The words “cold calling” still make sales people sweat.
I was on the phone with a client just a moment ago, while writing this, and he told me the biggest problem with his sales team is call reluctance. When I asked him why they won’t make more calls, he said they hated being rejected.
Here are two things you can do about cold calling to instantly make you, and your team, more effective at overcoming the “objections” they get:
Number One: Recognize that objections while cold calling aren’t really objections – they are just resistance statements.
It’s like when you go into a store and are asked, “Can I help you?” and you automatically reply, “No, just looking.” You aren’t really just looking—you’re usually looking for something specific (why else would you be there?). But you don’t want to deal with a sales rep so you give them resistance.
This usually makes them go away, but when you can’t find something, you seek them out – just like your clients do when they need you.
Number Two: Script out effective ways to deal with this resistance so you can get around it and start qualifying.
Here are some effective ways to do that with the resistance statement: “I’m/we’re not interested.”
If you make “warm” calls to someone who has filled out a web lead and you have to call them back and get “Not Interested” then say:
“That’s perfectly okay, _________, you’ve probably forgotten that you (filled in a form, requested info, etc.) so I don’t expect you to be interested in what you must think is a cold call.
“But just to remind you – on (date/time) you (visited our website/dropped by our booth/filled out a form, etc.)—just out of curiosity, what were you looking for at that time?”
For inactive accounts or people you’ve not spoken to in a while:
“I’m not interested”
“That’s fine _________, and I’m simply calling to update your account information for our records. Quick question: Are you still the right contact person who handles ordering the ________ for your company?”
“Oh that’s okay, I’m not calling to sell you anything today. Just want to make sure you still know we’re here in case you do need something down the road. By the way, do you guys still carry/use/order ________?”
For cold calling or prospecting calls:
“I’m not interested”
“Quick question: Does that mean you’re not interested at this moment, but in a few months things could change, and I should keep in touch?”
“I’m with you—quick question though: are you the right contact for this, or is there another department (or person) I should check with?”
“I understand. What would have to change for you to be more open to something like this in the future?”
This is how you get better at cold calling (or prospecting or whatever you call it). You will be much more confident if you take the time to prepare yourself for the resistance statements you get over and over again. Once you do, and once you begin getting past your prospect’s defensive barriers, you – and your team – will make more calls and begin closing more deals.