Why is Cold Calling so Hard?

Many people I talk to don’t care to make cold calls to get new business. For many it is a fear factor or they just don’t like to be told “NO” when asking for a meeting.

When you do phone calling for meetings or phone conferences, you need to have one thing in mind; does that prospect want to meet with you to know more about the product or services you provide? If not, then just make the next call and move on.

Not everyone wants to meet with you. That’s OK. You are telemarketing to find ones that say “Yes”. Why not have the mindset you’re going to make 100 calls to find the 5-10 prospects that set the meeting? Make it simple; don’t make it hard. Keep up the perseverance.

I remember a story about Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers of all time. In the 1960s at the peak of his game Nicklaus earned $400,000 on the PGA tour. There was another golfer Bob Charles on the same PGA tour that earned $40,000. As a professional he wasn’t as successful as Jack, with the difference of about 10 fold in income.

The surprising factor was the difference in their respective per round stroke average was less than half a stroke. Yes, the greatest golfer of his time and a very good golfer were less than half a stroke apart.

In sales and cold calling, everything you do affects your quota numbers for closing deals. Forget the fear factor and frustration level and just make the calls. Even making an extra 20 calls per day can yield that one more sale in your weekly numbers!

Set a goal to WIN more sales. Come in first, not second, or third or fifth. How much commission do you earn when you come in second or fourth? Bob Charles still got paid his $40,000, even if he came in second, fifth or tenth. Telemarketing starts the process. It leads to face-to-face meetings, then proposals, which then conclude in sales that make you money. Pick up the phone, start dialing for dollars and smile while you do that!

John Eyres works with business owners/entrepreneurs/sales people who want to stay ahead of their competition. His workbook The Art and Science of COLD CALLING teaches 3 key principles for a solid calling program; 1. Creating quality lead lists. 2. Creating your script. 3. Cold calling tips/strategies/techniques.

He can be reached at johneyres@busconcon.com or 314-495-2089.

Does Your Sales Pitch Pass the “Why” Test?

Why should your prospect care about the product or service you are pitching? If you start with that question you distill the core benefits that drive sales.

Earlier this summer, my wife and I shopped for a new mattress. The first salesman we encountered pitched one with a new-fangled spring system. He described the coil count, the wire thickness, the spring material, and other data meant to convince us we could not live without this mattress.

When he ended his speech, I asked, “Why should I care about all of that stuff?”

He looked at me as if I was a Martian.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I suspect everything you told me is important. But I don’t understand why any of this matters.”

He sighed. “Because our springs are more durable,” he said.

I didn’t say anything, but the expression on my face said it again, “Why should I care?”

“The springs hold their shape,” he added.

Standing nearby, the store manager joined the conversation. “Do you suffer any back pain?” he asked?

“I do,” my wife said.

The manager explained that as mattresses age, the springs begin to compress. That creates soft spots and valleys, which contribute to back pain. This mattress protects your back because the springs are stronger and longer lasting.

A mattress that protects my wife’s back! Now that’s a reason to care.

Do your sales pitches pass the “why should I care?’” test? Too often, we pitch our products and services by discussing the what and the how, rather than the why.

Thick, multi-coil, steel springs are the what and how. Protecting your back is the why.

Marketers often refer to features vs. benefits. But I prefer what/how vs. why. The words “what,” “how,” and “why” frame the questions:

Why should I care? If you answer that question first, you articulate the core benefit. Then you prove your case with the what and how.

The mattress store manager understood that. Rather than start with spring count and other data, he reminded us we care to protect your backs; we care to have a mattress that lasts, on average, five years longer so you can save money and protect the environment; and we care to sleep better.

When he claimed we would sleep better, I asked him, “How…?”

The independent spring system means one person can toss and turn on one side of the bed without rocking the other side of the bed.

The manager started with why (“so you can sleep better) and followed with what and how (“the spring system”).

Review your sales pitches -- what you say on the telephone, the copy you place in advertisements, the words you write in emails and letters. As you discuss your products and services, imagine you are a prospect and ask, “Why should I care?” Craft an answer for the prospect and repeat the “Why...” question.

Remember, the mattress salesman did not get to the real “why” -- even though I asked him more than once. We often default to the what and the how. So keep asking, “Why...?” until you distill your story to its core benefits. If you practice this technique regularly, you will naturally begin your sales conversations where they ought to be -- with the why.

For specific help increasing your marketing voltage, visit me at www.marketvolt.com.

Separate Prospects from Suspects to Sell More and Suffer Less

Bill succeeds because he separates prospects from suspects... He speaks to people who view him as a welcome guest, not an unwanted pest.

I once worked with a sadistic guy named Ken who loved to punish the door-to-door salespeople who visited our office. If he was in a good mood (not often), Ken would gently point to the "No Solicitations" sign on our door, and say, "I'm sorry. We don't allow door-to-door sales. Go peddle your stuff somewhere else." Even when sounding calm, Ken was mean. If Ken was in a bad mood (usually) or if the "peddler" did not leave immediately, watch out! I heard Ken verbally abuse a water cooler salesman in ways that would make the saltiest sailor blush. I once saw a copier salesman dash from our office after Ken threatened to "shove that toner cartridge..." You get the idea.

We eventually fired Ken because of how he treated vendors, coworkers and clients. While we did not condone his behavior, we also did not sympathize with those sales people who invited the wrath of Ken. Every time they fled from our office, I thought, "Why do they put themselves through this?" Cold calling every name on a list or knocking on every door on every floor is an uncomfortable, unproductive way to make a living.

Compare that to Bill, a copier salesperson who called me last month. I met Bill a few months earlier at a networking event where we exchanged cards. He asked whether he could add me to his mailing list (he did not assume my permission just because I handed him my card). I received one email a month after that.

When Bill called, he said, “We met a few months ago and you’re on my email list.” I remembered him, of course. I had received his most recent email just two days earlier. The conversation proceeded with ease and ended with a meeting scheduled.

When we met, I asked Bill why he chose to call me on the day he did. “Because you’ve been reading and clicking on my emails,” he said. Bill explained he no longer goes door to door or makes call telephone calls. Instead, he establishes relationships with people through networking, referrals, web site inquiries, and other methods – in all cases inviting his new contacts to join his email list. He sends regular emails that offer office automation tips and other useful content – not just product pitches. And he uses email software that tracks who opens and who clicks. Those engaged readers are the prospects he telephones or visits.

In a fraction of the time, he schedules more appointments and ultimately makes more sales. And he does not have to face sadists like Ken who love to abuse cold-callers.

Bill succeeds because he separates prospects from suspects. He schedules more meetings with fewer calls because he speaks to people who view him as a welcome guest, not an unwanted pest.

Had Bill been a stranger who appeared at my office uninvited, I probably would not have spoken to him. Had he simply collected my card at the networking event and then called me (without engaging me through his emails), I probably would have pushed him away. Had he called on me even if I never opened his emails, I might not have remembered him and I certainly would not have known how much value he could offer.

Instead, Bill called on me only after he knew I was engaged. I had opened his email. I had clicked the link. I knew him. I showed interest.

Your time is precious. When you call on people who don’t know you and view you as a pest, you usually waste that precious time. Rather than wasting time calling on the suspects, spend some time to identify and cultivate true prospects.

There are many ways to do this. As Bill demonstrated, delivering valuable, engaging content via an email newsletter is a very effective way to do it. But how do you start? How do you plan and deliver an email newsletter that people will open and click? I answer those questions in this article in the e4e Academy.

How to Use LinkedIn Signal to Find Prospects Who Want What You Sell

LinkedIn Signal (http://www.linkedin.com/signal/) is one of the most powerful tools available on the internet.

If you know how to use it properly, you can literally find any conversation on LinkedIn. Conversations happening between people not even connected to you, including groups you don’t belong to.

It is literally one of the best customer intelligence tools out there, and it’s free.

Imagine you had a tool for discovering any time somebody talked about your products or services on LinkedIn. If you think this might be a great strategy to find new leads and build relationships with highly targeted prospects, you’re correct.

You must be an e4e Academy member to access the rest of this content.
Learn more or log in.