Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Has "Cold Calling" ever really been "Cold" Calling? #sales20

Cold calling – secret weapon or waste of time? #sales20

· Have you ever wondered why some sales people (usually the top 10% of your sales organization) consistently 'luck out' with solid leads found through 'cold calling'?
· Is your Sales Manager driving the other 90% of you crazy by pointing to these high performers as an example of why you have to make more calls to hit your number?
· And just how many cold calls do the ‘lucky’ ones really make? How do they do it? What is their secret? Have you ever asked?
· Does your Sales Manager really care how many calls you make? Or is he/she looking for results?

Maybe you should consider this: the best sales trainer I've ever known started his program by saying ‘‘Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”. Likely, these consistently 'lucky' people have done their homework. They work from a skeleton script that is augmented by specific insights they've researched about that particular prospect to grab initial attention – and they use a reference story to support it. They are also likely to find a 'trusted advisor' or personal contact that they can use as a referral to gain trust. The point is they prepare uniquely for each call to ensure that it makes an impression and differentiates them from the myriad of other sales folks who call that potential buyer every day. And they make the most of the connection – ensuring that the second call will be ‘warmer’.
There are lots of messaging techniques that can be used to make this approach personal and more effective. I'm hoping we'll see some good comments from some sales ‘stars’ to help us all learn how to more effectively engage prospects using this ‘secret weapon’.

So, stay tuned. My next discussion will focus on how to leverage newer 'Sales 2.0 Technologies' (most are available free or at a nominal cost) to make this important part of every sales person’s life even more productive.

Thanks for your comments and insight.
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