Good News About Cold Calls!
By Lenann McGookey Gardner
to expand your client base? You can put your website out there –
but they probably won’t see it. You can do Search Engine
Optimization – but the rules for that seem to change daily, and most
businesses are in categories that are populated with thousands of
competitors. You can do mass e-mail, but most people delete,
without reading, dozens of e-mails daily. You can do a
snail-mailing, and if it’s clever enough it will probably be looked
at; the percentage of people who act on it, however, is likely to be
tiny. Or you can simply call.
many professionals avoid cold calling, it can be highly successful –
if you approach it with the proper attitude. In cold calling, your
goal is to get appointments; to arrange to be face-to-face with
someone who might spend money with you. Sales research tells us
that more face time and phone time with people who can buy what
we’re selling equals more sales. Here is a step-by-step guide to
cold calling success.
Escape Your Fear of Rejection: Remind yourself that any
rejection you receive is a rejection of the interruption your phone
call represents, not of you personally. Many people reject because
they have been burned by cold callers and telemarketers in the
past. Don’t allow yourself to take their coldness personally.
get cold, tough, or pushy – people hate that. In your call, start
with a Clean Heart Position: a sincere desire to see your prospect
get what he wants, whether or not he gets it from you. You’re in
business to be of service, and if you can help, great. If you can’t
help, that’s fine, too, and be sure to say that you appreciate his
Create the Optimal Structure for the Call: Once you get the
prospect on the phone, you have to pique her interest. Begin by
saying something provocative, and ask her a question that is
designed to reveal a challenge she may be facing. For example:
to speak with you about how your firm can acquire many more new
clients this year than in any year before. Is adding clients a
priority for you, Ms. Jones?”
to talk with you about getting better control of the expenses of
your employees who travel. Are travel expenses high, Mr. Smith?”
an Enticing Voicemail: If you miss the specific person you are
trying to reach, leave a voicemail. Make sure that it is something
likely to interest him and encourage a call back. Deliver the
voicemail about as loudly, and at the same speed of speech, as the
prospect’s outgoing voicemail message. The last word of a voicemail
is always your prospect’s name, not “goodbye.” For example:
Jones, this is Lenann Gardner, and I’m calling because I’d like to
speak with you about how your firm can acquire many more new clients
this year than in any year before. This will take only a few
minutes. Please give me a call at 505-828-1788. Again, this is Lenann Gardner at Gardner Consulting, and my number is
505-828-1788. Hope to speak with you soon, Ms. Jones!”
wait about 24 hours for your prospect to return phone messages in
good faith. If she does not return your call, call again:
Jones, Lenann Gardner again. I’m calling with some ideas I have for
growing Smith, Jones and Green in 2007! Please call me at
505-828-1788. I look forward to speaking with you soon, Ms. Jones!”
wait about 24 hours for your two messages to be returned. If you
don’t hear from Ms. Jones, leave one more message:
Jones. Lenann Gardner. I’ve missed you again – we must be on
opposite schedules! I’m calling with some ideas for capturing new
clients for Smith, Jones and Green in 2007 – I think you will want
this information. Please do give me a call at 505-828-1788 – again,
that’s 505-828-1788. I look forward to a quick conversation with
you, Ms. Jones!”
a Compelling Email: If you have left three voicemails each
one day apart, you have maximized the likelihood of getting a
return call. If you don’t receive a callback, you may do one more
thing: about 24 hours after leaving your third voicemail, e-mail
your prospect. Utilize much of the same wording from your
voicemails, and consider doing the e-mail in slightly larger than
normal type, so it stands out.
you’ve phoned for three days running, and left an e-mail on the
fourth day, and still get no response, assume your prospect has no
interest and move on.
Focused: If you happen to speak with your prospect, remind
yourself of your Clean Heart Position, and be interested in
your prospect rather than just advocating for him buying your
services. Selling is not giving a speech about your services.
Instead, selling is about inquiring about your prospect, honestly
expressing an interest in him, and remembering that you are there to
be of service, or, if you can’t be of service, getting out of the
way so his day can move forward.
important thing to listen for, when talking with a prospect, is
PAIN. Pain consists of
Things that are going wrong for him today.
Things that have gone wrong for him in the past.
Things that may go wrong for him in the future,
Things that he has heard have gone wrong for
others in similar circumstances to his.
hear pain, ask a question about it, especially if it is in an
area that might be helped by your service or product. Whatever he
responds, make sure he knows you heard, even if what he said is
Smith, it seems as if, right now, you’re satisfied with the firm’s
status, and don’t feel a need to make a special effort to attract
new clients. Is that it?”
Forget Your Objective! Remember that the goal of the call is
to set an appointment, not to sell you, or your services – just
to have him agree that it makes sense to meet with you briefly. He
will balance the potential benefit of such a meeting with the
investment of his time, and make a decision about whether to make
that investment. Your goal is to get a meeting date and time on his
calendar before you hang up the phone.
Read other articles and learn more about
Lenann McGookey Gardner.
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