Cold calling is one of the things most
people seem to ask me for help with, usually because they want to get better
results from it – although some people like to avoid it altogether! However for a smaller business, often the
problem with their cold calling isn’t cold calling – it’s something earlier in
the process that’s causing them problems later on.
Now, whilst in these circumstances
getting better at cold calling can help, it’s sometimes more important to look
earlier in the process, to ensure you’re giving yourself and your team the best
chance of success when it comes to the phone call.
Let me give you some examples we’ve
uncovered whilst working with clients recently….
Problem No 1 – Poorly Planned Sales
This is a common problem that occurs far
more often than it should! Whether it’s
the manager, director or business owner that hasn’t thought the process out
fully, or that the salesperson just hasn’t got their head around it, either
way this needs looking at before the sales calls start!
An important point to look at here is
what has happened prior to the call you’re about to make? And compare that to what should have
happened! Has the person responded to an
advert? Have they come from a web
enquiry? If it’s a ‘pure’ cold call,
where have you sourced the data from and what is it like?
If it was a response to an advert for
example, what ‘filtering’ have you done on the advert? Did you want only the good quality enquiries
(useful for a small sales team that can’t handle larger call-volumes, and
salespeople with less experience), or did you want all the enquiries you can
get, so you can use your sales skills to try and get a positive outcome when
The more ‘filtering’ you have done, the
‘warmer’ the enquiry is, generally speaking.
I’ve seen far too many companies do too little filtering – usually
because they naively think that the more responses they get, the better the
advertising worked! It just means you’ve
got lots of ‘follow-up’ calls with people who are less interested – which
becomes a problem if you don’t do a lot of cold calling and aren’t used to the
Problem No 2 – Poor Handling Of Initial
Think about this for a moment. If your enquiry comes in over the phone, who
is the person who takes that call?
Someone that’s been well trained in sales? Someone who’s completely conversant with the
campaign that generated the lead and knows everything about it? Someone you can rely on to have the best
chance of converting that enquiry into business?
Far too often companies spend large
amounts of money on websites, advertising, branding and marketing campaigns,
yet when those campaigns generate an incoming lead, they fail to deal with it
properly! They fail to invest in the
most critical part of the process – the part that could win or lose them the
business – the training of the person handling the incoming enquiry!
If it’s an enquiry that came in via your
website, how quickly do you respond to the enquiry? Within a few hours? Or is it more like days? Some people I’ve talked to recently often
don’t respond to them at all!! Hands up
all of those who respond to the email or web enquiry with an email. You deserve to be shot! This is the main (or perhaps the ONLY)
opportunity to engage the prospect into your sales process and you’re going to
do it by sending an email? Dear oh
If it was a telephone enquiry, what
questions do you or your staff ask that person?
Questions that just get the ‘facts’ or the ‘details’ of what they
want? Or do you ask questions that
uncover buyer motivation, desire, needs, control the call and win the business
(and a new customer) at the end of it?
until next time, the best of luck with your sales!