Q: My 2011 Resolution was to do more prospecting. Where do I begin?

A: By not making a resolution. Goals are what you’re after. Resolutions are too vague, far-reaching, and ultimately depressing. By saying “I’m going to do more prospecting,” what exactly do you want out of that? More leads? A designated time each day to make the calls? More networking? A framework to abide by? See, those are more like goals, and those are attainable.

There are a myriad of strategies to use when cold calling. Here were some of my favorites:

PRECISE Selling President Brian Sullivan says reps should develop “sales evangelists” to do some of the legwork for you. Here’s an example of how it works.

This week, identify 10 current customers who love you and your company. Then ask each one of them this question, “Can I ask you for a favor? I am trying to grow my business. Do you know of three or four friends or associates who could use the type of service/value that I have been providing?” Then don’t look shocked when they actually give you some names. Hey, if you get three referred leads from each of those 10 customers, you just created 30 new warm and cozy leads. Then go spend your sales time prospecting with that list – a list that carries a much higher percentage of success than that frigid one staring you in the face right now.

 

In an interview with Inc Magazine, Sales mentor Pat Cavanaugh says he likes to “warm up” his customers.

At my company, we like to “warm up” cold calls by sometimes sending prospects a small — and unique — promotional product. (It’s amazing. A $2.15 crazy little item we’ve sent out has helped us get Fortune 500 accounts.) When we call, they say, “Oh yeah….you were the one that sent me that…” It gets us remembered. It makes us immediately stand out from the crowd.

The objective of the cold call is to get the appointment. Nothing else. That means I’m a little wary about sending out brochures in advance. If they already have the information on your company’s products and services, why do they need to meet with you? You are a much, much more effective salesperson in person, than any small brochure is

Read the full interview here

Wendy Weiss, the “Queen of Cold Calling,” says it’s important to realize that your priorities and the prospect’s won’t always align.

You want an immediate “yes,” your prospect may want to finish a report, finish a conversation, start their vacation.… Be very careful not to read negative or extra meaning into early conversations with your prospect or prospect’s secretary. If, for example, your prospect’s secretary says that your prospect is “on the phone,” “in a meeting,” or “out of the office,” that does not translate to “My prospect knows that I am calling and is avoiding me.”

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