Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (#4).

Mistake #4 – Not internalizing the message so we sound conversational and confident.

D'ohOne of the biggest excuses I hear sales professionals use when they say they don’t want internalize (or memorize) what they are going to say on a cold call is they don’t want to sound like the proverbial telemarketer.  They complain that those callers just seem to be reading their scripts in a monotone voice.

Actually, I couldn’t agree more.  That occurs when we don’t take ownership of our message and internalize it until we sound conversational.  If we’re reading a script, we do sound like the proverbial telemarketer.  Continue reading “Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (#4).”

Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (#3).

Mistake #3 – Assuming we can help them improve what they are currently doing.

D'oh“I can save you money over what you’re paying today!”  or “I can make you more productive and save you time!”  Have you ever had someone call you with a message like these? Or worse than that, do you say it yourself?  If it’s not in the opening message as the reason we’re calling, a lot of us trying to set an Initial Appointment resort to this approach as we try to talk the person we’re calling into meeting with us.  When someone calls me and I hear that, I get even more annoyed at the interruption than I was when I realized this was a cold call. Continue reading “Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (#3).”

Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (# 2).

Mistake #2 – Telling the target all about what we can do for them.

D'ohAs we discussed in the first Blog in this series, too few of our targets think they need what we’re selling when we call them, so why do we think telling them all about what we can do for them will work? They are not listening to the message at this point. They are concentrating on how to get rid of us.

Instead, we should offer to share with them the results someone else in their position received from using what we sell.  Why? Because psychologists tell us that most of us (even the most successful) have a basic insecurity, so we think that others know some little secret we don’t—and that is making them more successful than us.) Continue reading “Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (# 2).”

Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (# 1).

Mistake #1 – Believe the first Negative Response we hear is true and attempt to counter it with logic.

D'ohThere are two ground rules our targets play by when they receive an appointment setting call of any kind.  Discounting this reality simply makes our job more difficult. Ignore them at your peril.

When we place an appointment making call, we must understand that the person we’re calling really doesn’t think they need to talk to us.  Our surveys show that less than 5% of the targets in any sales professional’s universe of potential customers believes they are in the market for what we’re selling when we call them. Continue reading “Top 10 Mistakes cold callers make on the phone (# 1).”

Does cold calling still really work?

You bet your sweet *** it does!

Happy Woman CallerOne of the most common objections I hear these days is that cold calling doesn’t work anymore. I’m here to tell you that it does work. We’ve trained over a thousand sales professionals to do it and they all report back that they set appointments.

Continue reading “Does cold calling still really work?”

How to build and warm up territories over time.

Why ignoring this concept is costing you money and what to do about it.

 

Maptitude street mapping and route mapping software for New Zealand

Let’s face it, sales professionals come and go, but territories tend to be permanent.

If you think about it, even if we divide up a territory into smaller pieces, or recombine multiple territories in some fashion, the individual targets within them stay the same. Therefore, I would argue that territories are permanent even when the deck is re-shuffled. So, as I like to say, shame on me if my territories are not stronger, warmer and better defined a year from now than they are today.

There are two reasons why this is important:

Continue reading “How to build and warm up territories over time.”

Four rules to govern how much research to do prior to a cold call.

Four easy to answer questions that helps determine whether it is worth doing research prior to calling.

Confused Orangatang PhotoI had a client the other day ask me how much research should be done prior to calling for that Initial Appointment.  (Note that I’m not talking about the research one should do prior to going on the appointment itself.)  He said they had been having a ‘spirited’ discussion within the sales force about it after the CEO got a call from an executive at a company who had been cold called by one of their sales people without any understanding of that CEO’s situation. Here are my rules of thumb.

Continue reading “Four rules to govern how much research to do prior to a cold call.”

The most effective voicemail (and email) ever. Really.

How to leave voicemails (and send emails) that get returned more often.

 Voicemail ImageNow that I’ve got your attention, let me lead with a caveat. Most voicemails and emails do not get returned these days. Ten years ago, we averaged 22% of our voicemails returned. I refer to that as the pre-voicemail era. Two years ago it was closer to a disappointing 3%, and now it’s back up to a more reasonable 10% including emails returned.

Continue reading “The most effective voicemail (and email) ever. Really.”

Here’s a story of a cold call voicemail that became a sale.

Voicemails do work.

 Voicemail ImageWe changed our health insurance for our company a while back. In today’s environment, it’s a lot of work. New laws (don’t get me started) have led to many new types of plans.

Why do I share this story with you? No, it’s not because I want to you share in my pain—it is because the sale originated with a cold call.

Continue reading “Here’s a story of a cold call voicemail that became a sale.”

A great idea for cold calling voicemails and emails.

How to get a great testimonial that gets YOUR emails and voicemails RETURNED.

Voicemail ImageI read an article recently by Ivan Misner, a networking guru, about asking our customers for written testimonials. It’s a great idea that most of us don’t do near enough. Here’s another reason for doing that.

We hear questions all the time about what should be the value proposition in voicemails and emails. Our response is that we should be sharing why others do business with us. If we can be quantitative about an increase in sales (our value proposition), an increase in their market share, or perhaps a decrease in costs, so much the better. Ergo, if that’s what the customer experienced, get them to put that in the testimonial.

Continue reading “A great idea for cold calling voicemails and emails.”