Does the prospect of getting on the phone and calling a complete
stranger paralyze you? It’s not surprising. Many business owners
dislike cold calling, myself included. I think it’s fear of rejection
that scares us. But there are a few ways to make the process easier.
Pretend you’re in school. Don’t go into a call without knowing who
you’re calling and as much as possible about the company. Visit the
company Web site and read it thoroughly. Read the bio of the person
you’re calling. Do whatever you can not to be caught unaware because
you didn’t do your homework.
Get Your Foot in the Door.
Likely, the person you’re calling isn’t going to give you an
immediate “yes” along with his or her credit card. Make your goal to
get a meeting with the person you’re calling, as well as to gather as
much information about the person or company’s needs and goals. Then
when you meet with them, you can address how your product or service
can help them solve the problems they have.
Write a Script.
It helps to sketch out what you want to say. Now, don’t take this
the wrong way; I’m not encouraging you to read from your script in a
stilted voice. We’ve all gotten those calls, and they never go well, do
they? Write out a general introduction of you and what your company do
(try your elevator speech). Ask a lot of questions, and in your script provide replies based on a few possible answers. Think in terms of benefits, not product features. Everyone wants to know what’s in it for them.
Get to Know the Gatekeeper.
Typically, getting past the secretary or assistant that answers the
phone is the most difficult part of a cold call. Be as pleasant as
possible and ask for their help. People love vulnerability!
With these tips, you should find your cold calls a little easier.