One of the problems that can occur when cold calling, is when you call just for ‘quotes’. In this article, we tackle the problems that this can bring you (and what to do about them!).
This is more common than people realise, and unless done correctly, can have a detrimental impact on your potential cold calling success and ultimately sales figures!
The Challenge……you’re probably in an industry that you think is competitive……….which the products or services can be hard to distinguish between…..and you think that customers buy solely on price…….so you sell on price! (that’s mistake number one!)
So your Cold Calling conversation with the Decision Maker might go something like this….
Salesperson: Hi it’s James calling from ABC company
Salesperson: Do you have a couple of minutes to answer a few questions? (that’s mistake number two, but we’ll tackle that another day!)
Prospect: Okay/Depends what they’re about
(Salesperson then goes ahead and asks a couple of vaguely relevant questions that give him/her some information about the business and their current supplier.
Salesperson: That’s great. Would it be possible to send you a quotation so that you can compare our prices against your current supplier? (mistake number three!)
Prospect: Yes that’s fine, send it to xyz address or email@example.com Bye.
Firstly, there are hardly any companies out there that solely buy on price – and if the company you’re calling do solely buy on price – get out of there!
Therefore, the next person who comes along offering them a better deal will get the business off you! So what have you achieved? A little bit of short-term turnover a low profit? That’s about all!
Secondly, how much emotional “buy-in” to purchasing from you do they have?
People will buy usually only when they’re emotionally “bought in” to the purchase – the higher your price, the more emotional buy-in you need. We’ll then justify the purchase with logic (for example – “well, it was in the sale”, “I needed it for the event next saturday”, or the classic when children want a new computer “well I can use it for homework”) but we bought through emotion – we wanted it!
Thirdly, what have you achieved here?
How much commitment have you got from your client here? Almost none! The only thing you have achieved is that you’ve got them to agree to receiving a quote from you!! Pathetic!
We’ve probably not even bothered to find out what prices they’re currently paying, or whether they have any inclination of changing suppliers, we’ve just got them to agree to take a quotation from us.
Therefore, the result of sending our quotation has a number of likely “pathetic” outcomes…
“Pathetic” Outcome Number One: The quote never reaches them
“Pathetic” Outcome Number Two: They receive it, but place it carefully in the bin (and never take your “follow up” call, even if you do bother to ring them again)
“Pathetic” Outcome Number Three: They receive the quote, examine the prices, find out by some massive stroke of luck that you’re cheaper….and then ring their existing supplier and get them to match the price.
So what’s happened? In the majority of cases, we’ve got no order (unless we’ve been really, really lucky and they buy just on price – but we’ll lose the client as soon as another salesperson comes along and beats our price). However, we’ve spent the time planning and preparing for the call, rung the prospect and then put together a personal quotation, based on the items that the prospect currently orders).
The challenge is, you feel quite good from making these calls don’t you? You got a result – people agreeing to take quotes from you(!) – probably almost everyone you speak to…….then you wonder when you follow up why no-one wants to speak to you, or “we have everything they need” or “we’ll use you when we need some” but the order never comes through?
That’s because you’ve achieved……virtually nothing!
Your outcome for the call was to get them to agree to receive a quote – but that isn’t going to persuade them to buy from you!
You need to have a stronger outcome for the call – a meeting, or at least a more in-depth conversation about their needs (and then how you can solve them) and then get some commitment to them about changing suppliers!
Otherwise, you’re going to be very busy, but with hardly any extra sales to show for it at the end of the day!
In summary, the big lesson in this article is – never cold call just to get quotes! You’re wasting your time.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may be curious about how we may be able to help you with your cold calling skills or follow up calls? You can find out more here…..