Cold calling is one of the things most people seem to ask me for help with, usually because they want to get better results from it – although some people like to avoid it altogether! However for a smaller business, often the problem with their cold calling isn’t cold calling – it’s something earlier in the process that’s causing them problems later on.
Now, whilst in these circumstances getting better at cold calling can help, it’s sometimes more important to look earlier in the process, to ensure you’re giving yourself and your team the best chance of success when it comes to the phone call.
Let me give you some examples we’ve uncovered whilst working with clients recently….
Problem No 3 – Wrong (Or No) Focus On The Call
The third thing you needed to think about is the call itself. A common problem with people making cold calls or follow up calls is that they fail to consider what outcome they want from the call BEFORE they make it!
Are you trying to make an appointment from the call? A sale? Trying to get the prospect to visit you? A conference call? If none of those, what specifically are you trying to achieve?
Far too many calls are made without an objective in mind. Those are the sort of calls that tend to ‘drift’ – with little or no control from the salesperson – that give the recipient the impression that there wasn’t a clear reason for the call, nor for the conversation they’re now having – therefore they want to get out of it as quickly as possible!!
Your call structure needs to be designed and delivered with your outcome in mind! Otherwise, the prospect is far more likely to achieve THEIR objective from the call (in some cases theirs is to get rid of you!) than you are to get yours!
Problem No 4 – Lack Of Confidence With Selling In General
If this relates to you directly, don’t worry. The majority of people I’ve worked with have some challenges with confidence at some point – and some on a regular basis!
As companies have ‘re-engineered’ themselves over the last few months, in a number of cases it’s meant that non-traditional sales staff are now having to handle parts of the sales process as part of their role. These staff members didn’t sign up for a sales job, but are now having to do sales activities – whether they like it or not!
Whether it’s a marketing person making sales calls trying to get appointments for field sales representatives, or an administrator handling incoming sales enquiries, if they aren’t confident with the activity they’re undertaking, that means less effective calls, lost opportunities, and therefore – lost sales!
Any person tasked with taking on any element of ‘sales responsibility’ within a company needs to be confident with that aspect of sales. A lack of confidence in any element of the sales operation can be a source of lost sales – something most businesses can’t afford at the moment.
It’s vital that action is taken to equip all team members with the mindset, skills and confidence required in order to maximise sales opportunities right now. Otherwise you could be virtually gifting business to the competition….