Speech as a skill is remarkably underdeveloped in the sales profession. It’s something people use every day, and forms the basis of every relationship, and yet it’s almost universally ignored as its own discipline. Salespeople study scripts and focus on the words that might possibly bring the best result. They focus on pitches, and on effective closing.
Cold calling is the single best way you can grow your pipe. However, you shouldn’t enter into it blindly; if you’re not careful, it’s extremely easy to alienate prospects and lose potentially large deals. In my opinion, the two largest sources of this alienation are skepticism and underestimation on your part. Here I’ll discuss them briefly, and give you a few quick pointers on how to avoid them in your daily conversations.
If you’re in a job that involves much outbound calling, you’ll notice that the calls blur into each other. One call follows another and each seems the same as the last. And at the end of the day the only way you know how many calls you made is by looking at the phone. Everyone gets there at one point, and it’s a perilous place to be. You see, for you it may be just another call, but for your prospect, it’s your call. It’s your chance to make an impression and to shine, and you can easily blow it by seeing it as just another call. I’d like to give you a few tips on how to bring your best to every call, and avoid this whole situation.
Let’s face it: we’ve all been in this position. You’re calling, but nobody picks up. You’re sending emails, but there are no answers. You’re scraping the bottom of the empty barrel that was your pipe, hoping to close one or two deals and hit your number this month. It’s a terrifying situation to be in, and requires a cool head and patience. You can turn it around, and it’s not even that hard. Here are a few things you can do when nothing you’re doing is working.
The sales cycle is often an apparently complex construct which is easily misunderstood during training. This graphic attempts to abstract the buying cycle in a useful manner, allowing you to understand the sales cycle more completely. It includes some useful advice on your actions as well as some encouraging words.