Get your biweekly dose of Cold Calling inspiration right here.

I’ll cover topics ranging from what to say and what not to say all the way to making your potential client feel validated, how to form genuine connections, staying motivated when you’re dragging, studying speech patters and intonation, how to remain in control of the conversation and managing the gatekeeper.

He said “No.” Now what? Part I

A professional Cold Caller needs to recognize that this is not a date – social rules do not apply here: “No” doesn’t always mean “Never.”  Your first assignment is to determine why your potential client is refusing, and only then you can focus on what exactly he’s refusing. Today, we will examine the why.

Why he might be refusing

  • Wrong timing (they are not considering making a switch or a new purchase in the near future)
  • Reached someone who is not a decision influencer nor a decision maker
  • Price
  • Ignorance about your products’ Individual Selling Points
  • Lack of capacity or time to explore your product with you

Although you may initially feel that you have no control over a refusal, on closer examination, you will discover that there are many ingredients to the call that you can indeed change and control.

Examine your behaviour

Inspect your preparation for the call.  Were you, honestly, prepared fully?  Do you know whom you’re calling, his history with the company, his role within the firm, any potential social connections that the two of you might have, any hobbies that you can refer to – any common ground?

Did you catch your potential client when he was busy or distracted?  Could you get through the gatekeeper and get him live on the phone?  Once you were successful in speaking with him, did you know the ins and outs of your product, really believe in it, and are honestly offering him something of value – something that will improve his firm’s efficiency?

The Timing“Why”

If you caught him at a bad time and he seems distracted or busy, you can crack a joke or reschedule the call – he will respect that you can tell that he’s got other things going on and that you are human enough to cater to him, rather than a robotic automaton trying to plow through a pitch.

In terms of reaching him when the firm is ready to make a change, his “No” can be interpreted several ways – you can accept it as a “not now” – but don’t stop there – ask “When?”  Find out more about the decision-making, document how long their contract runs with their current provider, and enter into your CRM system so you can call him back when the time is right.

Non decision-maker “Why”

If you successfully pitched your potential client and he seems interested but something is stuck and you can’t progress to the in-person meeting, perhaps there is information you are missing.  It could be that the person with whom you are speaking is not ultimately the decision maker.  Try to find out – do more research – make sure you’re targeting the right resource.

Price “Why”

Mentally engage if the pricing is the deal-breaker.  Do you need to target larger firms with the resources to purchase your product?  Tailor your prospects to those who can meet your price point, so you are not wasting time and effort on those who fall outside those bounds.

Ultimately, there will be times that you do not close a sale that you expected to go your way.  Learn what you can from the experience, and take it into your next sales process.

Posted in Cold Calling, Prospects and tagged , , , .