In this article, leading Telecoms Sales Expert Andy Preston explains what steps you and your team need to take…..right now…to get more appointments from your cold calling…..
You know, it’s always interesting to read articles on cold calling….from people that don’t have a clue what they’re talking about! A client sent me a few articles this week that he was laughing about – all about cold calling – all written by people that can’t, won’t or don’t cold call – hilarious!
All of them were saying how it doesn’t work, how it’s ‘dead’ etc etc. They’re wrong. Cold calling is still one of the best (and quickest) ways to get new business. But it’s evolving. And you need to be aware of what’s changing so you can stay ahead of the game….and your competition.
As most of you know, I’m well-known for my cold calling expertise and results I’ve got with clients from implementing the methods. So here are 6 tips for getting more appointments from your cold calls. Study them. Pin this article up on the wall. Make the techniques work for you. And I promise you’ll see a marked difference in your sales figures……
This is probably one of the worst questions you can ask early in a call! You might as well say to the prospect ‘this is my pathetic attempt at qualifying you in order that I can decide if you’re worth my time or not right now, or whether I should call you back in 9/12/15 months time in the vain hope you remember me (rather than forgetting me within seconds of putting the phone down). Please let me know the answer to this so I can get on with calling the rest of my list of people I’m supposed to call today’.
You know that if you ask this question early in the call that they’re probably going to lie to you, don’t you? How do you know? Because you’ve been lied to in the past, haven’t you? Ever called someone previously who told you their contract was due to renew in June, but when you ring them in March they’ve just renewed? Yep, you’ve been lied to! Are you going to continue doing the same thing, or do you want a different result? So stop asking the question!
This is another thing the average telecoms salesperson fails to do. So if you do it, you’re already well ahead of the game. The prize for ‘worst ever’ call reason goes to someone who I once heard say ‘the reason for the call is to find out when your contract is up for renewal’.
Brilliant! Abject failure to understand tip number one and tip number two! Great effort. Collect the envelope containing your P45 and join the queue at the job centre.
Your ability to grab your prospect’s attention is a major factor in whether you get a little more time on the call. And an important part of that is having a strong call reason. You do have a strong reason for calling, don’t you? And it’s about the prospect, not you?
This part is often missing – particularly if the salespeople concerned are calling over a period of more than an hour. If they’re not careful, their motivation can drop off over time, and their confidence and belief can be affected in a negative way just by one bad call!
Prospects can ‘hear’ confidence and belief in your voice…and they notice when it’s missing! You need persuade people to buy into you and what you offer. They need to have faith in you and trust that you know what you’re talking about. But if you don’t have strong belief and confidence they won’t do either. Lost sales opportunity!
An example of how vital this area is – I worked with an internal sales team last week whose role it is to get appointments for their field sales colleagues. Purely focusing on motivation, confidence and belief we achieved a 60 PERCENT increase in appointments!! Note: I didn’t change anything about what they said, just their motivation, confidence and belief! Anyone else out there want similar results?…..
It often astounds me how little preparation your average telecoms salesperson does. Like I mentioned above, Cold Calling is evolving, and you need to evolve with it to give yourself a good chance of success. No longer can you call companies with a name of the person you’re trying to reach and have a good success rate in terms of getting through to them, or getting appointments with them.
The minimum preparation you should be doing prior to a call is to get the name of the decision maker, direct phone number and email where appropriate, an idea of your call reason and what you’re going to say, likely objections and how you’re going to handle them, plus access to your diary (or your colleague’s diary) to book those appointments in!
Remember, you need to know exactly the date and time that you’re trying to make the appointment for before you start to close – otherwise you’re affecting your chances of success in a negative way!
If you’re starting any sort of calling session, whether it’s cold or warm calling, make sure you’re focused before you start! This means eliminating any distractions. Far too many telecoms salespeople allow themselves to get interrupted during calling sessions, which then has a negative impact on the results they get from them – which falsely leads some people to the conclusion that it ‘doesn’t work for them’ or they’re no good at it.
Interruptions would include things like colleagues talking to them, incoming phone calls, emails, making a drink etc etc. Particularly if the salesperson isn’t enjoying the session, they’ll take advantage of the interruption, therefore ruining their chances of success in the calling session!
If you’re going to start a calling session, make sure you’re focused on it. As well as the end result you want to achieve.
Another big mistake the average telecoms salesperson makes is sounding bored and tired. Remember, when you’re making a phone call, your voice is all you have to persuade people, so make sure you give it your best shot! You need to have energy and enthusiasm in your voice in order to persuade others, so why are you making calls where you sound like you’re terminally depressed?!!
The longer the calling session goes on, the more you have to be careful of your energy levels. Sometimes short breaks between focused calling sessions actually produce better results, as well as the salesperson managing their energy levels during the session.
Remember – If you’re going to bother making a call, make it sound like a good one!