Cold calling for new business has a bad rep.
That it is repetitive, can be boring, and it is quite easy to get frustrated to the point of thinking that shelving cans at the local supermarket start to look good…
… doesn’t diminish the FACT, that when used correctly, this marketing and sales tool can generate new, closed, high-ticket accounts with a higher ROI ratio, faster than virtually any other sales tool I have seen.
For this to happen, 6 circumstances must be present. Let’s review them.
But first, 2 comments.
- The process starts with a cold call, but if you think of this solely as cold calling-you are already doomed. You have too narrow a view of the process. You must be open to and understand that the cold call is only a part of the total process that will earn you ideal opportunities.
- Cold calling is a marketing/sales tool. Like all tools, it works when used correctly in the right circumstances. If you don’t–it won’t.
Here are the circumstances in which STARTING your sales process with a cold call makes economic sense.
- THE MATH MUST MAKE SENSE.
Before you call, you must have a handle on how much you can spend to generate an inquiry or an appointment. That means knowing or making reasonable assumptions about sales conversion rates, size of average sales, margins, and acceptable costs of sale. You must know what you can invest before you launch your first outreach touch. The math will dictate how you craft your calling plan.
- YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED HIGH-PROBABILITY TARGET SEGMENTS TO CALL – AND YOU PICK THE RIGHT ONES.
It is mind-boggling to me still… how much time is wasted, calling targets who never should have been called at all. You have choices. Call big companies or small companies. Widget makers or wadget consultants. Most of the time, your universe of potential targets vastly exceeds the time or resources you have to call. You must make an informed choice of where to invest your time and know how to test segments. Most don’t.
- YOU CODE AND SEGMENT AS YOU CALL.
What starts with a cold call quickly becomes an automated process whereby “groups” of suspects are allocated resources and time based upon their potential worth.
Low probability low potential suspects are separated from high probability high worth suspects with shades of gray in between. You must know how to code and segment as you go along to properly allocate resources, activate automated group processes, and kick out the time wasters ASAP.
- YOU MUST BE READY TO IDENTIFY FUTURE BUYERS.
There are 2 parts to this. First, most people you speak to, who are great prospects and will probably buy from someone within 3–15 months, will initially say “No” to your invitation to meet. Second, you must have a SCRIPT STRATEGY AND A SCRIPT RESPONSE effective at getting good prospects to identify themselves to you and tell you when is best to be back in touch.
This one factor, having a script and script strategy to identify future buyers lifts response from your efforts a minimum 25%. 25% more opportunities without having to make more calls. In fact, while having to make less.
- YOU HAVE A SYSTEMATIC AUTOMATED FOLLOW-UP SYSTEM.
Without follow-up, you are dead. Why did you die? Because you did not get organized. You must plan for follow-up. There are substantial profits within the group that doesn’t initially agree to meet. You tap those revenues (and people start calling you) with a simple follow-up system.
- YOU ARE CAPABLE AND PREPARED TO SELL.
Most people are capable.
Far fewer are prepared.
Are you really prepared for that potential ideal future client that picks up the phone? Responds to an email? Attends a discovery call?
Have you carefully crafted and prepared the structure of the interaction, your questions, the verbiage you are going to use in order to communicate value, credibility and earn the next step?
Many times, success in appointment setting and conducting discovery calls requires re-evaluation of sales methods and learning new a fresh approach.