (the outrageous promise must be based on a client reference)."

 

Part III - Wrap up

closing the cold call successfully
 
 
Step 7. Immediately after disclosing what they will learn, you should propose a date, and wait.
 
    For example: "How does the 15th of August look in your calendar?"
 
By turning the conversation to the calendar, the recipient will be very likely to open the date just to see how it looks like, out of curiosity.   
 

Step 8. The endgame. For those prospects who agree to the meeting, write down the necessary information and confirm the meeting via email. A large number of people, however, will have some sorts of objections. Some of them are relevant, most are not. Probably more than half of those who first object can be persuaded into a meeting. 
 
   For example:"I don't have time right now." -> "I understand. How about scheduling a meeting two weeks from now?"
 
   For example:"These things are taken care of." -> "That is absolutely great. If you would still like to get a reference point, I can show you some new research on how to increase the well-being of employees."
 
 
Of course, you never want to be perceived as annoying - avoid that at all costs. Respect the customer, but be absolutely confident that the meeting would prove very beneficial for the person with whom you're talking. 
 
People generally remember the beginning, and the end. Make sure that regardless of whether you scheduled an appointment or not, the phone conversation ends on a high note. After all, your main purpose was increasing the mood of the recipient. Further, at least you will be able to promote your company and enhance the brand.
 
For the complete sales cycle see an IB article on B2B sales. If you need more information on business calling, consider these books:
 
 
7 STEPS to SALES SCRIPTS for B2B APPOINTMENT SETTING. Creating Cold Calling Phone Scripts for Business to Business Selling, Lead Generation and Sales Closing. A Primer for Appointment Setters.
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2016)
If you're interested in developing your knowledge on story creation, this book by Scott Channell will provide you with simple and clear-cut instructions.
If you want to work on the end-game, Kaplan's 'Sectets of a Master Closer' offers a tight package of information on efficient sales closure.
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