How Does Cold Calling Differ Across Industries?

How Does Cold Calling Differ Across Industries?

I am often asked if there are different Cold Calling tactics for different Industries. The answer is, yes, we may modify our script slightly to provide industry specific examples or wording but actually, the biggest difference is in how much TIME it takes for the prospects to ‘convert’ to a qualified appointment.  

Cold calling is cold calling no matter what industry you are calling. It is simply a discovery call. Your goal, across industries, is to engage a stranger, whom you have determined to be a decision maker, in meaningful conversation.  

If you are going after SMB’s (small and midsized businesses) you are more likely to reach a decision maker sooner, as a small business owner is just more likely to take a call. 

Typically, the larger the company, the longer it takes to reach that decision maker. When you have to navigate through multiple layers of gatekeepers, it slows the process. 

It may also take a bit longer if the industry is oversaturated, like it is with IT providers, financial advisors, insurance providers and some others. With those, you may also face built up resistance and fatigue which can slow you down. As with all calls, PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are your best tactics!  

This isn’t a ‘one and done’ process 

And remember, no matter which industry you are working in, cold calling is never a ‘one and done’ process. Making the calls is KEY – without those calls, you will never set any appointments – but you must also have a FOLLOW-UP plan in place if you want those appointments to convert to sales. Building RELATIONSHIPS for the LONG TERM requires a process to follow-up with those new prospects. Salespeople that have this ‘long game’ mindset and a plan to follow-up, will succeed. They know that they need to not only make the connection but to NURTURE it. They establish trust and STAY in touch on a regular basis so they stay top of mind.  

It may take a bit longer to reach decision makers in certain industries but across the board, what really matters is that you have the patience and persistence to make, and then nurture, those connections so they convert to appointments and sales! 

Do you need help connecting with decision makers? Assistance with follow-up? Our Call Center in a Box provides you with the training, management and monitoring YOU need to succeed in Cold Calling. Give us a call TODAY at 908.879.2911 to learn more!

Control what you can in Sales

Control what you can in Sales

There are so many factors that you can NOT control in sales:  

  • The mood your prospect will be in when you get them on the phone 
  • Whether someone will even TAKE your call 
  • Whether your Producer will convert your hard-earned lead into a sale 

So, let’s focus on what you CAN control so we can rock YOUR commissions in 2020! 

According to a recent study, only 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quota last year. How did YOU do? If you would like to do better – and even if you CRUSHED it last year, most good salespeople will be looking to do even better this year – here are some tips on how to control what you can in Sales.  

Are you REALLY making all the calls you can? 

If you are supposed to be dialing for 6 hours a day, are you just hitting your appointment setting quota and stopping, or are you really putting in the hours? 

In that same study noted above, 66.7% of the respondents had reached out to fewer than 250 leads. We also know, from other research, that companies with less than 50 new opportunities per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals while those with more opportunities were more likely to hit and exceed their goals. So, more dials = more opportunities. Make sure you are making those calls! 

It gets easier – or at least more rewarding 

Interestingly, that report found that salespeople who spend MORE than 4 hours a day on sales related activities reported HIGHER levels of job satisfaction than those spending less time.  

YOU control how many hours you put in, make the effort and it will pay off! 

Move the ball down the field 

Not every call will lead to a sale but make sure you are doing all you can to move the ball down the field – engage the prospect, gather critical data for future conversations, leave them with the info they need to remember you and your company and ask for a referral.  

Positive Mindset = Positive Outcome 

You never know what kind of day your prospect is having but you CAN control YOUR mindset. And that can make all the difference! Start your day with personal affirmations or inspirational words or video. Stay up to date on sales techniques and follow industry leaders on social media for insights and ideas. Follow us on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter for daily Sales tips and inspiration! 

Master your Script 

It may sound simple but memorizing your script really helps improve your confidence and delivery. And that can translate into higher levels of trust on the part of the prospect, leading to more appointments.  

Master your Rebuttals 

Ditto on your rebuttals. You WILL hit resistance and having rehearsed responses to the complaints you know you will hear will help ensure smooth, confident delivery when jumping those inevitable huddles. 

Stay Unattached to the Outcome 

When you are UNattached to the outcome of a call, you are will sound more relaxed and less salesy – two traits that actually result in MORE sales! This technique also helps YOU gain confidence, another sales booster as this builds the trust of the prospect.  

Don’t fool yourself 

Don’t fool yourself into believing that you have made all the calls you can. Or that you have mastered your script or rebuttals if you haven’t. Be honest with yourself and challenge yourself to do better.  

As we all know, making sales takes some luck – but the harder you work, the luckier you get! 

Good luck and best wishes for a strong 2020! 

Do you and your team need a bit more ‘luck’? Give us a call at 908.879.1322 to learn how we can get you in control and rocking YOUR commission in 2020!

Active Listening – it’s more than just ‘hearing’ what your prospect is saying!

Active Listening – it’s more than just ‘hearing’ what your prospect is saying!

At One of a Kind Sales, we spend a LOT of time training our people to ACTIVELY LISTEN. Picking up the phone and dialing MAY get you to the right person but actively listening is the real secret to setting qualified appointments and sales success! 

Can you hear me? 

A basic Cold Calling requirement is being able to HEAR the prospect. That means setting yourself up so there is no background noise or music to distract you and having a headset with adequate volume controls. Close all your extraneous browser windows and shut off your personal phone so you are not tempted to check email, texts or social media.  

It’s not just hearing them… 

ACTIVE listening involves more than just HEARING what your prospect is saying. It means UNDERSTANDING what is being said, and oftentimes, being able to hear and understand the UNSPOKEN context. Actively listening will enable you to ‘hear’ the prospect’s body language through the tone, volume and words they are using. It means noticing shifts in that tone or changes in the volume and then modulating your own tone and words in response. 

Active listening involves paying attention to what is said and using the prospect’s responses to formulate your own statements.  

Active listening tactics 

We recommend a number of tactics to do this: 

  • Paraphrasing – which is where you restate some of the prospects replies but in your own words.  
  • Summarizing – where you provide a summary of the process or discussion to give an overview and context. 
  • Clarification – where you restate and/or explain things to make sure you are all on the same page. ASK for clarification on a point or statement to keep the prospect talking about their issues. 
  • Reflection – where you reflect the prospect’s words back to them to help them understand what you are hearing. 

Note that ALL of the above require you to have HEARD not just the prospect’s words but the intentions behind those words. Pay attention, listen carefully and you will be rewarded with valuable insights and you will, more importantly, earn their trust! They can tell when you are listening and will appreciate that you have HEARD them.  

Resources 

Because we know that ACTIVE LISTENING is such an important skill, we have collected many useful resources on this topic. Here are a few articles and videos we think can help YOU improve YOUR active listening skills: 

What to Say to Set an Appointment

What to Say to Set an Appointment

You are making cold calls. You have picked up the phone and have reached a decision maker – NOW WHAT? What do you say to set an appointment?  

Here are four important things you need to say and do on a call with a prospect in order to actually set an appointment that will convert to a sale: 

  1. Build trust 
  1. Build credibility 
  1. Clarify and re-state their needs 
  1. ASK for their business 

Build Trust 

Let’s be honest, salespeople can get a bad rap. Past experiences with Snakeoil salesmen and people with less than virtuous intentions can make prospects reluctant to take calls from people they don’t know. Your first task, on any call, is to put them at ease and get them to TRUST you.  

Using positive words like “Good”, “Great”, “Wow” and “YES!” helps set the tone of the call and encourages them to trust you. But you MUST be GENUINE when using these or you will come off as insincere and salesy. 

Conversely, negative words can lead to mistrust. Always use the affirmative, stay upbeat and frame statements positively. Use “What would relieve some of the pressure you are under?” vs “What pressures are you under?” 

Salesy talk and high pressure selling tactics usually turn people off. You are there to HELP – make sure they know it! 

Build Credibility 

Include ‘Credibility Statements’ in your messaging. Establish your expertise and abilities in this area.  

What to say to get an appointment? Use phrases like: 

“Yes, we can definitely help you with that.” 

“Yes, we have helped others with this type of issue.” 

“Yes, we have years of experience with this.” 

Keep in mind that it is better to UNDER sell and OVER perform than to disappoint so be sure to set REALISTIC expectations. Over promising will set you up for failure. 

Saying “Yes, we are experts in such and such.” when you are not, MAY lead to an appointment but it may NOT lead to a sale.  

And needless to say, don’t use the words, ‘such and such’ – insert THEIR problem there! Which takes us to the next step… 

Clarify and re-state their needs 

Make sure you have been LISTENING so you understand their issue and their needs! 

Make sure you are ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS so you get the info you need to clarify their needs, their pain points and their timelines.  

Re-stating their issue and needs lets them know you are LISTENING to them – that you hear them and understand. Studies show conversion rates rise 80% when you restate needs! 

What to say to set an appointment? Incorporate phrases such as: 

“Please tell me more” 

“What I hear you saying is…” 

“You said XYZ, right?”  

Don’t worry about getting it wrong. As long as you are listening, are basically on the right track and you are in a conversation – not giving a soliloquy – they will most likely correct you and give you the opportunity to rectify your statement. Take that chance and use that opportunity to build a relationship with the prospect!   

And, most importantly, 

Ask for the Appointment! 

The next step is to ASK for the appointment! Ask the prospect to commit to the next step in the process. Only 13% of callers actually do this. Yes, it is scary – if they say no, the call could be over – but ASKING is the only way to move forward to get an appointment. Take the chance and make the ask! 

And if they say no, remember, a ‘no’ is a ‘no for now’. Put them in your hold file for a set period of time and move on. New prospects await and this one may be ready next time to you reach out to them! 

Call Center in a Box – An Introduction to our Prospecting Sales Management and Training Program

Call Center in a Box – An Introduction to our Prospecting Sales Management and Training Program

Are you frustrated by the quantity of appointments set by your Sales Team? Are they delivering poor quality leads that aren’t converting to sales? Are your Reps lacking the skills and management needed to effectively set qualified appointments? 

You need Call Center in a Box, our proprietary Prospecting Sales Training and Management program that will provide your team with the skills and management they need to Drive real RESULTS! 

Call Center in a Box is a Prospecting Sales Management and Training Program where we train, manage and monitor YOUR Sales Team to improve YOUR bottom line!  

Sales Training: 

Too often, we see sales teams made up of people who may have a ‘knack’ for sales but no real training. They end up ‘winging it’ when it comes to prospecting, resulting in poor quality leads. 

And even the strongest and most senior salespeople need to continuously train to stay at the top of their game. Harold Craxton, a professor at the Royal Academy of Music said, ‘Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong’. We agree and train YOUR salespeople to be PROFESSIONALS! 

Our sales training covers the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what your inside sales team needs to do to prospect effectively, including role play and modeling the correct way to make cold calls to set qualified appointments that lead to closed sales.  

We provide your team with the tools, support and training needed to hit production goals. Our scripting ensures that messaging is consistent and that sales reps will have meaningful conversations with decision makers to set qualified appointments.  

We set you up so your team will work in a CRM that is user friendly, simplifies the prospecting process and provides the tools they need to engage, qualify and set the appointment all in one place. This speeds up the sales cycle, enabling them to contact more leads in less time.   

The CRM enables your sales staff and managers to track and record calls and monitor productivity, resulting in more accountability and higher quality leads.  

Frequently, we see companies that have installed powerful CRM tools but have no clue how to use all the bells and whistles that enhance productivity. We show your people how to use features like voicemail drop, including the scripting for the messages, to make the most of their call time.  

Sales Management: 

The CRM allows management to access real time data, seeing what calls are made and when, enables them to listen in on actual calls and track the performance of their team.  

We then meet weekly with your salespeople to review their progress, discuss their calls, coach, role play to teach appropriate and more effective responses and help them with any issues that arise.  

Results: 

This combination of training, monitoring, reviewing and repeating the process has been proven to drive improved sales and increases employee retention! 

Our Sales Training program is industry agnostic, working for any team that uses cold calling and appointment setting as a strategy for driving new business.  

Click here to learn more or Call us today at 908.879.2911 to set up a time to discuss how this sales training program can help YOU get the best results from YOUR Inside Sales Team or Producers! 

Don’t have an inside sales team or producers? Click here to learn more about how we can do your cold calling for you!

Let Us Build Your Sales Foundation

Let Us Build Your Sales Foundation

Business owners often want to see quick results and instant ROI. That is like putting up the walls of a building without first building a sturdy foundation. Yes, you can throw up some walls but they will be flimsy and won’t stand up to the weather or the test of time!  

The same is true in business. You need a strong foundation to build your business upon. 

At One of a Kind Sales, we build you a STURDY sales foundation with daily, consistent outreach to your target audience. We work to develop long term relationships with the decision makers who will convert to real, CLOSED sales.  

Building a strong foundation is the hard part – the part that takes time and patience, but the part that is most crucial to building a thriving business. And we can do this for you! 

If your sales results are feeling a bit flimsy – or you know that your foundation is anything less than rock solid – give us a call. We can build you the sales foundation YOU need to build your business upon!