I do not look at cold calling as an isolated event. I also do not take the attitude that I am going to fail. In my mind, what I do is so critically important. In my mind cold calling is more about starting a conversation and connecting with people and educating your prospects as to why you would be the best person to do business with.
Begin with these goals in mind and you will have more success with cold calling and prospecting. It will also change your mindset about why you are cold calling. When you change your mindset about cold calling and what your true objectives are it frees you and it also frees the person that you are calling. Cold calling is simply the start of a wonderful relationship with a person who doesn’t know you yet.
That should be your mindset.
Fact it takes an average of 6 to 7 contacts with a prospect in order to make a sale. I think this is the reason why most people get so frustrated with cold calling and prospecting. Not fully understanding the nature and the reality of the daily stresses and challenges of the people that they’re calling. Today’s business owner and entrepreneur is simply overwhelmed with e-mail, things to do, and their own goals and agendas during the day. Not responding to your cold call is not a personal slight on you.
As a sales person or a business owner when you make peace with this concept and the realities of the people that you are trying to connect with then you can give yourself and them a break. So let’s take a look at a cold calling campaign.
Your objective; Cold Calling is about building awareness.
Rule #1 in prospecting.
People cant have a relationship with you or buy from you if they are not aware that you exist.
Long-term strategy; cold calling is about believing in what you can do for other people and the positive impact that you can have on them and their business.
Rule 2 in prospecting.
Ill say it again, just in case you missed it the first time – it takes an average of 6-7 contacts with a prospect over a period up to as much as 18 months in order to build a sufficient relationship with them, and where enough trust exists to make a sale.
Are you giving up after the second call? Are you following up throughout the year to continue to build your profile with your client to be, so that when they need your product or service they will call you?
So how does knowing this key piece of information affect your cold calling strategy?
Well first of all realize that in business to business selling as we have stated, is all about building relationships, and building relationships takes time. We know it yet we procrastinate or allow our fear to control us. The time to start cold calling is not when your sales are in the tank, cold calling is about building sales for 2, 3, 4, 5 months from now.
Rule 3 in prospecting.
Always think in terms of value and speaking directly to your prospects concerns and challenges. Remember, your prospect is always asking themselves, why should I listen to you? Why should I respond to you?
Start a form, label it A B C and D
A are companies who are interested and want to do business now
B are companies who have indicated interest and are not rdy now
C are companies that could use your product but have shown no interest in you
D are companies who have purchased from you, and are moving from column A for future business, referrals, testimonials and follow up.
A is pretty simple make an appointment to go see them
B & C develop a plan to continue contact with your prospects
– press releases
– articles that may interest them
– develop a piece reason to do business #7 with your company
– a survey
– a referral for them
– an invitation to an upcoming trade show
after you have listed the activities that you can use to keep in contact with your prospects then you need to map out the time frames, delivery means and the content.
For instance after your cold call you find out that they are not interested until Feb that 5 months from now. A common mistake a lot of salespeople make is to phone back in Feb and say hello its John from Grand Widgets we spoke last Sept and you said to give you a call. And they are left wondering who you are.
Where a savvy prospector would have sent a thank you note after the cold call thanking them for taking the time to speak with them, and then followed up a month later with an article and thereafter within invite to a trade show. Perhaps a survey to ask their opinion on something or an educational marketing piece.
Building awareness takes time, persistence, and courage make cold calling work for you!