I am frequently asked, “is Cold Calling a waste of time?” Given that my business is to find and place, train and manage Cold Callers and that we at One of a Kind Sales LOVE making Cold Calls, I can confidently say, “YES” – when done poorly, Cold Calling IS a waste of time!
This may sound blasphemous – how can someone who LOVES Cold Calling, admit that it is a waste of time?! I am able to say this because I KNOW that it is true. I meet salespeople all the time who are wasting their time – and the time of their potential prospects – by using outdated scripts, poor techniques and/or ‘winging’ it. Too many people think that Cold Calling is just a matter of picking up the phone, dialing a number and chatting with, or worse yet, bullying the person on the other end into setting up an appointment. This could not be further from the truth!
Cold Calling is an art and a science. There are proven techniques and approaches that you need to learn in order to be effective. And you must be able to LISTEN to, and empathize with, your prospect. Most people are NOT born with these skills but with training and guidance, they CAN be learned.
Successful Cold Callers know:
They need to be consistent, making calls daily.
They need to be persistent – and know not to give up!
The VALUE of their work – they know that the appointments they set with qualified prospects lead to CLOSED SALES and a healthy bottom line.
Cold Calling is NOT for the faint of heart. It is a hard, often harsh, business where you hear “No” way more than you hear “Yes’. But it is also a rewarding one! Cold Calling is an important and EFFECTIVE part of many business plans and well trained, accomplished Cold Callers are ALWAYS in demand.
Are YOU wasting YOUR time Cold Calling without results? Give us a call at 908.879.2911, we can provide you with the training you need turn that around! And if you would like to HIRE one or more of our well-trained salespeople to fill your pipeline with qualified leads, give us a call. Our people are snatched up pretty quickly, so get on our list!
So, is Cold Calling a Waste of Time? When done poorly, yes, it can be. But when done properly, by well-trained salespeople, Cold Calling can be one of your most powerful funnel filling tactics! Are you and your salespeople wasting YOUR time?
Are you unhappy with your cold-calling results from 2018? Know something needs to change but not sure what it is? Here are 5 ways to boost YOUR cold-calling results in 2019!
1. Be CONSISTENT
Consistency is KEY to your success in this business! I HIGHLY recommend setting aside a specific amount of time EVERY DAY, to make your cold calls. I know that things come up and meetings need to happen so you may not be able to make the calls at the same time every day but make sure that you are making time, every day, for calls.
The amount of time you need to spend is dependent on your goals. (I will address this formula in an upcoming post.) But studies show that you need to ‘touch’ someone 8 – 12 times before you make a real connection. Keep this in mind as you dial!
Stick to the same script to keep your messaging consistent and you will see results. Remember, NO means ‘not just now’ and every dial gets you closer to a YES!
2. Stay POSITIVE
When you are making your calls, think ‘positive’!
Not only can the person you are speaking with FEEL the positive vibe but getting yourself into a positive mindset can really make the difference between just making calls and SETTING APPOINTMENTS.
Remember that ‘Attitude Drives Behavior’ and YOU control YOUR attitude.
Deals are LOST due to lack of, or poor execution of, follow-up!
I HIGHLY recommend using a CRM that automatically enters your calls into your queue and having a cohesive follow-up plan. Depending on the outcome of each call, you may be identifying and reaching out to the ‘right’ person or setting appointments – the call is only the first step, be sure you have a clear map to CLOSING.
Your plan will vary based on your needs and goals but make sure that it also includes a STOP point. You don’t want to OVER follow-up (which leads to burn out on both ends – the prospect AND the salesperson making the calls!)
If the prospect is not interested after your fourth call, you should take them out of your rotation for a few months before reaching out again. And if they have ghosted you – are no longer taking your calls – you should have an email follow-up that you can send. In that email, ask prospects to clarify where they are in the process, what has changed and to be frank, clarifying if they no longer wish to be contacted.
4. Know and MONITOR Your KPI’s
MAKING a specific number of phone calls is NOT the ultimate sales goal – know what YOUR goals ARE!
Clearly identifying your goals and monitoring your progress towards those goals is KEY to ACHIEVING them! Knowing YOUR KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will help you stay ON TRACK.
Sales tactics, techniques and technology change constantly – you need to be a life-long learner to succeed! Practice WILL get you closer to perfect but staying on top of industry trends and refreshing your skills is VITAL. Educational posts with sales insights and tips can help, as can videos and podcasts.
We offer training for salespeople of all levels, keeping them up to date with best practices, sharpening their skills and giving them the tools they need to succeed. We make sure that they KNOW and MEET their KPI’s and consistently hit and EXCEED their sales goals.
If you are NOT seeing the results you need, give us a call – we can help you with your script, train you and your team on your delivery and even make calls for you if needed! Contact us at 908.879.2911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While psyching yourself up to make that first dial of the
day may be the most daunting part of cold calling, MAKING the calls is NOT the
ultimate sales goal for most organizations. Setting QUALIFIED APPOINTMENTS and
CLOSING SALES are what impact your organization’s bottom line. Understanding
the full sales process and knowing (and monitoring) your KPI’s will help you
meet your ultimate sales goals.
KPI’s are ‘Key Performance Indicators’ – clear, specific
actions YOU need to take, during a specified time, to achieve a specific
outcome. In the example above, picking up the phone and making calls IS key,
but the specified desired outcome is to set appointments with qualified
individuals and then to close sales with those prospects.
If you are responsible for making that first call, your KPI
might be to make X number of calls per hour, day or week. If the other
subsequent metrics are falling or failing to be met, this number may need to be
Are you responsible for setting appointments? That KPI
might track the number of calls that result in an appointment. If this number
slips, go back to the initial call script and make sure it is solid. Re-work
that as needed to ensure the calls you are making lead to appointments.
The next metric to track would be the number of appointments
that are converting to actual sales. If you find this number slipping, you
don’t necessarily need to make MORE CALLS (though that may help increase your
odds) but you need to work on the delivery and content of those calls so that
when you are setting appointments, they are with people who are truly QUALIFIED
to close a sale.
Clearly identifying your goals and monitoring
your progress towards those goals is KEY to ACHIEVING them! Knowing and
monitoring YOUR KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will help you stay ON TRACK
to meet and exceed your sales goals.
Are your calls not converting? Need help with your scripts or to tune up your teams’ delivery? Give us a call – our training programs can boost YOUR team’s results.
And if you still need help, WE LOVE COLD CALLING! Give us a
call at 908.879.2911 to see how WE can make calls for YOU!
Your leads have been properly qualified as a good fit for what you are selling. But the leads aren’t getting closed.
When qualified leads don’t turn into sales, cold calling campaigns can be erroneously considered to be root of the problem. The failure to close sales cannot be attributed to the cold calling campaign when other conditions may be in play.
Proper training, preparation and having the right tools on hand will ensure that qualified leads result in closed sales.
Training and role-playing. Often reps are not properly trained to take the call/meeting to closure. The goal of the salesperson isn’t to just make a one-time sale but to position themselves as someone that understands the customer’s needs, someone to be trusted, and someone that the customer can turn to for solutions to their problems. Role-playing techniques help salespeople to become comfortable using this consultative selling approach.
Preparing and planning. When it comes to sales calls, don’t wing it. Prepare by becoming knowledgeable about the company and the prospect you will be speaking to. Have on hand all paperwork, forms, etc. that the customer will need to move forward. Plan by anticipating any objections that might arise and knowing how to respond to them.
Tools. Scripts are a useful tool to guide how the call or visit should go. Base scripts on the ultimate goal for the meeting but be as specific as possible when goal setting and writing scripts. Be sure to include thoughtful questions that will open the prospect to discussion. Leverage rather than read your script to make sure progress is made through the call to reach your goal.
Hiring. There is no training or preparation in the world that will make a rep successful if that person does not possess the need for achievement, an underlying competitiveness and overall optimism. If a rep is still not successful after the proper training, planning and preparation, it’s time to re-examine your hiring process because you are not attracting the right people.
Select people who are suited for the job, and train and prepare them properly to sell and close. Then you are ready to launch a cold calling campaign and turn qualified leads into sales.
We’re all salespeople, at least to some extent. Every negotiation we enter into, both personally and professionally, requires us to convince other people and convert them to our side of thinking. Some are better at selling than others. While we often hear that good salespeople are born, not made, it’s just not true. Selling is mostly a science, not an art. A solid sales process provides the science for anyone to become a top performer.
Successful sales organizations live by their sales process. A best in class sales process is:
Reinforced through specific activities & tools
Measureable & trainable
Constantly improved upon
Aligned with the customer’s buying process
Reinforced through coaching by 1st line sales managers
A well thought-out sales process will help you implement a common sales methodology that leverages the processes used by high performers. You’ll be able to prepare your salespeople for different situations that they may encounter and your team will be able to leverage those best practices in real-time. Your process will make it easier for new salespeople to get on board.
A Process That Reps Prefer
Sales reps appreciate a standardized process because it helps them be more efficient, develop stronger skills through repetition, and spares them from having to reinvent the wheel with every prospect or opportunity. When they come to a roadblock, the process provides them guidance with suggested next steps. Sales reps also gain a sense of company commitment, support, and dedication toward the sales department and their efforts.
Managers Benefit Too
Sales managers and business owners appreciate the sales process concept. Once the process is defined, it is easier to manage the sales funnel and the expectations surrounding sales activities. Managers can determine where in the sales process the sales reps are getting stuck so they can address these issues sooner rather than later. Sales issues are often due to lack of effort or the ineffectiveness of sales methodology. A sales process takes the guesswork out of this, and allows a manager to manage the sales reps behavior and activities accordingly.
The greatest satisfaction, for both the company and its sales reps, comes when they see the true outcomes of being able to handle different selling situations successfully, positioning themselves stronger against competition, communicating their value proposition more effectively and closing more accounts faster. With an effective sales process, goals will be met consistently and achieved without wasting time, energy and money.