Wouldn’t you hate this scenario happened to you? It’s morning mid week and you’ve settled into work. Today happens to be one of those days where you’re being pulled in multiple directions for a variety of different reasons. To make matters worse, you never had the chance to enjoy that first cup of coffee. It’s starting off to be a hectic day.
While being heavily focused on a task, the phone rings from an unrecognizable caller ID. Perhaps the call is from a client, so you answer it.
A pleasant sounding woman is on the other end of the line and she proceeds to tell you her name. Then she starts off by asking cordial questions such as “how are you today”? All the while your mind is racing through your contacts, asking yourself if you actually know this women while at the same time you’re doing your best to be polite in case it’s an actual customer.
Within a moment’s time, the lady on the other end of the line begins asking you all sorts of questions, none of which relate to the services your company offers. Clarity sets in and dawns on you; you’re speaking with a telemarketer.
Without wasting much breath, the telemarketer begins peppering you with monotone lines read from a script that she’s read a million times over.
We’re from ABC Company and we’re #1 in XYZ industry. Would you be interested in buying our service?
YOU THINK TO YOURSELF, SUCH INTRUSION! I THOUGHT THIS CALLER WAS A CLIENT OR RELATED TO MY BUSINESS. THIS IS AN UNWELCOMED COMMERCIAL.
Cutting the telemarketer off, you decline any offer & immediately hang-up the phone.
This scenario plays out a million times a day. Telemarketers all over the world are losing sales before they’ve had a chance to even complete their pitch.
Cold calling on businesses in 2015 is still a critical tool for sales people in generating leads and keeping their pipeline full. The trouble is, most sales people who use the phone as their lead generation tool are all doing it wrong.
How can businesses still do B2B cold calling in our modern age? The fact of the matter is, B2B telemarketing still works, you just need to employ three easy to learn tactics with your strategy.
TACTIC ONE: RESPECT YOUR PROSPECT
This seems like common sense, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. When cold calling on businesses, go into the call with the understanding that the person answering your call DOES NOT WANT TO SPEAK WITH YOU ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS! Shocking, right? The person whose answering the phone was not expecting your call and chances are you’re interrupting them. Be brief and direct with your message, especially if you’re calling an un-targeted cold lead and you need the assistance of the gatekeeper to connect you with the right person.
TACTIC TWO: KNOW THE DECISION-MAKER
Do a little bit of research before calling your prospect so that you can ask to speak directly with the decision-maker. There is no point pitching the wrong person. You’re simply wasting their time and yours. You can use sites like LinkedIn or check out the prospects About Us section of their website.
If you’re cold calling an un-targeted prospect for the first time, then the purpose of the first call should be to find out whom you should be speaking with. DO NOT EVER SELL ANYTHING ON YOUR FIRST CALL TO AN UNKNOWN CONTACT, OR GATEKEEPER.
TACTIC THREE: PLANT A SEED
It’s natural to want to “pitch” the decision-maker when speaking with them for the first time. Old time sales pros will often push sales reps to “close, close, close”. In 2015, nobody wants to be sold on anything. When speaking with the decision-maker for the first time, use this opportunity to briefly introduce yourself and request a meeting (over the phone or in office) at a time that is most convenient for them.
You’ll be surprised at how effective this approach is with providing you the opportunity to pitch your business in a calm, non-aggressive salesman like manor.
When asking for a meeting, you’re disarming the prospect. You’re showing them that you’re respecting their time and what you have to speak with them about warrants a meeting, which should be scheduled ahead of time. Typically, when asking for a meeting in this way, the prospect will then enquire as to its purpose. (Voila, you’ve intrigued them in wanting to learn more).
You can use this time to explain your business, and how it relates to their business. This should take no more than a minute as to provide the prospect with enough information to understand your business. If you’ve researched the prospect properly, you’ll find most prospects will either accept the meeting request at a future date, or they will use this time to ask more questions.
B2B COLD CALLING IN 2015 STILL WORKS, IT JUST NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT
Your overall goal with every call is to gently guide the prospect towards WANTING to learn more about your business. The mistakes most telemarketer’s make is that they FORCE prospects to listen to a sales pitch which they never opted to hear it in the first place. This is a strategy simply doesn’t work and is a recipe for disaster.
If you’re serious about prospecting new business and you’re using the phone as your tool, then you need to think tactical with your strategy.
- Show respect. The people you’re calling on are not sitting around waiting to take your call. They are busy, and chances are very high you’re interrupting them at an inconvenient time.
- Research your target market before calling. The decision-makers should understand the value of your service without you having to hard-press them. Your chances of opening an opportunity go up dramatically when you take time to connect with the most appropriate contacts. It should not take too much time to explain your business to these types of contacts, because you’ve specifically targeted them as a viable customer and as you know, viable customers recognize value when the see it.
- Plant a seed, allowing the prospect time and opportunity to learn more about your business. By requesting an appointment to speak with them at a later time, you’re demonstrating respect and value. You’re showing the prospect that you recognize there is an opportunity for business and you’d like the time to explain everything in detail at a time convenient for them so that you and the prospect are not rushed thru a mad sales pitch.