I always chuckle to myself when I read or hear someone proclaim “the cold call is dead”.
I can assure you that, to those who do proclaim such doom and gloom, the cold call was never alive! Cold calling has nothing to do with “cold”, and those who have built and continue everyday to build their businesses, utilizing this fundamental skill, are in an elite club. It’s a club that lives by the motto: “I believe I have something that people want and need, and I am excited to speak to them about it”. These club members wake up everyday embracing the words “believe” and “excited”, they never waver, and in doing so enjoy initial and long-term success in opening new accounts and forming new business relationships.
That kind of success doesn’t come from a place that’s “cold”, but one that’s warm and inviting. It doesn’t matter whether your job is selling insurance, stocks & bonds, cars, clothing, memberships or patio furniture; if you believe and are excited about your product or service, your enthusiasm and desire to talk to as many people as possible will not diminish and you will enjoy the long-term success that comes from building and maintaining such momentum.
It’s important to realize that the professional way to cold call is somewhat subjective and prone to variations. The best approach for you, as a salesperson, should be rooted in this question: If someone were to approach me “cold”, either on the telephone or in person, what approach would I immediately judge as the most professional and appropriate? What demeanor and style of communication would I respond to favorably? What would turn me off? What would I need to hear, in that first sentence uttered, to be interested and what would cause me to be immediately disinterested? Asking these questions is the first step to developing your own professional, yet personal, style of cold calling.
The next important step to finalizing your professionalism as a “cold caller” is to know your material, inside and out. Practice, drill and rehearse your lines. Consult with a veteran of your industry to learn the most common objections and rehearse the answers so that you can recite them in your sleep. When meeting with clients, there’s always that one question that is in the back of their mind but they are reluctant to ask… know what that question is and then answer it, early in the process, before they have a chance to ask it; then observe how they immediately become more relaxed. Congratulations, you’ve just earned some trust. Also, don’t forget to answer any important question that prospects forget to ask; in doing so the client will know you have their best interest at heart.
Always, always, always look for an opportunity to “cold” call and experience the confidence that builds and builds with each new account opened and business relationship formed!
“Cold” calling is anything but cold; it’s warm, honest and sincere communication with a fellow human in an effort to help them. It’s who we are as human beings and, for that reason alone, will never die.