Cold calling is always seen as a dreaded activity by salespeople. It’s seen as a waste of time, a pool of rejection and an activity for those who enjoy self-flagellation. It’s not easy, of course, but nothing worthwhile is. Many people are turned off by cold calling either due to their fear of rejection, or because they don’t wish to disturb or interrupt the people they’re calling. As you can see, it’s predominantly a mental block they’re facing, and that’s something that’s within their power to change easily. Let me show you how to approach cold calling in a way that’ll overcome these issues and lead you to success.
Help, don’t sell.
I repeat this fairly often, and it holds true here as well. When you’re cold calling, your main goal shouldn’t be to sell to the prospect. This will make you unhappy since you won’t manage it on the first call, and will cause the prospects to think you’re just another salesperson. Instead, you need to be focussed on helping the prospect.
Your prospects get hundreds of calls, all by cold callers who are trying to sell them something. When they get a call from someone who’s interested in their welfare, they’re more likely to listen. I’ve found you can manifest this in two ways:
- You can offer your assistance as an industry expert, and help them by providing them the latest trends and success stories of others in the industry. By becoming this kind of source, you’ll be positioning yourself well to ultimately sell you product.
- You can help them by offering the value of your product. In order to use this approach, you must be convinced of and passionate about the product you’re selling. If you’re neither, you may want to seek another product to sell.
In both of these approaches, you are ultimately out to help the prospect. Doing so will create a mutually beneficial situation, and will lead to a sale. However, that doesn’t really fully address the mental block yet.
Smashing through your mental block.
If you keep thinking you’re disturbing people by prospecting, then I’d like you to ask yourself the following question:
Would your prospect be better off not knowing about the product you’re selling?
Assuming you’re passionate about the product and you know it can help them in some way, the answer to that question will be a resounding no. Indeed, the prospect may or may not be happy you called, but they will certainly be better off for the information you gave them. You are doing them a very real favor by calling them.
Keep this in mind the next time you cold call. You will be calling people in order to do them a favor. You’re calling them because they will be better off with your information, whether they’re immediately appreciative or not.
Defeating your fear of rejection.
I use fear of rejection as an umbrella term for a whole group of fears here. These include the rejection itself, being shouted at, being hung up on, and so on. All of these things are uncomfortable, and all of them can wear down your resolve.
When you approach cold calling with the thought of doing them a favor rather than trying to force them to buy something, you’ll find these fears matter less and less. In fact, you may notice an upwelling of positive energy and happiness about cold calling. That’s completely natural; humans like nothing more than helping each other, and that’s what you’re doing.
You’ll find that being rejected doesn’t sting at all any more; after all, where someone turns down your help, another will accept it. Being hung up on? No problem, you’ll just move on to the next one. Being yelled at? Well, some people just don’t like favors.
And yes, of course you’re still calling people randomly, and some may be disturbed. If you consider this for even a moment, you’ll realize they’re fundamentally being disturbed by an activity akin to someone on the street trying to give you money. After all, your product will make their business better, right? That means more profits for them. Ultimately, that’s what you’re trying to achieve.
Cold calling as a pipeline filler.
During all of this, don’t forget that cold calling is probably the most effective means you have of filling your pipe. If you’re working for a company, you won’t have that much control over marketing. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll know that marketing leads are something entirely different.
Cold calling is the best, most efficient source of well-qualified leads you have, and it behooves you to approach it correctly. Plan it well, cluster your prospects, and get to it! You’ll be happy you did, as will your pipeline.
I hope this has been useful to you, and, as ever, I wish you all the best!
Do you agree with what I wrote here? Disagree? Did I miss something? Could I have done something better? Please let me know in the comments!