The quickest way to learn the core skill of sales is by cold-calling. The first thing most entry level sales job make you do is to pick up the phone and go on the offensive and bulldoze through a list of prospects. The next best thing to get really good, really fast is by knocking on doors. The idea here is, if you have done enough of door-to-door sales or cold-calling, soon enough you will start identifying common patterns of objections, building trust and you can predict which discussion points are moving towards or away from the objective.
Ploughing through 100s of names a day, with only 2-3 leads to show can get massively frustrating. Cold calling need not be a source of angst for business owners. Here is a simple cold-calling script that works.
Mike Kroll, CEO of Driver’s Alert, who has 20+ years experience in sales shared a cold-calling script that’s absolutely brilliant. Below is a simple version of the script with general principles to keep in mind for cold calling:
- Remember that rejection is an illusion. Just because someone did not respond to your call/email or did not want to talk to you does not mean you have failed. The fear of rejection is the bane of success. Most importantly, a “NO” just means complete rejection, it just means “Not right now”.
- Build a relationship. I truly believe the quality of our life is equal to the quality of our relationships. Following this principle, you are not calling simply to make a sale but to rather build a relationship. If he/she is not ready or doesnt have the time to build a relationship right now, then you can build it later.
- Be professionally curious. Being professional means you always keep your word and there is no space for false friendliness. Being curious means you are interested in the person, always trying to dig deeper into his/her interests and observant of his/her reactions at all times.
“Hello [prospect’s first name], this is [your name] from [your company]. Have I caught you in the middle of something?”
The prospect will respond one of three ways in most cases:
- “It’s always a bad time, but what’s this all about?” Continue to “The Closer.”
- “No, this is not a bad time. What can I do for you?” Continue to “The Closer.”
- “You know, I’m glad you asked, because I’m right in the middle of heading out the door. Call me [at some future point in time].” Jump to “The Follow-up.”
“I know I’m calling you out of the blue, [first name], but sometimes, if I don’t know anyone at the company I’m calling, this is the only way to develop a relationship. All I want to do right now is quickly introduce myself, my firm, and my offering to you. As I mentioned, I’m with [your company] and we help companies [what your company does] and I was wondering how I would best position myself to determine if our product may be a fit for you?”
You should be reading this section only if the prospect has suggested that you call back. When you call back, one of two things will happen.
- You get through to the prospect. Go back to “The Closer.”
- You get the prospect’s voice mail. Continue to “The Voice Mail.”
The First Voice/E-Mail/Message
“[First name], you asked that I call you around this time, but it looks like you’re out. Call me at [your number], but if I don’t hear back from you by this Friday, I’ll call you on [a few business days from now].”
The Second Voice/E-Mail/Message
“[First name], I’ve called you last week and this week and you must be very busy. You can contact me at XYZ number. Otherwise, I’ll try you back in three weeks.”
Call back when you said you would. When you actually do so, you’ll separate yourself from 95 percent of the folks out there.
When you call back, one of two things will happen.
- You get through to them. Go back to “The Closer.”
- You get their voice mail again. Go back to “The First Voice/E-Mail/Message”