When people think about cold calling, they envision an aggressive phone call in which the caller pressures the person on the other end of the line into making a purchase. To me, this is the worst example of cold calling. This is what gives cold calling a bad name. One thing they have right is that cold calling involves making a call to someone the caller does not know, but there is a great deal of difference between what professional cold callers do and that negative image.
My business, One of a Kind Sales, uses cold calling to qualify leads and set appointments. Generally, we work from a curated list of prospects that have been identified because of their specific role in a business. Our objective is to understand whether any of these prospects have a need for or an interest in a particular product or service. This is sharply differentiated from attempting to sell the solution. Often the selling process is handled by a different person who is a solution expert. In our process, which we’ve used successfully thousands of times, if the caller determines there is no need or no interest in the solution, we end the interaction on a positive note. However, if a lead is qualified, meaning that they have a need and an interest, our team sets up an appointment for the expert who will speak to the prospect about the solution.
These cold calling interactions also have the potential to generate referrals. For example, if a lead is not qualified, the caller may ask whether there is another business they might recommend that we speak to that may need the solution.
Beyond the objective of near-term sales, cold calling can be used in other ways:
Market research – Speaking to a potential prospect is an effective way to gauge interest in a new product or service and get a better understanding of market needs.
Competitive research – Talking to your ideal prospects can help you gain insight into competitive activities.
Education – When a product or service is complex, cold calling can be done to provide general information that will give the prospect a better understanding of the product. Sometimes this is done in anticipation of the launch of a new product or service.
No matter the objective, cold calling should always be thought of as a way to establish a positive relationship with a connection that would enable you to re-approach them as a “warm” contact at a future point in time. Well-trained professional cold callers are skilled in establishing rapport quickly, and they have a genuine interest in learning more about their prospects’ needs.
When thinking about cold calling, it’s time to leave behind that old stereotype of the-high-pressure phone call. Given the competitive marketplace and the proven utility of cold calling, we need to think strategically about all of the options in the sales toolbox and deploy them when and where they can have the greatest impact.
If you are wondering whether cold calling could be a good approach for your business give me a call at 908-879-2911 or email me at email@example.com.
I am a life-long learner. For decades, I have followed and trained with numerous coaches and participated in sales programs of all types. I strive to continuously improve my own skills and to bring new ideas and techniques to our One of a Kind Sales team members and our appointment setting services.
Early on, in the 1990’s, I enrolled in a program with a prominent sales coach and trainer who specializes in teaching people how to Cold Call. I continued to follow her work and 3 years ago, I was honored to have an opportunity to strategically partner with her.
During our initial engagement, she learned about my business and the appointment setting services we offer (Lead Generation, One of a Kind Search and Call Center in a Box). She had never outsourced her Appointment Setting but within six months, she engaged US to launch an Appointment Setting Campaign on her behalf!
After two weeks on the campaign, she expanded the scope of the project and last year she invited our account rep, to assist in TRAINING others in HER workshops!
This was a HUGE compliment and a testament to the quality of our team members and our Appointment Setting techniques!
Do YOU need more qualified appointments set? We can do this for YOU! Give us a call TODAY at 908.879.2911 to see how WE can become YOUR INSIDE SALES team!
How many more sales could you close if you had a steady stream of QUALIFIED leads?
Are you so busy servicing existing customers that you just don’t make the calls you need to fill your sales pipeline?
Do you hate cold calling?
Did you know that OUR highly trained, professional cold callers can do your Cold Calling for YOU?
At One of a Kind Sales, our professionally trained inside business development reps make calls and set qualified appointments to keep YOUR sales pipeline full. We can be YOUR Inside Sales Team with callers who are continuously trained and managed to maximize performance and set QUALIFIED appointments for YOU!
What We Do
We are a full-service appointment setting provider – we come in, determine your needs and set up an effective system to set appointments with qualified prospects. Our callers understand the psychology of cold calling and ENGAGE prospects in non-salesy conversations that uncover pain points and opportunities for you. Our time-proven system for monitoring and recycling leads sets us apart and delivers results.
Cold Calling is in our DNA
Doing cold calling for others is actually why I STARTED One of a Kind Sales back in 2011. At that time, I owned a recruiting firm. My team made cold calls all day, every day and was quite comfortable engaging with just about anyone.
One of my customers at the time had nine salespeople who did everything BUT pick up the phone. Because of this lack of cold calling, they had a weak pipeline and were always struggling to meet their sales goals.
They engaged us to build them an INSIDE SALES DEPARTMENT. First, we secured and set them up on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to facilitate cold calling. Then we developed scripting and defined the process we would follow from initial contact through multiple touches to qualification and conversion. We created and documented procedures to build, maintain and cycle through prospect lists and trained three inside sales reps to follow and implement the new system.
This resulted in over THREE HUNDRED qualified appointments set in the FIRST YEAR! This was huge improvement over their previously weak pipeline and significantly impacted (IMPROVED!) their bottom line.
After completing this project and seeing the need for this type of service, I decided to create One of a Kind Sales. Click here to see a short video about our time-proven process, keep an eye out for our next three Appointment Setting Case Studies and give us a CALL TODAY at 908.879.2911 to see how WE can become YOUR inside sales team!
Often cold calling success is measured simply by the number of appointments made with relation to the number of calls. Some look at cold calling as a panacea for lead generation and expect an appointment for every call made. This is thoroughly unrealistic. When cold calling is done correctly, several levels of value are intrinsic in every call, even if an appointment is not obtained.
Provides an opportunity to be in front of the prospect, even if at the time of the call the prospect was not experiencing the pain you could address.
Engages with the decision maker, nurturing your relationship with them.
Provides value to your sales process by adding indispensable information garnered from the conversation with the prospect.
Serves to clean up your list. No matter what your source or how recent you obtained the data, 20% of your information can be out of date.
Saves time and expense by eliminating unqualified leads in your database
The mentality that every call must result in an appointment or that a certain volume of appointments must be met loses site of the greater purpose of cold calling. Cold calling is the foundation for getting sales off the ground. Without cold calling, companies would find themselves without a consistent flow of appointments, without the information they need to take sales to the next step, and without the relationship that is needed to close the sale.
Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. When your cold calling efforts don’t return a certain volume of appointments, the call campaign was far from worthless.
If you are looking for growth, (and who isn’t), it’s a good idea to pay more attention to Presales. Presales is key in obtaining, winning and keeping customers. You may not feel this way now but you’ll change your mind when you have a better understanding of what the Presales Process is and what it delivers.
The Presales Process is comprised of three steps:
Research – In the research portion of the Presales Process a list of prospective “ideal customers” – those most likely to buy the company’s products – is developed. Once those prospects are identified, you’ll collect and study relevant information such as product descriptions, prices, and competitor information. This allows you to begin to understand the prospect’s needs, and their potential as a client.
Preparing for the call – The 2nd step involves creating a call strategy and script. Including prequalifying questions in your script helps weed out those that are not a good fit for what you have to offer. Each script is customized for each prospect.
Making the call and setting the appointment – During the actual call you are not only introducing yourself and the company to the prospect. Much of the call involves actively listening to uncover the needs and wants of the potential customers, as well as determining if they are a fit for your products or services.
The Pre-Sales Process not only identifies leads. It is an important step in building rapport and establishing the relationship with the potential client. It uncovers important information about the prospect’s business, such as goals and challenges. It is the groundwork from which the sales proposal will be made and the sale will be won. The Pre-Sales Process makes your sales team more efficient and armed and ready to close the sale.
Putting effort into your Pre-Sales Process is worthwhile. The Harvard Business Review sums it up as follows: “Souping up the presales engine can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process.”
The upshot is that a well-run, dedicated Presales Process will improve your bottom line. If you’d like your organization to take better advantage of the Presales Process, One Of A Kind Solutions can help.