You might hate it but you know that cold-calling is part of your business, so how can you increase the effectiveness of your cold-calls?
First, we start with a bit of an oxymoron. The most important thing when talking to someone is to sound confident and not desperate. But, if you are nevertheless at the stage of your business or sales career that necessitates cold-calls, let’s confront it; you are probably a bit desperate. Otherwise, you’d already have sufficient clients via referrals and other method to quit cold-calling.
So, let’s focus on the person that is most basic on the cold-call; you.
You might ask, “Isn’t it more important what the prospect is thinking and what their attitude is?” Of course that’s important, but the only way you can change that is by first changing how you approach the call.
All hints or tones of desperation or neediness must be deleted. Cold-calling is simply the opening negotiation with a party you have however to meet. It is nothing more than a simple negotiation.
If we know that to be a successful negotiator, one must have a consistent system of negotiation, then we also know that this same system can apply to our cold-calls. What are the main principles of this system?
As Jim Camp, expert negotiator points out; Oxford Dictionary defines negotiation as “The effort to bring about agreement between two or more parties with all parties having the right to veto.”
So, in your cold-calling efforts, you should be focused on the above definition. Your goal is to bring about agreement between you and the person you are approaching to move ahead to at all event the next step may be in your course of action, whether that is sending a sample product, setting up a needs-examination, or arranging a conference call etc…
But, taking into account that you are not to remove the person’s right to veto, this eliminates any tricky tactics you may have been taught to use.
An example might be something along the lines of “Just give me 10 minutes of your time, that’s all I need.” If in fact, you need much more than 10 minutes and you are just trying to get at all event little bit of time you can, you are truly being deceitful and coming across as desperate all at the same time.
The attitude that you need to take is one of honesty and sincerity. If this is the first time you contact the person, you really don’t know if what you have to offer is of value to them. That’s what you are trying to discover. Keep that at the front of your mind and approach the call with a sincere desire to find out if you can help the person or whether it would be a poor use of both of your time.
Prospects respond much better to a call that they can feel is originated by someone with their best interest in mind. It is very obvious at a sub-conscious level already though it may not be as noticeable consciously. Don’t underestimate a person’s ability to detect insincerity. We have evolved to be able to perceive these things as part of our survival.
So, to come across as confident and competent, you first have to be sure that what you are offering has value and that you approach the prospect with the intention that you are just as happy if they say no as if the say yes. at all event is in their best interest is fine with you too.
The anxiety that comes before making a cold-call is not mainly from fear of rejection, but from fear of being discovered trying to sneak something past someone.
Here is an analogy to help explain.
Let’s say that you go to the supermarket and buy some bananas. If you go by the checkout and pay the agreed upon price, there would be no anxiety at all as everyone is up-front about the transaction.
But, let’s say that you switched the price tag with another bundle of bananas that were lighter and less expensive. You would feel a lot of anxiety when going by the checkout because you know you are not doing what is in the best interest of all parties and that you have used a tactic to deceive someone into doing something that is to your advantage.
So, on the phone during your cold-calls, if you are sure that you are being honest and that you have the prospects best interest at heart, the anxiety and desperateness that once plagued your calls will soon disappear.