Cold callWhat is cold calling? Cold calling is a marketing process where potential customers are solicited through the phone, the term ‘cold’ came in due to the fact that you haven’t laid any groundwork for your call or because the potential customer was not waiting for the call or has no knowledge of the products about to be introduced to him. This is as opposed to calling prospects who have already expressed interest in your products, such as a prospect, who fills out a postcard or website request for information, which is referred to as ‘warm calling’.

Benefits of cold calling

Most sales people fear cold calling and therefore are not successful with it. They look at it as pressurizing, unimaginative, thankless, confrontational and unproductive, while customers look at it as nuisance, unprepared, pressurizing, tricky, dishonest, shady and evasive. However when the call has gone through successfully its results are interesting, helpful, thoughtful, professional, business like and structured. When we look at what actually happens and can happen during the cold call we see why the cold call stage of the selling process is so potent and full of opportunity for the sales person.

When we stop looking at cold calling from the sales person’s viewpoint and from the customer’s viewpoint and start seeing it from a business perspective, it becomes a wonderful opportunity that any one can enjoy and optimize.

Here are few cold calling tips:

Preparation

Here is where one has to focus on the purpose of coldcalling, by ensuring that they are representing a good quality product or service and from an ethical supplier. Also understand the wording of your proposition in relation to prospects and their situations.

Introduction

Prepare, an opening statement. This lets you organize your thoughts before the cold call. It also helps you avoid common mistakes in the cold call opening that would give the person you’re calling the chance to terminate the conversation.

Listen and interpret

This helps you avoid coming out as one sided or biased. Its also professional to listen and interpret from the customer’s perspective and comes out as helpful and appealing.

Inform and educate

Giving information and fair and useful feedback (in effect educating ) in response to customers’ requests for answers is much better than leaping in to ‘close the appointment’. It’s not a race or a rush. The aim is to build understanding and identify.

Involve

This is the step that allows you to move to the next level, to know whether progress was made or not. Ask how they would find it most helpful to explore or move matters forward. Be guided by the prospect and also be guided by your own organizational systems and protocols.

Keep in touch

How you meet your commitments to your customer counts more than your job title or job description. It’s a matter of personal integrity.

Entrepreneurial Learning

While cold calling can more than often be unwelcoming, one has to learn to be patient and be a good listener while taking such a call. It is important to understand what the caller is trying to convey. You may be surprised with the offering and a possible business prospect for the future.

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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