In my last sales role I was the number one consultant in the Country, and not just for 5 minutes, but consistently… and won prizes for it. Here are my simple hacks that will make you some serious moola!
If you’re in a role where business development is crucial then you’ll likely need to do cold calls. No one likes performing cold calls and people receiving them don’t enjoy them either. Most of the time the caller zones out until the moment they can say “Thanks but no thanks”. That is, if you manage to keep them on the line before they simply just hang up!
People receive cold calls so often that even if you were calling to say you’ve won a million bucks, chances are the customer wouldn’t be interested.
I have done thousands of cold calls and have been hung up on, sworn at, one person even told me that I should call back once I learnt to speak English…..I am English! Through this trial and error I have found out the things that work and the things to avoid.
Things to avoid
· Not stopping to listen. You get someone on the phone and you’re so excited and nervous that you start blabbering on with want you want to say without realizing that if you paused and had a genuine conversation with them, it would mean that they’ll be more likely to want to talk to you.
· Pooping your pants with fear. I get it; cold calling sucks. It’s ok to be scared but try to practice sounding calm even when you may have filled your pants. Remember, other people are people too, they’re not monsters, and if they are…well you don’t want to talk to them anyway.
· Not engaging in small talk. Share stuff about yourself, how your day is going, what your evening plans are, why you love working for the company you’re with. People hate call scripts and don’t have confidence in people who follow them religiously. For those who have KPI’s and have to keep their call time down it could be as simple as:
You: “How are you today?”
Customer: “Fine, thanks”
You: “Wonderful! I am super excited today as I have a rollerblading competition tonight and I have just bought some new lycra speedo’s to go over my leggings”
Customer: “Oh yeah?”
You: “Yeah, it’s actually a part of a team building event here at XYZ company, they really do treat their staff well. Anywho, that’s why I called…”
Things that work
· Using the person’s name. This goes for any conversation you have anytime. There is no sweeter sound than your own name.
· Embrace the silence. Especially if the customer is having a think about booking a meeting with you or buying a product. Let the conversation breathe with some breaks. The old rule is the first one to talk loses.
The One Golden rule for making cold calling easy as pie:
The moment when someone answers the phone say “Hi John, it’s Victoria from XYZ company”.
“Hi John, my name is Victoria from XYZ company.”
The moment you say “My name is” the caller knows it’s a sales call and tunes out. You have already lost them before you even start.
When you say “It’s Victoria”, they listen in. They are not sure if they have spoken to you before, they presume that you must have a relationship in some way and are exponentially more open to actually listening.
I have used this hack hundreds of times and this is how the conversation normally goes:
“Hi John, it’s Victoria from XYZ company”.
“Oh hi Victoria, how are you doing?”
“I’m great thanks, actually quite excited for tonight as I have a rollerblading competition and I have just bought some new lycra speedo’s to go over my leggings”
“Haha, wow really, that sound fun!”
“Yeah, it’s actually a part of a team building event here at XYZ company, we really do get treated staff well. Anywho, that’s why I called, I just wanted to check in to see how that recruitment effort is going?”
At the end tell the customer that you are going to follow up with a quick email so they have your details. This is how you do it:
“Ok great, so what I am going to do now is drop you a quick email so you have all my details. What’s your address?”.
“Could you let me know your email because I want to send you information?”
Try this one simple little trick and it’ll make your life so much easier. Let me know how it goes!
Pro tip: if you can, instead of calling, email people, they are more likely to respond. Calling is just so retro, hello 2011!
Pro PRO tip: why not send something funny or entertaining in the post (cool retro!). It really stands out from the noise of the day getting a framed picture of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in the post.