Problem: Jason was new to the company and was trying to develop his territory. He didn’t lack enthusiasm and was making his objective of 100 cold phone calls a day. He felt pretty good about that since he saw others make far less. But still, he was not making nearly enough appointments to keep his pipeline filled and wondered how he was ever going to achieve his income goals if things didn’t change.
Analysis: Unfortunately, Jason was committing an error common to most salespeople. His cold calling approach sounded like every other salesperson. You know, something like this…”Ms. Smith, this is Jason Jones with ABC Company. We’re a leading provider of software solutions and I’d like to tell you how our products can help you save time and money.” CLICK! The ugly sound of rejection. Most salespeople’s approach is so familiar that the prospect simply goes on automatic pilot, tunes the salesperson out and looks for an opportunity to end the call.
Solution: Try to keep the prospect off balance. If they don’t know where you’re coming from or where you’re going, it’s difficult for them to control the situation. Since the first 7-10 seconds of the call are critical, a more effective approach would be to start by saying something like this, “Hi, Sue, this is Jason Jones. You’re probably not familiar with my name.” Prospect will say she is not, but wonders if she should be, so is not thinking about how to get rid of you. You then continue with, “That’s okay, I didn’t think you would be. Listen, I’ve got to tell you. This is a sales call. I’ll bet you’re filled with excitement and anticipation. And you probably want to hang up.” (She won’t.) Then instead of pitching your features and benefits, tell the prospect the kinds of pains you solve for your customers and begin qualifying, and always remember to tell the prospect it’s okay to say “no.”
You could keep making your cold calls the same way you’ve always done; just don’t expect the results to be any different. Try this approach for a change of pace and see if your results are any different. I’ll bet they are.