Sales best practices for improving sales win rates, shortening the sales cycle and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales strategies to make revenue growth repeatable, and scalable
The mere phrase ‘cold calls’ give many salespeople a case of the cold sweats and makes the hair on the back of their neck stick up. Nonetheless, cold calling is still a very effective sales prospecting technique for qualifying prospects and setting up the initial face to face sales meeting, when done properly.
If you're a sales leader or sales professional cold calling to open new accounts, then you know how difficult it is to quickly disarm prospects, build trust and convert those cold calls into meetings.
Ok, I’m not saying that this is a comprehensive list, not by any means, but it is three of the things that we as salespeople can do to virtually guarantee that our sales cold calling will be BOTH miserable to execute (feel the rejection!) and fail to capture new clients. Let’s start at the top...and have some fun (you'll see my sarcasm) By all means, whenever you get the chance and ideally from the beginning, shove it in the face of the prospect who you are. I mean really let them know who you are and how your recruiting team is unique. Be sure to inform your prospect of all the awards your company has won. All of it. I mean, they don’t know you, how else are they going to know how your organization is unique? Tell me if this sounds familiar, “Hello Mr. Prospect, my name is John Doe and I’m from 123 Technical staffing. We’re an IT staffing firm based in Anytown USA and we specialize in contract, contract to hire, and permanent placement of the very best technical talent available in this market. Do you have any needs right now?” Hammer this message over and over. Prospects love it...and it's such a different and unique message:) Push for the meeting on the introductory call. Take no prisoners. Don’t let that IT hiring manager off the phone without getting a commitment for a face to face meeting, You take meetings in your living room during dinner time from complete strangers off of a cold call right? On second thought, pushing for the meeting is a sign of weakness, PUSH HARD for that job order on the first call, the very first time you’ve spoken with this person! Heck, why wouldn't they give you the job order? Still with me, Great! If the first 2 tips haven’t tanked your campaign this 3rd one will burn some bridges! Whatever you do, do NOT do ANY sales call planning. Who has time for that? Just pound out call after call so you can have the highest call volume in the office (because that’s the most important thing right?). Prospects LOVE it when you call, know nothing about them, tell them all about yourself, push them for a meeting and a job order, and then ask them a bunch of questions that you could easily learn with 2-3 minutes of research on their company website and LinkedIn. Special Bonus You still have some life left in your campaign? Let’s take care of that now! Here’s the big secret. This is KEY: Don’t do any 2 calls the same way. By all means do NOT follow a script. You don’t want to sound like a robot, do you? Make every call UNIQUE. That will keep it interesting, won’t it? The last thing you want is to know what you did to make the call a success. So be sure to mix it up! There you have it! If you follow those 3 tips (and the BONUS!) I can promise you that you will have the most futile, miserable cold call campaign that you can imagine! Okay, I admit it. I may have been (Slightly!) sarcastic when I wrote this blog. These are pretty extreme, even silly, examples but who hasn’t seen this? The article, while written tongue in cheek, is true. If you lead your call with who you are, push and beg the prospect for a meeting or a job order too soon, waste manager’s time asking questions you should already know the answers to, and (BONUS!) make every call different by “winging” them instead of following a script you will fail. There is no maybe here. This how you fail at cold calling. It is as close to a guarantee as I can give you in this business. Now, if you’re ready to learn how to do it right you may want to download our webinar, Cold Calling Tips Best Practices. Learn more about cold calling by downloading the white paper called "Cold Calling Tips & Best Practices 2.0" now.
From my experience, most IT staffing sales reps approach cold calling with a process and language that is at best, outdated and littered with old school cold calling tactics that lead to cold calling failure. To be successful at cold calling today, sales professionals must:
So many salespeople I speak with today in the IT staffing industry share with me how challenging it is cold calling into Fortune 1000 accounts and converting those cold calls into meetings. I've come to discover that one of the reasons for why it is so challenging is their value proposition is not strong enough.
One challenge most IT staffing firms and their sales teams struggle with is coming up with an effective value proposition. Most sellers mistake their value proposition with an elevator pitch which only explains what a company does. As a result, sellers struggle with converting their cold calls into meetings.
I think we can all agree that getting decision makers on the phone these days has never been more challenging. We call them early, we call them late, and we call them at lunch and everywhere in between. Still no luck. Prospecting and especially cold calling is a real challenge!
Much of the cold call training training that I provide comes in the form of video training training and coaching as well as one-on-one active coaching where I work at the desk level, "hand-in-hand" with sales reps. We work on a number of different things from call planning and tonality to objection handling and asking probing questions. But the biggest area we focus on is the sales reps ability to disarm the prospect.
Cold calling. Love it or hate we have to do it. It’s just part of sales. It’s certainly not the only prospecting tool in our toolbox but it sure is an important one. At the end of the day you really can’t build relationships without actually talking with your prospects. I spend a lot of time working with sales reps on cold calling including their approach, technique and call planning. The one trend that I have noticed is that everyone’s goal on a cold call is to get a meeting with the prospect. I think that is a pretty lofty expectation and usually a recipe for disappointment and frustration.