Some sales people are saying cold calling is dead, but I completely disagree. I still think it’s a technique that can be used to bring in more etailer clients—but only if it’s used right.
These tips outline what you can do before, during, and after a cold call to ensure success.
With a seemingly endless to-do list of team meetings and follow-ups with current clients, scheduling a time to cold call consistently falls to the bottom of our priorities.
But to have success, you have to commit. Schedule in a block of time each week to put your dialing finger to work, and plan to do it when etailers are most likely available.
Do your research beforehand. Look at the company as a whole (the annual report, press releases, product launches, ect.) and at the individual you’ll most likely be talking to (past project experiences, LinkedIn endorsements, etc.).
Doing a little research helps you build rapport, the #1 thing you should be concerned about. If you don’t create a connection quickly, like within the first seven seconds, you won’t get very far in the selling cycle.
Answer the etailer’s biggest question within the first minute of the conversation—what’s in it for me?
Don’t just tell them about your features. Explain how those features can make their lives easier/more efficient/more profitable.
After you’ve answered this question, always ask for something--whether it’s a follow up phone call or contact information to someone else in the organization.
Take a few minutes after the call to jot down some notes so you can reference them on the second contact and make the call more personal.
Send a follow up email with a quick summary of what you talked about, a list of action steps you’re taking, and of course, the answer to the etailer’s question, what’s in it for me?
Connect with them across the web on LinkedIn and Twitter if appropriate, and then make a time in your calendar to call them back before they forget about you.
Cold calling isn’t easy, but then again, nothing worth doing usually is.
How do you approach cold calling?