Saturday, 21 May 2011

10 Secrets to Cold Calling Customers

Cold calling clients is the most difficult part of any sales job. You will be hard pressed to find a new or veteran salesman who would say that they enjoy this aspect of their sales job. There several points to keep in mind to make cold calls, not only successful, but less stressful also.
  1. Know your product – Know your business and your products well. You will feel more confident and be more relaxed. Not being able to answer your client’s questions can be unsettling and gives the impression that you are unprepared.
  2. Know your client – You may be limited in the information you have access to in regard to a cold call, but do your best to know as much as you can before entering the door. Asking additional questions of the receptionist can provide you further understanding of a business’s operations, while you are waiting for your appointment.
  3. Positive attitude – How you see yourself will be reflected in your meeting with your client. If you are stressed and feeling pressured, it will show in your demeanor. Enter into cold calls relaxed and unhurried. Remind yourself to focus on starting a relationship with the client, not necessarily making a sale.
  4. Introduction – The first lines out of your mouth are as important as the first line in a novel. They should be smooth and carefully thought out. They should easily communicate who you are and your purpose for wanting to meet with them.
  5. Questions – Remember that you are beginning a relationship. You need to get to know this client and their business. Have questions prepared that will assist you in understanding your clients needs.
  6. Listen to the client – Listening involves more than simply hearing what your client has to say. It also involves interpreting what they have said. Don’t be afraid to clarify your understanding of what they have communicated to you.
  7. Provide value – If you’ve asked the right questions and properly interpreted the client’s responses, you should be able to add value back into the conversation. This can be as simple as acknowledging and supporting the positions they’ve shared with you, or it may be offering them a service or product that could meet a need.
  8. Respect the relationship – Don’t be pushy. Don’t take more of their time than you need to. Ask when you should check back and what method of contact they’d prefer.
  9. Keep a record – Take as many notes as you can. Details about the person you spoke to, what their position in the company was and any comments they may have made during your discussion. Being able to mention those details during your next meeting can be an important part of building your relationship with a new client.
  10. Keep in touch – Never write off a client completely. A lack of interest one day, may quickly change into a real need a few weeks down the road. If you believe in what you have to offer, then you owe it to your client, to keep the communication open.
Keeping your approach relaxed, open and honest is the best attitude to have when it comes to cold calls.
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