Let’s face it, we all hate cold calling but, for many products and services, there may not be a better way to generate sales!
Buyers no longer have to rely on limited sources of information about a product or service. The landscape of business now involves increased competition, information, choices, and more resistance. It has made buying cycles longer. There is now price competition that didn’t exist before. Products are becoming commodities, and a lot of the marketing messages are identical. Because of all of this, there is a wedge between the seller and the buyer. This wedge is called “The Confidence Gap.”
The best way to get a lead for cold calling is to ask a happy past client for referrals, this way the prospect may be “warmer” or at least you have a higher likelihood of getting past a gate keeper! Having a happy client that your prospect knows will help bridge the “Confidence Gap” in a prospect’s mind.
The key to effective calling is having the correct Hot Button used in your Articulated Sales Argument. What is a Hot Button you ask? Hot Buttons are an emotional “button” or “trigger.” People do not buy things, solutions to problems. They buy emotions as they have some emotional goal to fulfill by purchasing something. You solve a problem and eliminate a negative emotion, or you sell a product that stimulates a happy emotion.
An example may be: An aspirin company talks about the pain in your head and how their product will have you feeling pain-free and happy. A headache is the Hot Button for the aspirin prospect. Companies using a better articulated message may try to differentiate themselves by selling a “Longer Lasting” or “Faster Acting” pill…
State Your Articulated Sales Argument
Hi is this __(Bob)__ (state their name)?
Great, this is (Your name)___________ here from _____________(Company name). (if warm) Tom from XYZ, inc gave me your name?
Great! ________, I’m sure you are a busy and want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief. The reason for my call is this. We specialize in (working with small business owners, salespeople, managers, etc.) so that you/they can:
(If Gatekeeper Answers:Hi is __Bob__ available, this is _______, __Tom__ at XYZ suggested I call.)
State Your Compelling Reason – (The End Result Of The Benefit You Offer)
Well, Bob, with your permission, I was hoping to ask you a few questions and see if you could benefit from our service/product. Would it be ok to take about three minutes to ask you a few questions?
NOTE: If you hit the RIGHT hot button the prospect will almost ALWAY take a few more minutes. If you are getting turned down, you should reevaluate what you think are the Hot Buttons.
Example: You may deliver a “time saving Hot Button” by saying; “We perform this job 50% faster than others
(Remember, if there’s no ‘pain’ or problem or a clear opportunity to improve their current situation, there’s no reason for the prospect to meet with you/take the next step in your sales process.)
1. (Craft a question based on what your research on this prospect has shown they need.)
2. If you could create the ideal solution for (XXX), what about your current product/service would you like to improve or change?
3. If you could magically eliminate three of your biggest problems, headaches or stresses what would they be?
4. How do these challenges affect you/your business (bottom line)?
Summarize and Confirm:
1. “Let me make sure I understanding, what you are saying is…
(Recap what the prospect shared with you; their problems, challenges, and objectives.)
Is that accurate/correct?
2. Would it be safe to say that if there was a way for you to:
· Restate biggest obstacle. (Example: Overcome the challenge/obstacle/problem of..)
· Restate their most important goal or objective they shared with you.
It would be worth exploring/discussing in more detail?
3. Schedule Next Step – NOTE: NEVER ask “WHEN” you can meet, YOU set the date with two options.
“Then lets get together for (state timeline. Ex: twenty minutes) to see if there’s a fit. I will answer your questions, share with you several options as well as demonstrate how our product/service will specifically address your challenges/objectives. Mr./Mrs.________, do you have your calendar handy? What day would be good for you, Monday or Thursday?
“Do mornings or afternoons work better for you?”
Once you determine the meeting time, continue with:
Fantastic. I’m looking forward to meeting with you on ____at ____.
(Confirm all decision makers.)
Thanks. Have a great day Bob!