COLD CALLING TIPS AND TRICKS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
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.
We all understand how important it is to get face-to-face with a company or departmental decision maker – because, obviously, this is the person who needs to approve any business with your company – yet many salespeople tend to forget that no decision ever takes place in a vacuum.
With a few very rare exceptions, almost all corporate decision makers rely on a number of influencing factors when considering a decision – and the human element plays a massive role.
Imagine, for a moment, that you’ve managed to secure an appointment with a company buyer – but in the process, said something that alienates his personal assistant. Or, you want to place your product in a big retailer – and in your haste to see the CEO, you’ve neglected the opportunity of introducing yourself to the store manager downstairs.
Who do the decision makers listen to when they’re making choices? The odds are – they’re heavily influenced by those closest to them, those employees and managers who act as their eyes and ears.
So, the buyer thinks your product is pretty hot, but his PA tells him that there’s something about you that she doesn’t like. Or the CEO likes what you’re presenting, but his trusted store manager shrugs and says: “I don’t know who that is. He didn’t even give me the time of day when he came in earlier.”
One of the key lessons in opening doors is to always work with the understanding that you’re not dealing with an individual, but with a network. And, if you’re smart, you’ll always look for ways to impress the people who carry influence with a decision maker.
This brings us right back to the fundamental cold calling skill of doing some research – of finding out whatever you can about your potential client before you even pick up that phone. This is the first step in the Cold Call Process laid out in my book The Cold Call Bible.
So, if you’re looking at offering a potential buyer your company’s new Widget, it’s not a bad idea to pay a visit to their quality control department or engineering office and ask intelligent questions. Get to know the responsible person by name, and be sure to make a good impression. Smile. Give them your business card.
That way, when the decision maker is weighing up your product or service, and decides to chat to someone about whether this would work, they’ll promptly tell him what a brilliant idea it would be to do business with the industrious visitor who struck them as being so courteous and well-informed.
Remember the old saying: Great achievements are preceded by great preparation!