How To Find The Courage To Cold Call

rodney

Cold calling is one of those things that everyone has to do sometime in their life. Whether you’re a trained sales professional or just someone who’s looking to make connections at companies you’re interested to work at, I’ve heard of people literally sitting in front of the phone for hours, frozen stiff by their fear of rejection. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% comfortable cold calling too, especially if it’s related to sales. Unlike what people would otherwise tell you, you can get better at cold calling. A lot of it is in your head, but it does take practice. Here’s my three tips for getting better at this crucial business craft.

You’re A Human, Not A Salesperson

When you think about cold-calling, you think about someone who sounds fake, has a higher pitched voice and speaks faster than normal. The pressure’s on and you have to perform to try get to the next step, whether that be to get an appointment or some other sort of commitment to something. This is largely to due to the KPI-focused nature of the industry.

A contrarian approach that has worked is simply dropping the facade and keeping it real. Let’s look at the facts:
•regardless of whether it’s a warm or cold lead, if they’re strangers, they’re strangers.
•no matter what someone’s told you, you can’t assume that they’re ready to buy.
•you don’t know whether your solution is the best fit for them.

With all these things in mind, what would you say? You’re completely off the hook, but you need to start a conversation. It might start off a little something like this:

“Hi my name’s Johnson. Maybe you can help me out for a moment?”

Introduce yourself. That’s common sense. Then you’re asking help from them. This is true; even if you want to make a sale, you’re asking them for help because you want to see whether what you offer is something that’s a good fit for their problems.

The Problem Statement

This turns the whole idea of sales on its head. Where you would usually talk about your company, products (or yourself) and how awesome it all is, here you would focus on their problems. This takes time to craft and articulate in a way that truly focuses on their issues at hand.

If you’re a job hunter, your next line could go something like this.

“I’m looking for a job and I would like to speak to someone at XYZ Company to see whether my experience as a Business Development Manager that specialises in closing sales would be a good fit or not.”

It sounds natural. You’re looking for a job. No point beating around the bush or being wishy-washy about it. The point here is the “specialises in closing sales” part. It could be a problem that they have where they can acquire new contacts, but they always lose them at the end.

It’s Your Call

When you’re doing the calling, you’re doing the approaching. Aside from the fact that the person who initiates the chase has less leverage in the relationship, it’s a fact that you can’t force or persuade anyone to do anything against their will.

So what do you do instead? You give them control. Not like you had it in the first place anyway. This is another unorthodox way of going about cold-calling, but it’s in fact the truth about how human nature works. If your problem statement has been focused enough and they feel like it’s worth continuing the conversation, they’ll continue it with you. If there’s not a good fit, then at least you can part with your dignity in tact.

When it’s their call, you also don’t come across as desperate or needy, which are real deal killers. Cold calling and making deals without neediness is a real skill and it takes a different psychological mindset to start a conversation but remove the desperation out of the equation.

When you allow yourself to be yourself, suddenly being brave isn’t so difficult. You’re asking for help because that’s literally the truth. You’re focusing your attention in their world and you’re letting them control the direction of the phone call. Do this and cold calling won’t seem so bad.

Strategies courtesy of Ari Galper and Unlock The Game.

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