Written by Ryan Pereus.
Before choosing the sales profession as my career, I was always afraid to admit I liked selling. Less because sales was doing something no one really chooses to do when they’re young, but more because of the looks, gawks, or pity remarks I received when I would admit it. (Not kidding, someone recently said to me, “Oowww, sorry, how’d you end up doing that?”).
I don’t think the negativity around cold calling, telemarketing, and sales has anything to do with the process itself, but the way it’s perceived by the general public. And honestly, I don’t think it’s all their fault. I think much of the perception around sales has more to do with sales people of a past era manipulating someone to do something they didn’t want to do. At the same time though, and most likely as a result of bad sales people, buyers have taken liberty to pin the sales profession as a dirty job, or a profession someone ends up in rather than chooses to pursue.
So how does this impact us, a B2B telemarketing, appointment setting, lead generation, and cold calling company? Well, quite a bit actually! In the 21st Century, the “salesperson stigma,” as we call it, has certainly impacted the perception of sales activities.
As an outsourcing inside sales company, we make hundreds if not thousands of touch points every day to prospective buyers in multiple industries, collecting data points and feedback on every touch. The conversation that connects humans to products and services is one that is unlike any dialogue in business relationships. Living and working in this space consistently leaves us with many questions about our purpose, meaning, and impact on the sales process.
Why do we cold call? What’s the point? What is the underlying theme in every conversation? Does cold calling have an existential crisis that needs to dig deep into it’s cold soul and reconnect itself with the universe???
These questions help us to not only identify our purpose, but how every piece of this special 1-5 minute conversation fulfills it.
Let’s start from zero.
Before any business relationship begins, there is NO relationship. Seems simple right?
That’s exactly why we must understand the meaning of cold calling. Before business relationships begin in outbound marketing, there is the cold call — That awkward, uncomfortable, odd conversation when trying to make an introduction.
Literally every conversation after the first one has some prior relationship attached to it that makes it easier to work. So how do we turn this first conversation into one that is efficient, easy, and effective? How do we just get on with it and to the point?
By understanding it’s Purpose. Ready? What is the purpose of cold calling? It’s BUILDING TRUST. The purpose of cold calling is building trust with our prospective buyers.
Phewwww.. Okay, take a breathe.
Let’s think about this. When we are prospecting, we are contacting someone without any prior relationship. Even with the understanding that we are interrupting someone’s day when we are cold calling (I mean, let’s face it, interruptions in your day can be great to find out a new proposal has been signed or someone calls to one-call close themself), you are asking them to create energy to answer the phone, be dissappointed it wasn’t someone interested in buying their product or service, and then refind the energy in addition to openness to learn about whatever it is you do to which they must now spend money. Yikes!
That sucks. Well it can, unless you are good at cold calling.
Building trust in a way to ensure the interruption is worth it and you are worth talking to about a problem that are having, we have to remember a few pointers when we are cold calling:
- Always remember, the shorter with the most punch is better. No “niceties” such as “How are you? Do you have 5 minutes?” Even though you might mean it, it 100% of the time creates a false, anti-trust relationship (who actually calls someone they don’t know to ask how they are doing?) when looking for business partnerships.
- Listen for their tone and mood, and match it immediately. Mirroring incites empathy to their pains and situation. Trust built.
- Ask a question early to get them in a conversation, to hear their problems, and communicate that you aren’t just in this for you, but you are in it for them. Trust built.
- Pack a pitch with benefits, features, and accolades that will resonate with them without them actually having to experience your product or service first (for more on the types of benefits, features, and accolades you should deliver in a pitch, reach out to us at www.pereusmarketing.com/contact). Will they trust what you have to offer them? Or will they question what you can do for them even more after the call?