Tag Archives: cold calls

Voice Mail/E-Mail – What to Say and What to Write (Part 2 of 2)

If you want to increase the response rate from prospects then you need to integrate and harmonize e-mails with your voice mail. In effect, you want to leverage the strengths of the two mediums while minimizing the weaknesses.

(This is Part 2 of a series. See Part 1: How to Get More Response to Your Voice Mails by Using E-Mails)
Your Voice Mail

Your voice mail message needs to be short and intriguing. It needs to reference a problem or concern that your prospect might be experiencing but it should not pitch a solution.

Next, the prospect should know precisely what he or she must do once they’ve heard the message.

And finally, it should reference the e-mail that you sent which will get them to scan their inbox. By getting them to interact with their e-mail you tend to create a stronger impression of you and your offer.For instance, your voice mail might sound like this,

Hi ______, this is ______ calling from ________.

_______, the reason for my call is to share an idea with you that could possibly reduce the hassle and headache – and the cost – of recruiting quality sales reps at your firm. I have also sent you an e-mail.

In the mean time, my number is xxx xxx xxxx. Again, it’s _________ from __________.

Thanks, ____

Easy isn’t it? The message is quick and to the point. No infomercial here. A problem is cited (hassle, headache and cost) and a solution is implied without a pitch. Finally, there is the reference to the e-mail. You can bet that most recipients of this voice mail will check their e-mail if only to gather more information about you and your company.

Your E-Mail

Your e-mail should echo your voice mail so that the prospect quickly relates the two. It starts with the subject line. A nifty subject line is simply this:

                Subject:  Jim, regarding my voice mail

         Subject:  Joan, voice mail message

                Subject:  Pat, today’s voice mail

Notice, the e-mail features the prospect’s first name. Using the first name acts like an eye magnet for the prospect especially if they’re glancing at their smart phone. Once they see their name, they’ll then be reminded of the voice mail. If they haven’t checked their voice mail they almost certainly will after seeing the message. If they have heard the voice mail, they’ll be curious if there’s additional information and open it up. In either case, you’ve left an impression.

As for the content of your e-mail message, use the theme of your voice message,

“Hi _______,

This e-mail is a follow up to the voice mail I left you regarding an idea I have that might reduce the hassle, headache and perhaps even the cost of hiring a more effective and successful sales rep.

Could you squeeze my call in tomorrow morning or perhaps late afternoon?

Let me know what works best for yo

Kind regards

Look at how short and simple this message is! Whether the prospect reads this at his/her workstation or on their iPhone sitting on the couch, the message is compact and to the point. If a quality rep is an issue with the prospect, there is reason to call if only out of curiosity.

Notice there is no fancy, detailed pitch.

The action request is simple. The prospect could key in “Tmw 8:30” during a commercial break or on the commute from a bus or train or subway or wherever.

Summary

Sending out an e-mail after you’ve left a voice mail adds one more step to the selling process. It appears a little tedious. But the purpose of the effort is to improve RESULTS. More prospects will notice your message and remember it. A certain percentage will act upon it. And that means more selling opportunities.

So integrate e-mail to your voice mail and start selling more.

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The Best Way to Open a Sales Call

by  Kelley Robertson, www.fearless-selling.ca

I was recently asked, “What the best first sentence to say in a sales call?”

I found the question intriguing because I’m not sure there is a single BEST sentence in a sales call simply because it depends on the type of call you’re making. Here’s what I mean.

There are several types of sales calls you can make including; cold calls, face-to-face meetings, follow-up calls, drop-by, product demonstration, etc.

Let’s explore a few of these and see what would work.

Cold Call

The best way to open any cold call is to use an attention-grabbing statement or question that demonstrates your knowledge or expertise. This must be delivered quickly (20 seconds or less) and contain compelling information.

“Mrs. Smith, employee sick days during corporate mergers can increase by 32 percent.” Pause. “What are you experiencing as you merge with Big Conglomerate?”

Face-to-Face Calls

I don’t think the first sentence in a F2F meeting is a deal buster. However, once you begin your actual sales presentation, you need to capture the other person’s attention quickly so always start by talking about your prospect’s situation.

Personally, I prefer to lead with an overview of their situation and then validate this assumption or understanding.

Follow-up Calls

I like to open my follow-up calls with, “Mr. Prospect, as promised, I’m calling to discuss the details of my proposal.”

In most cases, I only need to use this line when I get the other person’s voice mail because we have pre-scheduled the call and my prospect or customer knows why I’m calling.

Drop-By Calls

The most common statement sales people use in these situations is, “Is was just in the area and thought I’d drop by to see if you needed anything.”

Fuggedaboutit!

A more effective opening is to say something like, “I recently came across some interesting research and wanted to drop it off personally rather than send it by email.”

Product Demonstration Call

“Today, I’m going to show you how the Astro-Deluxe 3100Z works.”

Snore…

It is far more effective to open with a question or a statement that outlines how the demonstration is going to benefit the people attending.

“I understand that you have been experiencing problems with…Let’s look at how you can prevent those situations from arising.”

Every sales call has a slightly different objective which means you need to open each one differently. Ultimately, the more you focus that opening on your prospect or customer, the faster you will capture their attention.

Kelley Robertson is president of the Robertson Training Group. Kelley is the author of two sales books, Stop, Ask & Listen-Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers and The Secrets of Power Selling. Both sales training books provide practical insights to improving your sales results. Visit his website at www.fearless-selling.ca or call him 905 633 7750

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10 Easy Ways to Instantly Improve Your Cold Call Opening Statement

Without a doubt the opening statement is the most critical part of a cold call. If you don’t grab the prospect’s interest at this point, you  really don’t have to worry about the rest of the call, do you?

Here are 10 ways to make your opening statement better, more effective and more successful at getting your prospect to listen and to engage.

1. Script your opening statement. Yes, SCRIPT it.  Word for word.  Not the whole call. Just the opener  Most people don’t like scripts because they sound ‘canned.’  Instead, they wing it. They think that an off-the-cuff approach is more natural. It may be more natural but it is less effective.  You absolutely, positively need to have a well scripted opener to ensure you maximize the few seconds you’ve got. Remember, if you don’t get them here, you won’t get them at all.

2. Know the primary objective.  The primary objective of your opener is NOT to establish rapport. It is NOT to be their best buddy. It is NOT to pitch the product.  And it is NOT to set up the appointment. The primary objective is to get the client to LISTEN another twenty or thirty seconds. It’s to hook them. It’s to get them curious…skeptical, maybe … but curious enough to give you a little more rope. (See Point #7 to learn how).

3. Do NOT ask “How are you today?” Survey after survey reveals that prospects think this is a trite and insincere question. And they are right.  This question labels you as a ‘salesperson’ right off the bat and it puts your prospect on the defensive. Eliminate it.

4. Never ask, “Did I catch you at a good time?” or words to that effect. When you do, you give your prospect a ready-made excuse to get rid of you.  Instead, use this handy little trigger phrase, “Brian, if I have caught you at a good time, what I would like to do is ask you some questions…” The prospect senses that you’re asking if it’s a good time but what you are really saying is that you’d like to ask some questions. This is a VERY good technique.

5. Don’t say “We are a leading supplier (provider) of …” Boring!  Everyone says that. It’s a lame claim.  Who cares? Who believes it? What the heck does it mean anyway? If you want a prospect to sit up and take notice, use adverbs that describe the problems that you solve.  For example, an investment adviser might say,  “I work with single moms who are worried about  financing their children’s education.” A recruiter might say, “I work with HR departments who are frustrated with the quality of candidates.”

6. Tell the client precisely why you are calling. Remember: your prospect is not expecting your call. You are catching him off guard. Their focus is random. Therefore your message has to be succinct and to the point.  Tell them precisely what you want.  In the above example, the reason is clear:  “… what I would like to do is ask you some questions…”

7. Provide a benefit. Please.  Sadly, this  is the most ignored component of an opening statement.  This is how you get the prospect to LISTEN longer (see Point #2).  When you script your opener put yourself in the client’s shoes and ask “Why should I care?”  You must be able to answer that inevitable question, ‘what’s in it for me?’ The more specific, the better.  What will working with you (or buying from you) do for that prospect?

8. Bridge to a question and get the prospect involved. Once you’ve identified yourself, your company, the reason for the call and the benefit, ask a question. This will not only get the prospect involved and engaged but it will also stop you from pitching further. It creates a dialogue. It eliminates a monologue.

9. Practice until you are blue in the face.  Every word, every nuance, every syllable must be practiced until it is delivered with conviction. If you don’t practice, your opener will sound read.  And that’ll be the end of the call. If you don’t practice, you’ll start to wing it and that will dilute the quality of the call. And that too, will be the end of the call.  You’re on stage. Deliver your lines like a Hollywood star.

10. Stay disciplined. Stick to the script you’ve developed for the first twenty five live calls.  Don’t change a word. You’ll be tempted to edit after every call. Note your thoughts but do NOT change it. It will take that long for you to feel comfortable with the words and it will take that long to evaluate the prospect’s response.  Only then should you go back and edit your opener.  But only change one component of the opener. In doing so, you are controlling the ‘variables.’ If you revamp the entire thing, you won’t know what was working and what was not. Change your benefits. Or change the reason for you call. But do so, one at time and make another twenty five calls.

Give your opening statement a tune up by following these tips. They will help set you apart from all the other vendors, advisers, coaches, consultants, telephone selling reps etc. who call those same prospects.

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2 MORE Not-So-Smart Questions to Avoid

Remember what your teachers used to say: “there’s no such think as a dumb question?”

Well maybe that’s true in most cases but in tele-sales there are some not-so-smart questions that you should avoid because they can act as real show stoppers.

Not-So-Smart Question #1: How are You Today?

Please, at all costs, avoid this question when you’re tele-prospecting. Please.

While YOU might think it’s a real  rapport builder the vast majority of your prospects think just the opposite.  When surveyed well over 90% of prospects feel that the question is trite and insincere.  They find it ‘wastes time’  and puts them on their guard because it creates a stereotypical (and negative) image of an invasive “telemarketer” who is trying to sell them something. Is this how you want to start your cold call?

Look, if the prospect is telling you NOT to use this question, don’t use it.  Simple as that.  It doesn’t buy you anything and it can certainly cost you a lot in terms of credibility.

Not-So-Smart Question #2: Did I Catch You at a Good Time?

Don’t use this question either.  Oh, I know the argument: it’s polite and not using it can be seen as presumptuous by the prospect.  But be honest here, how many times have you asked this question only to hear, “no, it’s not a good time.”  I’ll wager it occurs 99 times out of 100. When you ask if it is a good time you are giving your prospect a ready made excuse to terminate the call. Hey! Isn’t tele-prospecting and cold calling  hard enough without you fueling the fire?

Instead, say this, “Jim, if I caught you at a good time, what I would like to do is ask you some questions, get a feel for your situation and see if we might   (provide a benefit).  Let me ask…”

By doing this, the prospect gets a ‘sense’ that you are asking if it is a good time (which positions you as courteous and respectful)  but you aren’t really doing that. You’re asking if you can ask some questions.

Of course, the prospect can still object but you’ve made it just a bit harder to do so.  And that gives you a slight edge and slight edges are might all you need.

Summary

By avoiding these two not-so-smart questions your ‘image’ will be a little less tarnished and you’ll increase the number of times a prospect allows you to continue the call.

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Why Sales People Hate Cold Calling

This blog features sales expert Kelley Robertson.  Kelley is one of North America’s foremost experts in sales training and I think you’ll see why in this article. Enjoy!

Cold calling is a fact of life for most people in sales. Sure, the vast majority would prefer to rely on referrals, word-of-mouth, or some other lead source that reduces or eliminates their need to make cold calls. However, unless you deal with an established set of accounts, you will, at some time, be required to cold call in order to generate sufficient leads for your business.

Having said this, even the most seasoned sales professionals often resist this strategy unless they are poked, prodded and pushed by their manager. Excuses include:

“I don’t like the rejection.”

“I don’t want to come across like I’m desperate for business.”

“I don’t want to sound like a telemarketer.”

“I don’t like interrupting people at work.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

However, I believe that there is another dynamic at play that prevents people from embracing cold calling. It’s the need and desire for instant gratification. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The prize inside the box.

We know that cold calling seldom generates quick results. It takes a lot of dials to connect with live people. It takes finesse to deal with receptionists, gatekeepers and executive assistants. It takes a certain amount of creativity to deal with the barriers that get in our way. It takes multiple attempts and a bulldog sense of persistence to finally connect with decision makers. And, finally after all that work, we eventually manage to make contact with our prospect only to hear, “No, thanks.”

I once read that there are two types of people. People who are willing to wait for a reward and those who want the reward now even though the payoff may be higher if they wait. I suspect that people who have the ability to wait for a payoff also possess the ability to make more calls than individuals who need immediate gratification. Let’s face it. Capturing a sale is highly motivating and many people have a difficult time making call after call with little to show for it. Making fifty or sixty dials and not capturing a sale or being unable to connect with a buyer or decision maker can be extremely frustrating. Spending an entire day on the telephone is even more challenging and difficult.

Experts on this subject say that you need to recognize that every ‘no’ brings you one call closer to making an appointment or landing a sale. Some people say that you need to “go for the no” and to use those ‘no’s’ as a stepping stone to hearing a ‘yes.” While these philosophies are technically true, it takes much more than that.

It takes big picture thinking. It requires the ability to postpone the pleasure of getting the reward and developing the discipline to work through the pain and challenge of making dozens of calls with little to show for it.

So, here’s the $64,000 question: how do you develop this ability?

I’ll warn you; it’s not easy. In order to develop the ability to get used to a delayed payoff you actually have to make these calls, as painful and challenging as it is. You need to condition yourself that you will eventually get a reward for your efforts. I know, you were hoping for a magic answer or quick result. Unfortunately, the quick-fix solution exists only in infomercials, novels and movies.

Let’s take a look at this from a slightly different perspective. When you learn a new hobby, sport, language, etc., it takes time to just to become comfortable. It takes longer to develop a level of consistent proficiency. And, it takes even more time to develop your skill to the point of excellence. The same concept applies to cold calling. You can’t expect to make ten or fifteen calls and master the skill. In fact, that number of calls won’t even get you to the point of feeling comfortable. You need to block time in your schedule on a daily basis to make calls. The more calls you make, the easier it will get and the more proficient you will become. As your skill improves, so will your ability to generate leads and secure appointments. You will become more adept at dealing with receptionists and executive assistants. And this will eventually translate into sales.

I guarantee that it will be a grind at first. However, if you can push through your initial resistance you can develop the ability to postpone your need for instant gratification. And as you do this, your results will improve.

© MMXI Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

Do you know what sales blunders are costing you money? Get a FREE audio program, Sales Blunders That Cost You Money and two other sales-boosting resources by subscribing to Kelley’s newsletter at www.Fearless-Selling.ca or email Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals close more sales at higher profits with less effort. Kelley conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca.

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The Top 10 Most Annoying Traits of Tele-Prospectors – Are you guilty?

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Tele-prospecting is tough enough without engaging in self destructive tendencies. Here is a list of the 10 most annoying traits of tele-sales reps. Are you guilty of any of these traits? Not sure? Ask someone you trust.

#1: “How are you today?”

Prospects rank this as their #1 complaint of telephone reps. The overwhelming majority of those surveyed feel it is trite and insincere and a complete waste of time. It immediately makes them weary and defensive.  What a lousy way to start a call. Since they don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s that simple.

#2: Butchering their name

Prospects hate it when you butcher their name. While it is true that some names are complex and the prospect is used to it, imagine how impressed they will be if you master the name. You do that by calling someone else in the company and asking them for the proper pronunciation. Practice. Write it phonetically. Practice some more. Get it right. Nail it.

3. Presenting in a monotone.

A lifeless and lack luster delivery of your opening statement is a one-way ticket to disaster. The prospect senses that you are bored or unprepared in a split second. Over 80% of your telephone communication is through the tone of your voice. Remember that! Be conscious of your tone before you pick up the phone. The three second you take to say to yourself “Stay up beat,” will pay dividends.

4. Beating around the bush.

Prospects say that many telephone reps fail to get to the point of the call quick enough; they beat around the bush. The prospect gets confused and impatient. The call becomes an intrusion. Get to the point. You do that by using this trigger phrase, “Sandy, the reason for my call is ….”  This simple phrase provides direction and focus in the clients mind. Subconsciously they are relieved because they understand.

Of course, you don’t have to be blunt and say, “The reason for my call is to sell you product X.” Be more subtle, “Sandy, the reason for my call is ask you some questions, get a feel for your situation, and see if there may be an opportunity to…”

5.  Not presenting a benefit.

While some reps are capable of getting to the point, many have failed to delineate the benefit to the client. The benefit is what gets the prospect to tune, listen and listen longer. This is the difference between a mediocre opening statement and great opening statement. If you can reduce expenses, say so. If your service will improve productivity, tell them up front.  If you can improve revenues, let them know.

To carry on with the example in #5 you might say, “…and to see if there might be an opportunity to reduce your acquisition costs.”

6.  Not getting the prospect involved.

No one likes or wants a monologue. The client needs to be engaged to feel part of the process. This means asking questions, getting agreement and seeking acknowledgement so that there is a two-way dialog. This is why it’s a heck of an idea to say the reason for you call is “to ask a few questions to get a feel for your situation…” It alerts the client that the call is about THEM and not you. Once you’ve provided your benefit, ask your first question. Get them involved early.

7.  Not answering a question.

Prospect despise it when they ask you a question or toss out an objection and you ignore it or you skate around by not answering the question directly.  They feel you are hiding something and the instantly, instantly distrust you.  Why risk that? Have your replies prepared.

8. Interrupting

Prospects complain about tele-sales reps who interrupt them with slick answers or more features. When your prospect talks, you listen. Don’t interrupt. Hear them out. Evaluate what they saying. Let them finish. Then, and only then, should you respond.

9. Sarcasm and Rhetoric

Tele-sales reps can blow a sales opportunity by the use of sarcasm or by the ridiculous use of rhetorical questions such as, “You want to save money, don’t you?” or “You’re a smart shopper, aren’t you?  Or “If I could show you a way to save 10% would you take a moment to listen…”Or, “Well, if you’re not interested in reducing the cost of your deliveries, that’s fine by me.” Further comment is unnecessary, right?

10. Not knowing when to quit.

In B to B (much less in B to C), most decision makers will cut you some slack because they know you are doing your job but do not push it. After the third ‘smokescreen objection’ (i.e., the objections seems patently false) you should probably cut you losses

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4 Vital Tips When Tele-Prospecting to C-Levels What Sales Reps Can Learn from Sport Casters

Sideline sportscasters are not unlike sales people. Their job is to ferret out the top athletes (key decision makers) or coaches (C-Level execs) and ask them a question or two to get their insights.

Unfortunately, like many sales people, sideline sportscasters typically blow the opportunity by being unprepared. Here are a couple of examples of some insipid questions asked recently while I watched NCAA football. In both cases, the sportscaster collared a big name player or coach and in front of millions of viewers, these were the questions asked:

“Charlie, this is the fifth game Notre Dame has lost this year. Tell us:  are you disappointed?

“Tim, how excited are you about playing in the SEC championship game against Alabama this year?

How sad! That’s the best the sideline announcer could come up with? Charlie and Tim rolled their eyes.  Because these questions were trite, the quality of information provided was equally as trite. No one benefited. It was a complete and utter waste of time for the viewing audience, the player/coach and the sport announcer.

Top executives, C-levels, and owners are no different from athletic celebrities.  They are hard to reach and their time is valuable. As a tele-prospector, you need to make the most of the moment. You cannot ask lame questions if you expect to get further into the sale.

Here are four ways to prevent “Sportscasteritis” with C-Level Excutives

1. Never ask a Question that Your Client Can’t Answer

Nothing stops a sale faster than asking a question that your prospect cannot answer. Top decision makers do not want to be placed on the spot. It’s embarrassing.

For example, if you’re talking with the CFO of a large company and you ask about an obscure piece of ledger software, chances are he’ll be stumped because he does not deal with that issue. Some underling handles it. All you have succeeded in doing is pointing out something the C-Level doesn’t know which does not endear you to her or him.

2. Prepare a single question that is pertinent to that prospect and his position

You can actually prepare more than one question but you need a single question that is the best of the best. It’s a question that will be most significant to you and your sales objective, and of course, it is a question that the executive can answer.

You ask this question first in case you don’t get any further. The higher you go up the executive food chain, strategic that question will be.  The lower you go, operational it will be.

3. Don’t waste their time.

When you get through to the C-Level, tell him you have only one question.  This is a brilliant tactic because they will usually let you proceed and ask it because the time and effort seems minimal. Additionally, they tend to listen more closely to what you have to say because they know it will not take long. If your question is good enough, they open up and usually let you continue further.

For example, suppose you are in capital leasing and you get through to the superstar CFO. Here is what you might ask,

“________, I know you are busy and I have one quick question: Are you planning any capital expenditures this year?”

The CFO will know the answer to this question. It is pertinent to his position. It is pertinent to your selling. It’s a good question.

4. Have your advance ready to go

Know precisely what you want from the call. Chances are it’s an appointment or a referral to an underling or maybe attendance at a webinar; objectives like that. Be prepared to quickly shift to your offer or request.  These executives are shakers and movers. They are used to getting to the point and expect others to do so.

In the above example, you might cut to the quick and say,

“We’re a capital leasing company that specializes in _________ and we’ve worked with ____.  Mr.________, Can you give me the name of the person who I should be speaking to regarding this project.”

This statement gives the CFO a quick overview of your company and what you do. He doesn’t need or want a lecture. You get directly to the point. If he wants to debate with you, he will.

Follow these four tips and be prepared when you encounter a superstar executive. Make the most of the moment.  See you on the sideline!

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The Top 10 Things Every Field Rep Should Know About Making Telephone Cold Calling

Many field reps are uncomfortable using the telephone when cold calling. Here are some tips to make the process of cold calling by phone easier and more effective.

1. It’s NOT a numbers game, it’s a results game

You’ll often hear this about cold calling especially from you boss: “It’s a numbers game.” Translated it means you have to make a zillion calls. No way. Don’t believe them.   Telephone cold calling is not about quantity, it’s about results.

Results come from smart tele-prospecting, not mindless dialing. Being smart means have the skills and techniques to make the most of the dials you make.  It means learning new processes and using job aids to convert more prospects into leads. It means being good at cold calling.

2. Use a verbal GPS (call guide)

A verbal GPS is a written ‘map’ to help guide your cold call.  Like a GPS, enter your destination (your primary objective), your starting point (your opening statement)  the sites you want to see along the way (your secondary objectives) and the route you want to take to get  there (your key questions, the key points you want to make).

Put this information on a green sheet of paper so that it sticks out on your desk or wall. Look at it before you call. Use it during the call to keep you on track. The mere process of writing these items down will increase you success rate by a minimum of 20%.

3. Script – yes, script- your opening statement

Most field reps would rather undergo a root canal than use a script. Instead of a script, field reps tend to ‘wing it’ and justify their behavior by saying, it sounds more ‘natural.’ The net result is that the cold call feels like a root canal.

If you were going to make dozens of cold calls to similar prospects regarding your products or services, why would you try to ‘wing’ it every time? Script your opening statement so you have the very best mix of words that entices the prospect to listen further.

4. Avoid Shooting Yourself in Both Feet by Avoiding these Killer Phrases

Cold calls quickly become lame when field sales reps inadvertently shoot themselves in both feet by using two killer phrases.  The first phrase is “How are you today?” In cold calling situations, the vast majority of prospects perceive this phase as trite and insincere. It instantly puts the prospect on guard; makes them skeptical and suspicious. Just eliminate it from your vocabulary.

The other killer phrase is “Did I catch you at a good time?” While polite, it gives your prospect a fast and easy way to ditch you. Instead, use this phrase, “If I caught you at a good time, what I would like to do is ask you a few questions to get a feel for your situation and to determine if we might be able to … (list a benefit).”  The prospect has the definite sense that permission was asked but the real question was not if he had the time but rather could questions be asked.” Big difference.

5. Know When and When NOT to Leave a Voice Mail – and Avoid Call Display

If you are never going to call this prospect again, leave a message. You have nothing to lose. Script – yes script- your message ahead of time and be prepared to leave it. If you are planning to recycle the list a few times, don’t leave a message. It warns them you’re coming. They use call display to screen your calls. Hang up. Take three or four shots at getting the client live.

6.  Anticipate Knee Jerk Objections

The majority of prospects are not sitting back and waiting for a call from a sales person. They are typically working and your call is an interruption. Many prospects will toss out an objection out of reflex not unlike what happens when a doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer.

Here’s what to do. List the typical knee jerk objections on a sheet of paper so you’re not caught off guard. When you hear an objection follow the “EIA Process.” First, empathize. Next, ignore the objection completely. It’s not legitimate anyway. Third, calmly ask ‘one quick question.’  (Example:  Prospect: “I am busy right now.” Rep: “I understand completely…Brian, while I have you, one quick question: do you…)

Amazingly, over half the prospects will answer your question and most they will continue to answer additional questions simply because their reflexive reaction has settled down.

7.  Ruthless Disqualify Your Prospects

Have your key qualifying questions prepared and get to them right off the bat. You do this to determine if the prospect is worth YOUR time. If not, ruthlessly disqualify them and move on to greener pastures.

8.  Script- yes, again, script- your offer

For most sales reps, the offer is a request for an appointment. At this point in the sales cycle,  your product is the appointment.  Therefore, script your request for their time word for word.  Explain what the appointment will entail. Most importantly, list the benefit the client will get by granting you thirty or so minutes of time. By having this prepared ahead of time you won’t fumble the opportunity.

9.  Forget About Sending Literature

Prospects can make mince meat of your efforts by getting you to send, fax or e-mail literature. This smokescreen objection is a classic, if not polite, way to blow you off. Don’t fall for it. If you do agree to send marketing material, get commitment by asking for a specific follow up date and time (e.g., Thursday at 3:15). No date and time, no literature. Move on.

10. Make your call like an Academy Award Winner

The telephone is an audio medium.  Your tone, rate of delivery and volume of your voice accounts for about 80% of the message. Too fast, too slow, or too monotone will destroy your cold call in less than ten seconds. What this really means to you is that you need to practice your opening statement so that it flows naturally. You need to practice following your verbal GPS so you can transition your prospect through the call.  Practice your ‘offer’ as if you’re Brad or Angelina. Get your words and tone down pat. Do that and you’ll be a tele-prospecting star.

Summary

Telephone cold calling for field sales reps can be easier and more effective by simply bearing these ten tips in mind. Implement them and watch your success grow.

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