In today’s economy, businesses have learned to do much more with less or fail to survive. Most people are wearing multiple hats, juggling the support needs of their end-user community with management meetings and administrative tasks. Because of this, sales teams are competing with the prospect’s priorities and reaching a decision maker or influencer can be quite challenging.
Here is a list of the helpful tips that we’ve learned and implemented for conversations we have on behalf of our clients.
- Breakdown your account list into manageable campaigns of 30 to 50 accounts. Cycling through 500 accounts one call at time will not yield good results; therefore a focused campaign will allow you to better concentrate on reaching your desired audience.
- Take good notes when you are calling a prospect and annotate the call time. If you are selling into a high-tech field, you’ll find that most IT professionals work early and stay late. If you try at 8am with no success, try less common times to reach someone like 5pm or 7am.
- It sometimes takes 5 attempts or more to finally get the customer’s attention. Making one call, waiting 30 days and calling again will yield poor results. This is where the call campaigns come in. Keep in mind: Eighty percent of new sales are made after the fifth contact, yet the majority of sales people give up after the second call
- Don’t limit yourself to one contact within the company you are trying to reach. The CEO, CFO, Development Manager, Help Desk Manager, etc. all can find the sales pitch relevant and often mandate it.
- Most business professionals use smart phones and are able to obtain their emails there. Send a short, three sentence invite to schedule time to talk to them via email. Be sure to make it compelling and concise. Messages like these are easier to read and usually garner a better response.
- Carve out time to do research on businesses that you are prospecting and remove any distractions during this time. Researching prospects’ websites and other information can help you become better prepared to talk about their business when you do have the opportunity to talk to the decision maker.
- Set up your calendar to block time each day to make cold calls. Sometimes sales gets so focused on existing business that lead generation can move to the back burner.
- Focus on the purpose while cold calling. The newbie may assume that cold calling is about making the deal. It’s not. It’s about obtaining the chance to make the sale. Specifically, the objective of a cold call is to establish an appointment to make the pitch.
- Be specific when asking for an appointment. Instead of saying, “May I meet with you next week to address this?” offer, “Would Wednesday at 11 a.m. be a good time to meet?”
- Stay motivated and don’t stand in your own way. There is no ideal state of mind for making sales calls, and you may be shocked to learn that some of the most effective calls are made when you are not in the mood. So make the call anyway.