We’ve received more than our fair share of cold calls – and if you have too, I’m sure you can identify a sales pitch within their first few words, based on their impersonal greeting and scripted dialogue.
Most often, we hang up after receiving a cold call feeling disconnected, interrupted, and unsatisfied.
At best, receiving cold calls in the middle of the work day is an interruption, and at worst, time wasted. Even if what we’re being pitched is of value, or better than the competition might be offering, cold calls most often don’t leave anyone feeling warm.
So…what is the solution? It’s simple – make warm calls. Focus on connection – this begins much before the call and continues much after.
Here are a few of our simple ideas on [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”->”]how you can bring some warmth to your outbound sales calls [/inlinetweet]:
Engage on social media. A quick Google search for “Lisa Borden” or for “Borden Communications” will turn up social media platforms before many other search results. Social media platforms are making more effort than ever to outrank all others online. Businesses want to be found on social media – the facebook, twitter or instagram icons, for example, are our invitations to get to know the company, their culture, and their offerings. Don’t just hit “Follow” or “Like”. Read, respond, share something they have shared, or comment on their most recent post – be honest and true and start to build a relationship. You’ll learn about them, they might notice you. Connection takes effort and time, but it’s worth it, and can be a very positive part of your day. By the time you make your sales call (or email), it won’t be the first time you’re “meeting”.
Do your research. Beyond getting to know your potential client on social media, you’ll want to know a little bit about them and their company’s needs. It always makes me wonder when someone calls and offers me their “best” service that I offer myself! Do you understand what your potential client does, and what they are trying to accomplish? How can you be of value to them? Be ready and able to make informed recommendations to them. Know why your prospect needs your service – if you don’t believe in it and understand it, they won’t either.
Make contact and be personal. You are not a robot reading a script – you are a person with value to offer, and the person you are calling on is as well. It’s immediately obvious (and boring!) when we take a call and it sounds like we are being read a script, which leads me to…
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We’re all human and our humanity is what endears us to each other. Even if you start with a script, be creative and try different ways to connect. It’s likely that your first handful of calls will not be as good as your 100th. Being honest and vulnerable is ok, in fact, it’s refreshing – so don’t be afraid to admit that you are thrilled to connect, but do not have a polished sales pitch, and might even be nervous! Your honesty will be appreciated by the right people, and might even be helpful in connecting. With every call, take note of what works, and what didn’t, and teach yourself what works best for you to be effective. Your natural confidence in what you do and your passion for what you do and what you’re selling will shine through, and will serve you better than any perfectly-nailed scripted monologue.
Sweeten the deal. It depends on what you are selling, but share samples (of your product, or completed service) or a discount code. Make it as easy as possible for your potential customer to experience what you are offering. If your company makes amazing organic, vegan, gluten-free brownies, you’re best off sharing them, not just talking about them. (side note: I am not easily swayed, but good chocolate or a spa treatment does always get me to pay attention!)
Follow through. You undoubtedly work hard to make a sale, or even a connection, so hold on to the trusting relationship that you’ve built by following through on what you’ve promised. ALWAYS. It should be obvious, but I actually built my entire business based on over-delivering on my promises, and was always thanked profusely for meeting and exceeding timelines, budgets and results – because this is, unfortunately, not as common as it should be.
Follow up. Once your service has been delivered, your product has been sold, or you have passed the client on to someone else, follow up. Check in to make sure your client is more than satisfied, and keep communicating – in person and virtually. Being grateful and expressing it is good for business, good for you, and what we need more of in this world of ours!
By bringing your focus to forming a connection, you’ll be able to bring more warmth to people’s days (including your own), whether you make the sale or not.
Build trust, be passionate, deliver good work and have fun. These are the best parts of being in business.