If you hate cold-calling, you are not alone. In my dealings with other business owners in general, I have yet to find anyone who likes doing it.
What is “cold-calling”? That’s when you call someone who fits your market profile in order to introduce your products and services; someone who has never heard of you and who has not previously expressed any interest. It is sometimes called (I hate to use the term) “telemarketing”, but that word has some pretty bad connotations thanks to unscrupulous business practices of some companies in that business. Personally, I think that it’s much different when you call on your own behalf than when you hire a company to do it for you.
Who you call depends on your market; you can be targeting consumers or other businesses. Consumer cold-calling is really annoying to the consumer; I can only imagine the abuse that telemarketers must get from the public, who don’t tolerate dinner-time interruptions very well. (I, personally, am not rude to these poor souls, but I do politely ask them to remove me from their call lists.)
Mainly, though, I want to talk about business-to-business cold-calling. When you have a business product or service to sell, cold-calling is usually a necessary evil. When I was selling my software I made plenty of cold calls. My wife made plenty of cold calls. My salesmen made plenty of cold calls. None of us liked it, but we did it.
You probably don’t like it either, but you’re going to have to do it anyway so I have some tips to help you through it.
Like most things in life you can help yourself by adjusting your attitude; here’s how. Think of it as a numbers game. The reality of the situation is that most of the calls will be a waste of time. Some people won’t talk to you, some won’t be there, and some will talk to you but are not interested.
A certain percentage will express interest; they become “leads”. Better yet, a certain percentage of your leads will become customers!
Let’s put some numbers into an example. Let’s say that one of every ten calls results in a lead, and that one of every ten leads becomes a customer. That means that you will get, on average, one customer for every 100 cold calls.
Think about that for a moment. Every time you make a call, no matter what the result of that call, you will be one percent closer to a sale. Now, instead of mindlessly dialing the phone you are working toward that 100-call mark, and a new customer! Keep track of your calls, leads, and sales so that you know what those numbers are for your particular situation.
Another important thing to remember when you are making your cold calls is that some people just aren’t going to be interested, no matter what you do or what you say.
What does this mean? It means, “Let ’em go!” Don’t waste your time trying to talk someone into something that isn’t right for them. Learn when to let go because your time will be better spent making the next call and getting that much closer to your next sale.
Keep these things in mind. It will make it easier when you’re “Smilin’ and dialin'”!
“Make More Money and Have More Fun” with your small business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter, or his FREE ‘Min-E-Seminar’: “Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business.” Visit http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/art.htm to sign-up, for information on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome at 1-800-366-2347 or Dave@DaveBalch.com. (c) Copyright 2002-2003, Dave Balch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.