Most sales people I know hate making cold calls as much as any of us hate receiving them. Every year, companies invest millions of dollars on adopting better ways to prospect and sell in a cold calling model. I see cold calling as inefficient, ineffective and outdated.
Tip #5: If you want more bang for your buck on the front end of the sales process, then convert cold calling to warm calling. This is more than just a cute play on words. It is a critical distinction that can yield more business per 100 calls by more than you might believe.
For the sake of simplicity, I will use business-to-business rather than business-to-individuals as examples. The process of cold calling goes something like this: a low-paid phone jockey is given a script and a list of potential customers. They plow through the names and numbers racking up a very small number of successful calls. This is more expensive than most businesses realize because the list of names and numbers the caller was given have often already been vetted and identified to have a high potential for a need for their particular product or service. What a waste of opportunity!
Warm calling is different. It goes something like this: the same vetted list is given to a sales rep who has received sales and communication training, including a few generalized scripted approaches that have proven to yield the best results. They are also given a checklist of steps to take (research) for each prospect that could turn their cold call into a warm call. They might visit the potential new customer’s website before they them call them. They could determine five things about that company that can help make the call more customer-centric, like location or today’s weather forecast. If it is unusually nice outside, they can refer to that in their greeting in order to help build rapport over the phone. Additionally, they should be armed with a list of current customers sortable by industry or geographical location that they can refer to early on in the call in order to create a sense of relevance.
All sales opportunities are more valuable today than ever and shouldn’t be squandered during any part of the process. These blogs about cold calls, the Psychology of the sale and turning customer service into sales are written in a sincere effort to help your company maximize these opportunities. I encourage you to pass them on to those who can make the best use of the information. It’s good for the economy.
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