COLD CALLING has a bad reputation, and even the best sales teams dread dialing complete strangers. In reality, the make-or-break moment in most cold calls comes in the first 10-20 seconds of the call, beginning when you say your first word and going until the prospect gives you permission to keep talking. If you can make it past those initial choppy waves, it’s all smooth sailing from there. How can you calm those waters? Start by breaking down your introduction into three simple steps. The Greeting: First impressions are formed within the initial eight seconds of engagement, but they’re incredibly difficult to change; so those first few words you say matter immensely. Make your opening strong, especially when calling high-level decision makers. Compare these two approaches: “Hello Mr. Dawson. How are you today? I’m Susan with Designer Pools.” “Ted, this is Susan with Designer Pools.” Do you notice the subtle difference between the two? The second approach gives off more confidence because Susan uses Ted’s first name and has a no-nonsense approach. Most importantly, when you’re delivering these first few crucial words, don’t rush. Rushing can come across as nervous energy, which will diminish your credibility. The Compelling Reason: Now that you’ve identified yourself with enough confidence to capture your prospect’s attention, offer a compelling reason for continuing to talk with you. You might offer some new information particularly relevant to your prospect, or recount a success you’ve had with another similar company. Succinctly deliver your reason in no more than three sentences. You might try something like this: “I read about the new apartment development you’re breaking ground on next year. We just completed a pool project for a competitor of yours, using an innovative new design technique that cut his installation costs by 20 percent and allowed him to increase rental rates by 10 percent.” The Request to Continue: Once you’ve piqued your prospect’s interest, get permission to continue the conversation. The trick is to get that permission without directly asking. For example, you might say something like this: “I’d love to share more about it, if you have a couple of minutes.” Once you’ve put all of this together, your conversational starter might sound something like this: “Ted, this is Susan with Designer Pools. (Pause for reaction.) I read about the new apartment development you’re breaking ground on next year. Interestingly, we just completed a pool project for a competitor of yours, using an innovative new design technique that cut his installation costs by 20 percent and allowed him to increase rental rates by 10 percent. (Pause for reaction.) I’d love to share more about it, if you have a couple minutes.” Mastering the art of the cold call is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
This blog was written by RedRover’s CEO & Founder, Lori Turner-Wilson. Read more about Lori and her unwavering commitment to guaranteed marketing results in her bio.