Imagine you’re in a middle of an important task, you’re concentrated and a brilliant idea which is meant to save the whole project is about to enlighten your mind. At this very moment … you’re getting a phone call. No, not from your friend and not even from a person you know. Before you’ve even understood that you’ve been disturbed by telemarketing – the guy on the other end is already at the middle of his machine-gun-fast speech explaining you the beauty of their new supper proposition of the week. That’s it – the work’s been disturbed, the ideas are all over your head and it will take time and some coffee before you can get things in order once again.
In most cases you wouldn’t want to continue the conversation, cause you know from the very beginning that the person on the other side doesn’t care about you. In fact, you get an impression as if you mean nothing to a caller, but a set of digits in his 1,5 mile long calling list. That is why most of cold calls get cold or even freezing answers. Of course on a B2C market where there are millions of potential customers – the yield of such approach would allow some companies to be profitable. However, in order to succeed on a B2B market, where the number of potential customers is much lower, companies need to stop acting like this and before approaching any potential client – some homework has to be done:
Determining the right contact points – there are some good sources on the web which include all kinds of professional and social networks
Determining why this particular company can be interested in that particular product or service. Being specific and attentive to the needs of clients is the same as being respectful
Focus on main advantages – instead of showing all abilities and super propositions, it is much more effective to turn the proposal into a concentrated laser beam of advantages (3 main reasons why the product and company offering it make a difference). The less advantages will be proposed to a client, and the more unique they will be – the higher are the chances that the contact person would remember them and uses them as a discussion topic during the next coffee break with his colleagues. Even if you’re talking directly to a decision maker – he might need to have the opinion of a couple of his co-workers before making the final decision. That is why – the task here is to make the advantages notable and unique
Building friendship with a client – this approach alone can make a difference. A sales guy who acts like a friend, shows care in current issues of a potential client, volunteers to help improve something without any obligations to buy – would surely be the first one to be contacted once the real need for a product arises. To show care to your client you can start buy asking sales questions that would encourage your client to tell about his needs and requirements.
The above steps are extremely important especially at the beginning. Also, during the first several contacts the main task of the seller should be the following: convincing the prospect that the advantages the products are really important. This should encourage the key contact person to start an internal discussion with his colleagues about the offer. Of course there might be opponents inside the company, but if the contact person is enough interested in proposed advantages – his opponents will soon become fans of the new idea. During this period the seller should be around all the time, but not too close: this means to be a supportive friend who really cares.
That is why to take the cold calling to the higher levels of efficiency – the seller has to prepare to each call by at least collecting some information about the potential client and answering some simple questions about why the client should be interested, who are the main decision makers, what are the main advantages, and how to become a friend to the company.