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Wednesday, January 09 2013

Face it: cold calling is an unpleasant reality for many people in sales. They don't like it for many reasons. However, if you are in sales, it is a necessary job function - especially when starting a new sales job.

Why Salespeople Fail At Cold Calling.

There are a number of reasons as to why a salesperson fails at cold calling. But after you strip away the fact that most salespeople don't want to do it, you are left with a number of core reasons as to why (see below).

  1. No action plan on the number of calls a salesperson makes each day/week.
  2. No action plan on who to call.
  3. No action plan to grow their prospective buyer or referral partner database.
  4. No action plan when it comes to using a low-risk invitational offer to motivate a prospective buyer to take the next step forward in the buying cycle.
  5. No action plan when it comes to using a voicemail script - this is especially critical since a salesperson will leave a voicemail message 75% - 90% of the time.
  6. The business owner or sales leader doesn't know the value of customer surveys (they are a great lead generator for a salesperson).
  7. The business owner or sales leader doesn't measure the back end sales metrics with each salesperson on staff.
  8. The business owner or sales leader is too frugal (or too cheap) to spend money on sending a marketing campaign to a designated database of prospective buyers; hence making it easier for a salesperson to follow-up with an "oh by the way call."

The Key To Your Success Will Be The Database(s) That You Or Your Salespeople Call.

Before you or your salespeople start making a bunch of cold calls, you need to first look at the databases you are calling. In fact, 60% or more of your sales team's success will be directly related to the SIZE and QUALITY of their prospective buyer database, i.e., customers, past customers, prospects and referral partners.

Break Your Databases Into The Following Groups.

  • Customers
  • Past Customers (look at your 12, 24 and 36 month past customer file)
  • Tier 1 Prospects = Prospects who buy what you sell
  • Tier 2 Prospects = Prospects that you talked with but Do NOT buy what you sell
  • Tier 3 Prospects = Prospects that you know nothing about
  • Tier 1 Referral Partners = Referral partners who refer business to a competitor
  • Tier 2 Referral Partners = Referral partners who DO NOT refer business to a competitor
  • Tier 3 Referral Partners = Referral partners that you know nothing about

Cold Calling Will Increase Your Sales. . . If Done Correctly.

Although you and some of your salespeople might loathe cold calling, it can be a very effective way to increase your sales - if it is done correctly. In fact, I have listed below the best and worst cold calling techniques for most business owners, sales leaders and salespeople reading this e-tip.

The Best To Worst Cold Calling Techniques.

The best to worst cold calling techniques for most salespeople to use:

  1. Send a lumpy mail package to a small group of prospective buyers; call within 24 to 36 hours of receipt. Open rates of this type of package run about 85% to 90% or more.
  2. Send a sales-themed e-mail marketing campaign, via an e-mail hosting tool like Constant Contact, and call within 24 hours of receipt. The key is to download a list of names that opened/clicked through the e-mail campaign PRIOR to calling - it gives you an excellent way to target hotter versus colder prospective buyers.
  3. Send an e-mail via Microsoft Outlook (or similar tool) and call within 24 hours of receipt. You will increase your success if you attach an item of interest for each person, i.e., whitepaper, campaign design, voucher, etc.
  4. Send a postcard or #10 "pastel" envelope/letter and call within 24 to 36 hours of their receipt.
  5. You pick up the phone and call someone from a list.

Executive Summary: Sure, there are many other sales activities/events you can do to motivate a prospective buyer to reach out to you. However, it cannot be relied upon as your sole source of lead generation. The key to your cold calling success is to have a sound strategy. Once it is developed, pick up the phone and start calling. Do this and you WILL SEE sales magic happen.

P.S. It's NOT about standing over your salespeople and measuring the number of cold calls they make (although it is important); it is about developing a marketing strategy, creating a database to call and then ensuring a salesperson are following-up on a marketing campaign.

© Drip Marketing, Inc. All Rights Reserved & May Not Be Used Without Written Permission
Posted by: Glenn Fallavollita AT 06:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email