A Cold Call – is a first telephone communication with a company that you think is a potential client for your product. Cold Calling is also known as telemarketing. Cold Calling is the most efficient technique to find interested potential clients because of the following reasons:
1. You can make lots of calls during the day(your only limit is time, as far as office hours of your clients are limited and are different from one country to another)
2. You get more information from a phone conversation (because whenever you call – people have to answer and provide you some feedback, like: “yes, we are interested – tell us more about it”, or – “sorry we are not interested”). Both positive and negative answers are valuable, because they provide information. With e-mails and Faxes – the situation is different – people are more likely to ignore your message if they are not interested in the subject. Thus, if an email remains unanswered – a sales manager can’t tell whether it is because the company really doesn’t need the product or whether the contact person was just too busy to write an answer.
3. You get engaged in a live communication – and this is also very important because with experience you’ll learn to hear between your client‘s words. I mean – sometimes client might say “YES”, only in to be polite with you. Such answers would cost you time which will have to be spent on trying to sell something to people who don’t really have a need and at the same time are too shy to admit it. To avoid such mistakes – intonations have to be used as an extra clue. With some practice you’ll learn to understand what your client‘s answers really mean.
To take the most advantage of Cold Calling technique, make sure you are OK with the following:
1. A list of phone numbers of right contact people in right companies
2. Good knowledge of the product, technical and commercial information available for quick reference
3. An appropriate script with a copy on the table
4. Good mood, happy and respectful attitude (!!!) – this is the most important of all.
When talking to clients, remember that you don’t have to sell during your initial contact. Why? Because Fast made decisions are Fast cancelled decisions. The purpose of your first call is:
1. Telling who you, what you have and why do you think your client should be interested.
2. In case if your client confirms his interest, try to do the BANT qualification:
Budget: client has to be interested and be able to pay for what you are proposing
Authority: the contact person has to have the authority to make the purchase decision, or at least to have some influence on it.
Need: the solution which your product provides is really what your client needs
Timeline: a time frame when your client is expecting to have the product at hands.
As soon as you have those four questions properly answered, you may consider your lead as a qualified one, which means it has good chances to turn into a purchase order or a contract. Try to talk to your client for as long as possible and make sure you’re building a dialog. Your speech shouldn’t sound like a commercial ad on radio. Ask a couple questions about your client‘s company. You can even make an impression as if you are a potential client, but please don’t overplay with this, because the sales manager is good only as long as his clients trust him. Try to ask sales questions that slightly turn the discussion towards your company’s products. Listen carefully, and don’t interrupt your client.
In other words, to turn cold calling from routine into a fun thing to do – you need to treat your client the way you would want to be treated if you were on his place. Try to understand the feelings of your client and make him feel good about yourself, your company and the product.