It is not often that I get cold called much less on my personal cell phone so I was a little taken aback when I received a phone call today. And, due to my surprise, the caller fumbled through the call and missed some critical steps.
Here are some very basic suggestions for anyone in a telemarketing or telephone sales role:
1) Do your research
Before you even think about picking up the phone, take some time to research your prospect. Google their name, take a look at their LinkedIn profile, and know what company it is that they work for.
2) Introduce yourself
Start off my giving your name, the company that you represent and the reason for your phone call.
3) Get permission to continue the call
Ask a simple question “Is now a good time for you?”
4) Qualify to see if there is a need or an interest prior to moving into your ‘sales pitch’
If the prospect does not have a need for your product or service, then there is no need to continue the call.
5) Take notes
If the prospect has no potential, then they need to be removed from your call list. Record notes in a central database and if you are not the keeper of the list, then let the keeper know to remove this person from the list. There is nothing more annoying than being called again and again about something that you have no need for.
6) Adapt the conversation based on who you are calling
If you are a supplier and cold calling another supplier, then make that connection immediately. You might also let the person know where you got his/her name so that you can find some common ground to begin the sales process.
These are simple things. My caller today did not even take step 1 and had no idea who I was or what I did. I was a name on a list and she was going through the motions. It is too bad her employer did not take the time to go through the basics before slapping a list in front of her and telling her to ‘go for it’.
Take the time to prepare for your next round of cold calls. Don’t just go through the motions … take time every day to make a new connection! Care enough to be a catalyst for change! Cold calling is an art … add in colour and flair through research!