Back to Basics – Cold Calling 101

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 13-05-2008

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Okay people, some of you hate cold calling.  Some even get as far as the prospects door and turn away in fear of rejection.  As humans our greatest fear is the fear of the unknown.  Cold calling for customers and prospecting can take on many flavors and qualities that are a unique as you are.  However, in order to build rapport and build relationships you must start with some basic information about your prospect, such as who is the decision maker.  Let’s address cold calling from the beginning with some basic techniques.

First of all, ignore any signs that say No Soliciting.  Those signs are really intended for people who canvass office building selling anything from cheap perfume to luggage.  If you are a legitimate business person making a cold call isn’t as repulsive and intrusive to most businesses.  If they treat you like dirt then I would ask them politely if they treat their own sales people in the same manner.  I don’t mean to be a smartass with that question but I can assure you that if your prospect has a sales staff they expect them to make cold calls too and to at least be treated with some respect.  I’ve been thrown out of offices before for cold calling but that has never stopped me from gaining new business through cold calling.

Secondly, have your literature and business card ready when you enter the door.  Be sincere when you ask for ‘help’.  And please don’t let the first thing that rolls out of your mouth be “How are you today?”!  If you must have an opening greeting let it be “Happy Monday!” Speak your name and ask if the gatekeeper can please help you. Tell her/him that you want to leave some valuable information for the decision maker regarding your product/service and ask for the persons name.  Confirm if that is the only person involved in making the decision on your product and get their title.  Write their name and a short message on the back of your business card and attach it to your literature.  Ask for the decision makers card and find out when the best time to call for a follow-up.  Get the name of the person you are speaking with and be sure to sincerely thank them for their help!  When you thank this person be sure to say their name when you thank them because people live to hear the sound of their name.  Follow-up your initial call within 24 hours.

Never apologize for interrupting their work when you walk in and don’t make excuses.  Deliver your introduction, don’t waste time and above all, smile when you address the gatekeeper.  Be prepared mentally for rejection because it will happen.  Be exceptionally prepared both mentally and with your facts and pitch.  Role playing is still the best way to practice your technique and become polished in your delivery.  I suggest that in every sales meeting you practice role-playing, it’s that important.  Quit complaining because no one wants to buy from a complainer.  When you enter the prospects office don’t grip about the price of gas or the weather.  Be the happiest person on the planet and work hard to earn the sale

Think of cold calling as a game.  One you play to win!  Make it fun, practice, read self improvement books and make someone smile.  And don’t forget to ask for the order!


The last word: “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”– John Rohn

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