Guest Post by Vince Gregory. Vince is a retired entrepreneur who volunteers for SCORE. He loves giving young business people the advice they need to succeed.
Cold calling is one of the proven ways to find new customers and increase sales for a business, yet many sales people are intimidated and downright scared of making cold calls to prospects. If you take a look at the methods and reasons behind cold calling, you can develop a confident, businesslike approach to prospective customers that will get you positive results.
One of the factors that intimidates sales staff is that cold calls often lead to rejections. No one likes to hear the word “no.” However, rejection is just part of the business of selling, and often “no” means “not right now” instead of “never.”
Here are some valuable cold calling tips that can help you next time you are looking for new customers.
- Count your “nos.” One of the very best practices in selling is to count the number of people who tell you “no.” The idea is that before you leave work each day, make sure that you receive a specific number of rejections. Whether you decide that that number is 10 or 100 per day, during the pursuit of leads you will also have people say “yes.” Customers often say “no” when they are not ready to buy or have objections. By answering their questions, you can turn their rejection into a sale.
- Know your target customer. It is important to know which kind of customer is the best fit for your product or service. If you develop a profile of characteristics to look for in a prospect, you will know when someone is a good fit. Do your research before you make your call. This way you will have a better chance upfront before you even dial the phone. Insurance lead companies like QuoteWizard can work with your parameters to provide you with better cold call leads.
- Respect your prospect. It is unfortunately true that sales people do not always respect the fact that their prospect is working hard to run their business, and cannot always be interrupted. Let your prospect know that you understand that they work hard, and set up an appointment to talk to them.
- Track your statistics. Keep track of how many calls you make, how many appointments you set up, what time of day is best to reach your prospects and how many quality referrals you receive. Over time, you will find a pattern that works for you to get the number of sales you need from cold calling.
- Know your product. Be passionate and confident about what you are selling. Learn your product, how it can help your customers and why it is worth their time and money to invest. Your belief in the product will give the customer confidence in what your present to them.
- Get referrals. If a current prospect doesn’t want, or can’t afford, your product or service right now, they may know someone else who does. Always ask for a referral. If you are confident, friendly and professional, a cold call can lead to a good referral that you would not have gotten without making the cold call. Be relaxed, and let the client know the type of customer that you are looking for. This technique can get you past the gatekeepers, directly to the right person who buys what you are selling.