I hate cold calls. I always cringe when a group of salespeople I’m training say they are making cold calls.
It always baffles me why anyone would subject themselves to the coldness associated with cold calls.
If you are doing cold calls, you have to stop. If your salespeople are doing cold calls, you have to tell them to stop.
One thing about cold calls is that they are not effective. Yes, you might argue that you got one or two clients from cold calls but if I ask you about the number of calls you had to make and the fuel spent, you will realize that it was not worth it.
The easiest way to have a bad day in selling is to start the day with cold calls.
If not cold calls, then what’s the solution? Warm calls.
You have to make warm calls.
The challenge with warm calls however is that a lot of salespeople are lazy. It’s easy for people to just pick up the phone, get a list of numbers and start calling while stomaching rejection along the way.
The alternative is to do further research on a prospect or client to find an entry point that you can use. Researching is not easy but when you do it, especially in sales situations, you will make your process more effective, saving money along the way.
To keep things simple for you, here is a simple 3 step process you can use to make your calls warmer.
1. Start with a lists
Before picking up your phone to make calls, you first need to come up with a list. Who are the clients you intend to deal with; Both individuals and other companies.
You can use 3 categories to come up with your list.
- Make a list of companies/individuals that need your product.
- Make a list of companies/individuals that can afford your product.
- Make a list of companies/individuals you have sold to before.
2. Do Your Research
When you’re done creating your lists, the next step is to do your research. Before you start looking into newspapers, think about the people in your circle, you will be surprised that you may know a few people connected to the companies you intend to deal with.
When you find someone, let’s say an aunt who works at the company, it’s just a matter of giving her a call and asking for an introduction to someone in the company.
Apart from the people you know, go on LinkedIn(you should be there if you weren’t), search for the said company, look at the people working there and find someone you know who can introduce you; If there isn’t someone you know, then you can introduce yourself to someone in the company who can introduce you to the person you intend to connect to(Don’t introduce yourself directly to the person you want to deal with).
For example, let’s say you want to deal with the Procurement Manager of company X; if you search on LinkedIn and find the Marketing Officer and Procurement Manager of the company; reach out to the Marketing Officer of the company and ask to be introduced to the Procurement Manager.
3. Reach Out
After getting the information, the next step would be to reach out. When you make your first call to the client, don’t waste their time.
Don’t call to ask them how they are doing or to waste time discussing the weather unless you sell cloud seeding.
Keep it short and straight to the point.
An example greeting you can use is, “Hello Mr. X, it’s Jerry from M&J, I got your number from Sally, the Marketing Officer at your company, can I please have a moment of your time.”
When you are given the go-ahead, get straight to the point and schedule a face-to-face meeting with the client(it’s hard to close deals on the phone)
By using the above three-step process, you can make any call and any prospect warm.
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