The tough task can really pay off if you follow these rules.
April 7, 2021
5 minutes of reading
Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.
Cold call It may seem daunting. You have a list of numbers to call each day and you can see that your calls will come voicemail more often than a real person. You can’t seem to call someone, much less need to set up an actual appointment. You try to call more people, but you get the same result.
When I first started calling, I struggled to get leads on the phone. I am diligently working through my list of numbers, often with no success. After that, I changed my approach and for six consecutive months I booked at least 15 appointments per day. After learning these three cold calling rules, you can use them to help you achieve your goals:
1. Get a “yes, yes” answer
This concept is derived from the book How to get friends and influence people, teaches readers how to connect with people in a more likable way.
Getting a “yes, yes” is gaining consent. This strategy is not the same as tricking potential customers into saying yes by asking open-ended questions that have nothing to do with what you’re calling. You want to reach agreement on key principles relevant to the current topic. Start with small things based on principles and then build on them. You want to create a common ground by agreeing on what you have in common.
Most of the leads you call will say they’re happy with the services or products they currently have, so let’s start with that. For example, if you are selling insurance, start by saying, “I’m sure you have a plan you are satisfied with.” The prospect will most likely agree that they do, but since you understand their position, they will immediately feel more comfortable with you.
Then turn the conversation on using questions about the things you will continue to agree to: Can we agree that time is money and anything can happen? Is there a possibility there is a better insurance offer out there?
Once you have a prospect agreeing with you, you begin to move on to the process of setting up an appointment with them. It is important that you never disagree with a prospect as this can be considered controversial. You can acknowledge their objection and agree with their position, but not their conclusion.
2. Cold calling is not a number game.
There is a lasting trust that the more people you call, the more appointments you can set up. This approach does not explain the reality of the world we live in today.
Think about your workday. You can join morning meetings, do chores after lunch break, and take your child to the doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. Maybe you just sit at your desk for a few hours on a given day. If I only call once before moving on to the next number, it is very unlikely that I will connect with potential customers on that call. But if I miss you in the morning, I can reach you in the afternoon.
The key is to call fewer leads per day and instead call those leads more often. I recommend calling each prospect three to four times a day for up to three to four days. For example, I execute 40 contacts per day to get 15 scheduled appointments. But don’t leave a voicemail as this will put the ball in someone else’s field. Leave voicemails only after you are exhausted try to keep them as a last resort.
3. You can sell more to potential customers who are not in need.
Most people fail on cold calls because of this one mistake. The mantra we’ve all heard is that you must first identify the need when looking for potential customers on your phone. This old mindset makes you focus on only potential customers with a clear need. By doing this, you limit your potential prospects to a small percentage of any B2B market.
This is because 95% of all potential customers will tell you that they are satisfied with what they have. They have no need. They are satisfied with what they have done in the past. If you focus only on those in need, that can frustrate your cold calling efforts and feel like digging for a needle in a tank.
The Febreze Company was almost pulled off the shelves for this exact reason. Based on The power of habitFebreze has advertised exclusively for people they feel in need: people with pets or smokers. But, these people are hypersensitive to the smell of their home and do not know it smells bad. The real market audience is the people who like their home to be fragrant and clean. If Febreze was only targeting people they felt a need, they wouldn’t exist as a company.
People are used to what they have until they are shown something different, so don’t eliminate this population as leads. They are your best target market.
Related: 3-step method to change habits