Selling in today’s economic environment doesn’t make the work of a knowledgeable salesperson easy; this is often commonplace for leaner times. Frankly, it’s likely to be a challenging (but workable) market five years from now. Make no mistake, cold-calling worked within the ’60s, it worked within the ’80s, and it works today. Hot leads are excellent. Referrals are even better. At the top of the day, nothing is simpler towards filing your sales pipeline faster than cold-call prospecting for brand spanking new business.
Unfortunately, it seems with the developments of technology and therefore the speed during which information moves from point A to point B, some folks believe cold-calling is no longer effective. They feel that cold-calling is merely for the novice; the experienced salespeople have better things to try to do with their busy days than devour the phone and find out new growth opportunities. I mean, that might be crazy!
So for all you sales managers who are still reinforcing the financial benefits of cold-call marketing, congratulations for being committed to greatness and building (and gutsy) winning salespeople. For everybody else, shame on you. And for a few of the “sales experts” creating an environment of weak salespeople by teaching them everything but cold-calling – maybe you’ll learn from this message.
Myth #1 – Cold calling is ineffective; It doesn’t work
Yes, to get success with cold-calling, you certainly should have good telephone skills. However, it’s not rocket science. Many salespeople around the world – a day – devour the phone and call someone they need never met that they want to try to do business with and make opportunities. Plainly put, it works! The more you are doing it, the higher you’ll get. A number of my biggest clients – both from my previous line of labor (Management Consulting) and what I do now (Sales Training) came as a result of learning the phone and calling a stranger. You’ve got to plan to make the calls. Anyone that preaches to you that prospects don’t wish to be interrupted or they are doing not have patience for a salesman making a prospecting call is filling your brain with head-trash! It’s fun (and safer) to figure existing customers for business – and referrals – but until that book of business will support those activities solely, devour the phone and make the calls…every day you’ll.
Myth #2 – Prospects are tons smarter today; they’re going to see me coming
Prospects certainly are more prepared to handle a sales call from a salesman. But guess what? So are you! even as your competitors have read the sales books, listened to the CDs and gone to the seminars, so have you ever. But frankly, does it really matter? Sales isn’t a contest. And we’re not really expecting to urge a meeting or lead on every cold call, but if you create enough calls, you’ll hit your targets. I even have learned that prospects today don’t sort of a high-pressure, pushy salesperson, but they didn’t thirty years ago either. Remember, options still buy products and services from salespeople. If they’re not buying from you, then they’re certainly buying from your competitor. Obviously (being a sales trainer), I like to recommend getting involved in a sales program and maintaining a high level of effectiveness year-round; it’s good for the mind, the guts – and your bottom-line (going to the bank more often).
Myth #3 – you do not need scripts
Excuse me? You see, this is often a part of the more significant problem associated with call reluctance. Salespeople – who, as an entire, dislike cold calls – need the sales process. Anyone that says they like to cold call is just not telling you the reality. Sure, you’ll find that 1 in 100 really enjoys the activity, but as an entire, anyone that states that they like to cold call has never done it. Call reluctance is common with salespeople that do not have scripts to reference. First, doubt sets in because they’re unsure of the direction of the decision. Second, fear and polarization inherit play which results in a lack of activity (i.e., they do not make the calls). Scripts provide you with a roadmap, a terrific point of reference during which to figure from, and a mini-play book that you simply can enhance and re-write. Anyone that says you should not use a script (at least until it’s memorized) is selling you bad advice. I always recommend my clients read from a hand as if they were a Hollywood actor; say the words – if need be to the T – but make it sound new and something you only thought of. I’m confident you’ll roll in the hay.