7 Cold Calling Secrets Even The Sales Gurus Don't Know
Cold calling the old way is a painful struggle. But you can make it a productive and positive experience by changing your mindset and cold calling the new way. To show you what I mean, here are 7 cold calling ideas that even the sales gurus don't know. 1. Change Your Mental Objective Before You Make the Call If you’re like most people who make cold calls, you’re hoping to make a sale -- or at least an appointment -- before you even pick up the phone. The problem is, the people you call somehow always pick up on your mindset immediately.
They sense that you’re focused on your goals and interests, rather than on finding out what they might need or want. This short-circuits the whole process of communication and trust-building. Here’s the benefit of changing your mental objective before you make the call: it takes away the frenzy of working yourself up mentally to pick up the phone. All the feelings of rejection and fear come from us getting wrapped up in our expectations and hoping for an outcome when it’s premature to even be thinking about an outcome. So try this.
Practice shifting your mental focus to thinking, "When I make this call, I’m going to build a conversation so that a level of trust can emerge allowing us to exchange information back and forth so we can both determine if there’s a fit or not." 2. Understand the Mindset of the Person You’re Calling Let’s say you’re at your office and you’re working away. Your phone rings and someone says, "Hello, my name’s Mark. I’m with Financial Solutions International. We offer a broad array of financial solutions. Do you have a few minutes?" What would go through your mind? Probably something like this: "Uh-oh, another salesperson. I’m about to be sold something. How fast can I get this person off the phone?" In other words, it’s basically over at "Hello," and you end up rejected. The moment you use the old cold calling approach -- the traditional pitch about who you are and what you have to offer, which all the sales gurus have been teaching for years -- you trigger the negative "salesperson" stereotype in the mind of the person you’ve called, and that means immediate rejection.
I call it "The Wall." The problem is with how you’re selling, not what you’re selling. This is an area that’s been ignored in the world of selling. We’ve all been trained to try to push prospects into a "yes" response on the first call. But that creates sales pressure. But, if you learn to really understand and put yourself in the mindset of the person you call, you’ll find it easier to avoid triggering The Wall. It’s that fear of rejection that makes cold calling so frightening. Instead, start thinking about language that will engage people and not language that will trigger rejection. 3. Identify a Core Problem That You Can Solve We’ve all learned that when we begin a conversation with a prospect, we should talk about ourselves, our product, and our solution.
Then we sort of hope that the person connects with what we’ve just told them. Right? But when you offer your pitch or your solution without first involving your prospect by talking about a core problem that they might be having, you’re talking about yourself, not them. And that’s a problem. Prospects connect when they feel that you understand their issues before you start to talk about your solutions. When people feel understood, they don’t put up The Wall. They remain open to talking with you. Here’s an example based on my own experience. I offer Unlock The Game™ as a new approach in selling. When I call a vice president of sales, I would never start out with, "Hi, my name is Ari, I'm with Unlock The Game, and I offer the newest technique in selling, and I wonder if you have a few minutes to talk now." Instead, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone without first identifying one or more problems that I know VPs often have with their sales teams.
Problems that Unlock The Game™ can solve. For example, one common problem is when sales teams and salespeople spend time chasing prospects who have no intention of buying. So I would start by asking, "Are you grappling with issues around your sales team chasing prospects who lead them on without any intention of buying?" So, come up with two or three specific core problems that your product or service solves. (Avoid generic problem phrases like "cut costs" or "increase revenue." They’re too vague.) 4. Start With a Dialogue, Not a Presentation Let’s return to the goal of a cold call, which is to create a two-way dialogue engaging prospects in a conversation. We’re not trying to set the person up for a yes or no. That’s the old way of cold calling.
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