Cold Calling: Sales Professionals Avoid the Chills, Find Cure

Calling your doctor may be helpful when suffering from the common cold, but as we all know, there is no cure for the ailment. The best your physician can do is to provide you some comfort as the cold runs its course.

cold calling, social media helpWouldn’t it be nice if there was a cure?

As with the common cold, there seems to be no cure for the ill-feeling that professional sales people have toward the common practice of cold calling. It’s little comfort to know that many of their peers also get the chills at the thought of phone prospecting. While there may not be a cure, there are ways to avoid getting a chilly response, otherwise known as the cold shoulder, when cold calling.

Though there are those claiming that the cold call is dead thanks to LinkedIn, statistics also show that over 110,000 people search about cold calling each month.

The reality is that cold calling is probably not going away anytime soon, so we may as well warm up to the idea and avoid the chills by improving our skills.

LinkedIn, as most of us know, provides tools that can help with sales, such as:

  • Referrals
  • Relationships
  • Recommendations
  • Groups
  • Discussions
  • Sales Stats
  • Warm Contacts

But what LinkedIn and other social media cannot do for sales is provide the warmth of the personal touch. Relationships can be formed online, to a degree, but it’s not quite the same as hearing a person’s voice while looking them in the eye, seeing into their soul, if you will. Cold calling, as we once knew it, could be on its way out, might even be dead, but that doesn’t mean that sales people have stopped practicing the art of making initial contact with potential buyers.

Relationship is the only known cure for cold calling.

Think about it, only the FIRST call can actually be considered a ‘cold call’. The follow-up to that initial call, is to someone you now know. I buy from people, companies and organizations that I trust – don’t you? We spend our hard-earned money where we feel we get the best service, the best quality and the best results. We buy because we believe in the person, product or (at the very least) the promise. Why not approach EVERY call as calling someone you know? You can – if you’ve done your homework about the person, company, and/or organization. What you are willing to learn will make it easier to relate…the first part of relationship.

No one appreciates being spammed or scammed – and yet, the Internet is the one place that spammers and scammers are voted “most likely to succeed”. How can cold calling be dead, when strangers and people we will never meet are consistently marketing to us, offering us their services and pushing their products – 24/7 – online across the global marketplace?

One person’s reason for avoiding cold calling is another’s opportunity!

Personally, I hate rejection. I try to avoid rejection like the plague. Perhaps this is why I am not fond of cold calling. Even though I know that what I offer is worthwhile, I just dread rejection.

Do you know that, on average, the conversion rates for sales leads pursued in-person to actually closing the sale is a little more than 16 percent? That means that the rate of rejection is fairly high at nearly 84 percent. And it’s similar for those prospecting by phone. That’s pretty cold, right? Yet, successful salespeople rarely seem fazed by rejection. In fact, the best salespeople seem to understand that objections do not indicate rejection. They get that objections are usually just a desire to be convinced, an attempt by the potential buyer to be assured that they are making the right choice, and should, therefore, be welcomed – not avoided.

When you know what to expect, there is less to fear.

Great salespeople recognize that they will face the most common objections, most of the time. They prepare for these familiar objections:

  • Nothing new
  • Not enough time
  • Not interested
  • Not a good experience
  • Not enough information

Cold calling is hard. It’s work and it requires preparation and practice. In our fast-paced business world, this is just one more reason to wish the cold call dead. Who has time to bother with something that requires much patience, makes us uncomfortable AND offers fairly unimpressive odds for success?

The cure for any kind of work is to do it smarter.

Remember, you are selling YOU and no matter what, you are what others are buying, first and foremost. When you are approachable and believable, you will relate. When you relate, you engage. When you engage, others are able to buy into your message. If you build the relationship, will they come? Maybe not. But if you build the relationship, your efforts will be received more warmly and your odds for closing the sale certainly increase.

Avoiding cold calling and objections gets you no closer to the sale. Understanding why others have trouble warming to cold calling can help you to reach out with less fear of rejection and can help you better handle objections.

The following suggestions may help you avoid the chills and get you closer to the sale:

1. Listen. Don’t respond quickly, but hear the objection and what is really behind it.
2. Respect the objection. Get permission to better understand the prospect’s concerns.
3. Get clarity. Be sure you have understood the underlying issues that may or may not be easy to articulate.
4. Be careful. Answer carefully, honestly, and as concisely as possible.
5. Have a solution. Be prepared to satisfy the objection and describe the actions you propose.
6. Ask. Don’t assume that you have answered their concerns. Ask to be sure that you have overcome the objections and don’t be afraid to confirm the sale.
7. Remain open. Always give yourself openings for further conversation and more opportunities for building and continuing the relationship.
8. Make the call about the prospect – not about you.

If cold calling regularly gives you the chills, don’t avoid getting the help you need. The professional virtual assistant team at CMBS Global has a prescription for healthier prospecting online. We have a plan that personalizes the cold call, with social media strategies to warm your market. It only takes a few minutes to contact us and begin to do cold calling the right way.

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