The primary reason salespeople have a problem making cold calls (or reaching out to someone that don’t yet know) is fear of rejection. That expectation of rejection comes from not having a true sense of purpose in regard to making the call.
The salesperson doesn’t have the value they bring to the prospect specifically defined in their mind prior to making the call. If the caller doesn’t know the value they bring, how in the world will the prospect ever see value?
By not defining the value they bring, they can’t believe in the value they bring, which means they will always feel like they are “bothering” the person on the other end of the line.
I learned early on that it was easy for me to create value from the ideas and creative perspective I brought to the conversation. You see, 95% of the people I contacted were always willing to listen to an idea — as long as the idea was about THEM (not about ME.)
True story: I once received a unsolicited proposal from a Radio advertising person. All it said was “I heard you on another station, and since you’re advertising, why not advertise on my station instead” and included a price and a spot schedule. This was ALL about them and (if it didn’t have my name on it) nothing about me or what I was trying to accomplish. As an experiment, I responded to the salesperson and told them I chose to advertise with their competitor for a couple of specific reasons (which I listed for them) and told them if they had some ideas on how I could accomplish those same goals with better results by advertising on their station, to send me the ideas. I got an email back the next day saying that he DID give me ideas — the spot schedule and rates to advertise with his station! (I never responded, and I never heard from him again. )
Write the words “The reason I called is…” at the top of a sheet of paper, and then make a numbered list of real reasons you contacted them. Reasons that provide value to the person on the other end of the line. You will probably need to throw away the first ten ideas, but tossing those first real bad reasons will get you to the real valuable reasons.
The reason I called is…
- I saw an article about your company in the newspaper and wanted to congratulate you.
- I read the article you wrote in a trade magazine and had a question about one of the issues you raised.
- I was visiting your website and wondered about one of the features of your widget.
- I heard about your company from a friend, and wanted to see if I could schedule a tour of your factory.
- I read about a recent change in your industry and wondered if you were aware of it.
- I heard about a recent problem at one of your locations, and I wanted to forward you a copy of a book I just read on a company facing the very same issue.
- I saw your name linked with a charitable event, and wondered how I could get involved.
- One of my clients has need of the services provided by your company, and I wanted to invite you for coffee so that I could make introductions.
Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to apply and translate the features and benefits of what you sell, into a value reason for the prospect to take your call.