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Cold Calling Strategies with a Warm Approach

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Jul 29, 2021

The best cold calling strategies involve doing the work necessary to warm your cold calls up.

In this blog, we discuss the top 5 cold calling sales tips that you can implement into your sales process today.

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I like my house cold at night and my wine slightly chilled, but I don’t like cold calls. Who does? But it must be done. We must make chilly outreaches, and they can still be productive (and even fun). In this article, we’ll cover ways to stay positive and attract more sales with our cold calling strategies.

Cold Calling Sales Tip #1: Warm It Up!
First, don’t let the cold stop you! All salespeople have the job of prospecting, finding new potential clients that they can help. Therein lies the cold call sales tip #1. Identify, find, and reach out only to those you know you can help, and then it won’t be so cold. I call on associations and groups where our sales development experts can help their members with sales leadership strategies and tools. I make cold calls on those directors in charge of events and education. I start with their website and find out what events they are working on that align with what we do. I personalize every communication (warming it up) to their association and event and ask the question – could we be a resource for you? I provide examples of how we have helped other associations with similar events. l also look for connections we have to that association. Who could reach out and introduce us as a trusted resource?

Cold Calling Sales Tip #2: Find Advocates
So that is cold call sales tip #2 – find out who can put a good word in for you. You may find the prospect, but maybe your current client or someone you used to do business with can get that door opened more quickly. That is a cold calling strategy that top performers utilize daily – they have their advocates open the door and build trust for them. When you find your next prospect, research them, make sure you can help them, and find someone who can put a word out in your favor – and don’t forget to thank your advocates.

Cold Calling Sales Tip #3: Enjoy the Small Victories
Cold calling sales tip #3 is celebrating when you get a response. I get quite ditsy with delight when I hear back from one of my associations that they are interested in talking further or want to hire us for a workshop. Celebrate because, as all salespeople know, you send out 20 personalized communications and you may hear back from 2-3, or at least that is my hit ratio. So, you must celebrate when someone responds and sees your value.

Hop on that lead with no delay, which goes right into our next tip.

Cold Calling Sales Tip #4: Move Fast & Be a Problem Solver
Tip #4 is that leads are highly perishable. If you receive a lead, perhaps from your website or an introduction, you must quickly help them solve their problems and answer any questions or concerns they may have. By responding quickly to your leads, it creates a friendly environment where trust can be built and business can be won.

But to win business, you also need to be quick and agile in delivering follow-ups. Your prospects have plenty of other things going on in their day, much like yours. Striking while the iron is hot and providing a quick follow-up can keep you top of mind and close more sales.

Cold Calling Sales Tip #5: Nurture
Then nurture – cold calling sales tip #5. Nurturing comes naturally when you care, and it matters. When you are confident in what you have to offer and are eager to respond, provide more information, customize your delivery, and set a follow-up meeting. Your end goal is to make your prospect’s life easier so that you can wow them, and then they might think of you first next time they need your similar product or service.

In summary, the best cold calling strategies involve doing the work necessary to warm your cold calls up. It truly is a numbers game, but there are people out there who need what you are selling, and it is your job to go find them. Put in the work, celebrate the small victories, follow up quickly and have some fun along the way!

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Topics: Cold Calling, sales tips, cold calling strategies, cold calling sales tips

80/20 Prospecting Time

Posted by Jack Kasel on Thu, Jun 13, 2019

The most successful salespeople are always challenging and adapting their personal sales process to be more effective, but they don’t challenge the notion of the importance of making prospecting their A priority every week. 

They know that no matter how successful they are, if they don’t continue to add new relationships, that eventually, their business will decline. 

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As we think about all of the things as sales professionals we're supposed to do, it really comes down to three things to get paid: 

  • Find Opportunities
  • Qualify them
  • Get a decision . . . We love Yes’, but No’s are OKit’s all the stuff in the middle that bothers us.

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I want to focus on the first thing we get paid to do and that's to find opportunities.  There are many ways we can find opportunities; cold calls, drop in’s, direct marketing, social selling (LinkedIn and Twitter), getting introductions, etc. 

Although there are many ways we can prospect, some provide a higher return on the biggest investment we can make, and that’s our time.  In a previous blog, I tried to debunk the “time management” problem.  It isn’t a time management problem, it’s a priority management problem

As we focus on prospecting, the least return on our investment is cold calling.  For all the time you invest in cold calling, the actual return (speaking to a decision maker) is extremely low.  We know it’s a necessary evil, but not a permanent problem.  On the other hand, it is a proven fact, the highest return on our prospecting timeis in getting introductions.  

So here is what I would like you to consider:

  1. Time blocking
    • Do you have time set aside each week to prospect? If you don’t, you would be well-served to block time to prospect
  2. Allocate your time within the time block you’ve scheduled
    • If you have allocated an hour a day, my recommendation would be:
      • If you have allocated 15 minutes to cold call, you should be able to get 15 calls in within that time. If you call 15, you will probably speak with two people.  How long does it take to NOT talk to 13 people?  You can make a lot of calls in 15 minutes if you are focused.
      • 15 minutes for social selling to find introductions—maybe not sell, but find introduction opportunities.
        • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging—whichever you are allowed to do within your work rules, do it on a regular basis.
      • 30 minutes on getting introductions
        • Calling people and saying “I’m looking to expand my base of contacts” Or “I’m looking to meet great people such as yourself, when can we get together to determine if we can help each other?”
        • Identify your 15 best clients and make it a goal to get three introductions from each of them. How much success would you have with 45 new names to call?

This is just a rough outline on what you can do but the big takeaways are this:

  1. Prioritize prospecting—make it a significant part of your week.
  2. Prioritize how you are prospecting—get introductions—it will provide the highest return on your time invested.

Someone needs what you do, so go find them and start prospecting today to find more of them!

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Topics: Prospecting, introductions, Cold Calling, selling and social media, time blocking, 80/20 Principle

7 Rules of the (Prospecting) Road

Posted by Walt Gerano on Wed, Apr 10, 2019

There are a certain number of rules that must be followed when it comes to prospecting in sales. 

These include, but are not limited to, making the commitment to get out of the cold calling business, identifying who you will ask for introductions and referrals each week, ensuring exactly how you will evaluate your success, and creating a pre-call plan for every single call and/or face-to-face meeting.

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Some people say that rules were made to be broken. You might want to think twice about breaking some of these rules for prospecting.

The most successful salespeople I know are always challenging the ideas and methods of those that have succeeded before them, but they don’t challenge the notion of the importance of making prospecting their A priority every week. They know that no matter how successful they are, if they don’t continue to add new relationships, that eventually, their business will decline. 

Here are some rules to help you prospect and prosper:

  1. Play in your sandbox. Make sure you have a profile of who you need to be in front of. Call on the people and businesses where you have expertise, and can leverage that, along with your experience.
  1. If you are dependent on making cold calls, make the commitment to get out of the cold calling business. You will schedule appointments and make sales cold calling but the acquisition cost per sale is much higher than with referrals and introductions. Not to mention the sales process is generally longer.
  1. Look at your schedule each week and identify who you will ask for introductions and referrals. It could be face to face meetings, networking events or a meeting with a center of influence. Have a process for asking that makes it easy for people to help you. Bring your list of top 10 prospects to every meeting and ask them who they know on the list that would take a call from you? Better yet, make use of LinkedIn and look through their connections for people and businesses that look like your target prospect.
  1. How will you evaluate your success? Make sure to set objectives whether it is with a success formula or a commitment to specific behaviors and then TRACK IT!
  1. Have a telephone approach that when calling for appointments helps you sound like someone they want to speak with. What is your unique selling approach? What problems do you fix and why do people meet with you? It must be compelling.
  1. Do a pre-call plan for every call, on the phone or face to face, to help you stay on track. Know what questions you will ask, what questions you need answered and the tough questions they will ask along with how you will respond.
  1. Don’t quit, be persistent! Rejection is part of the process. It’s not falling down it’s staying down that defeats us all.

Topics: introductions, Cold Calling, Referrals, persistence, success formula, pre call sessions, effective sales process, hunting for sales prospects, ideal prospect persona, sales acceleration, salespeople, sales opportunity

The Two Truths and a Lie of Prospecting

Posted by Tony Cole on Fri, Jan 11, 2019

Prospecting for salespeople is often a struggle due to varying factors including their ability to stay committed to the process and overcome rejection.

In this article, we cover the dreaded,  but mandatory, task of sourcing and creating new sales opportunities.

deceive-1299043_1280Salespeople have to prospect – that’s the truth. Salespeople can find their prospects through a variety of different avenues, including; introductions, direct mail, internet offers, networking, internal referrals from business partners, cold calling, campaigns, association memberships, and business networking groups. 

What is also true is that, no matter how a sales person gets a name, the next step is to contact them. You can contact them by mail (email or snail mail) or by phone (the most common method). If you are going to have any chance to schedule time to talk with them about their current situation to determine if they are a prospect for you, you must have contact. That’s the truth.

Prospecting is FUN! Now, that’s a lie. Prospecting isn’t fun. It’s not intended to be fun. Anyone that says it’s fun is lying. If you are a manager, don’t tell your people to “just pick up the phone and have fun with it”. They will know you don’t know what you are talking about.

They’ve had fun before: Water skiing, swimming, hiking, going to a play or the opera, having a picnic, watching a ballgame, getting a promotion, a raise, or recognition for a job well done. All FUN! However, facing rejection, not talking to anyone, having people curse or hang up on you, having people who schedule appointments and then cancel or don’t show up?  ZERO FUN.

If prospecting isn’t fun, then what is it? Back in the day when I was still trying to figure out how to be successful in selling, my coach told me this:  “You don’t have to like it; you just have to do it!” And that is prospecting.  It’s called work and not play for a reason. It is work. You have to put a lot of preparation, emotion, intellect and skill into being successful at prospecting. David Kurlan from Objective Management Group has found that the single biggest contributor to sales success is the ability to be rejection-proof. Even with all the skill, techniques, scripts and preparation, if you cannot handle the rejection and emotional roller coaster of prospecting, then you will struggle, be inconsistent and fail more than you succeed.

The bottom line is that this isn’t about making it fun. It’s about getting the job done so you have solid appointments that turn into solid opportunities that turn into closed business. THAT’S where the fun is!

Topics: Prospecting, introductions, Cold Calling, sales management, commitment, networking, salespeople, overcoming rejection

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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