Cold Calls

Telephone cold calls can be very frustrating.  Most salespeople find all sorts of excuses not to make them.  Yet cold calling can be effective, if you have the right message.  Too many salespeople are defeated from the start because they use the wrong message and sound like a product pusher.

Here’s an example of how not to make a cold call.

“Mr. Jones.  I’m Bob Smith with Fidelity Telcom.  How are you today?  We’re a leading long distance provider, and I’m sure we can save you money on your long distance phone bill and improve your service.  I’d like to come over and provide you with a complimentary analysis of your phone bills and show you how we can save you money every month.  I’ll be in your area on Thursday.  Would morning or afternoon be better for you?”  CLICK!!

What’s wrong with this approach?

  • Bob sounds like every other salesperson that needs an appointment.
  • He makes claims that may not be true (“save you money,” etc.).
  • The prospect knows Bob really doesn’t care about “how he is” today.
  • Bob assumes the prospect will meet with him…bad assumption.
  • Bob interrupted and did not ask the prospect if he had time to speak.

Here’s a better way to make a cold call.  First introduce yourself, get permission to take a moment of his time, then give him a compelling reason to give you an appointment. If you can connect him with a problem he’s experiencing, you might just get his attention.

“I’m Jim Tyler with ABC Training.  Sorry for the interruption.  Obviously, this is a sales call, but if I promise to be brief and right to the point, could I take a quick moment to tell you why I called, then you can decide if we have a reason to speak further. If we don’t, then you can get back to what you were doing.”  (Prospect says go ahead.)

“We’re a training company that helps companies improve their sales results. What’s unique about us is that we teach a proprietary sales process that’s counterintuitive to the way most people sell, and that’s why it works.  Usually people come to us because they’re under pressure to increase sales and improve margins.  To do this they need to increase their overall prospecting activity and stop wasting time with prospects that will never buy.  Are any of these issues for you?”

If the answer is “yes,” ask permission to ask a few more questions.  If there is no pain, thank him and move on to the next person on your call list.

Self-Study Assignment:  Develop your own cold call script and make as many calls as you can until you get comfortable with it.  Then keep making calls until you have more appointments than you can handle.