Friday, October 9, 2009

WHO STOLE YOUR MONEY?




Cold Calling Tips

The obituary for cold calling is premature. While in the perfect world, your phone would be ringing off the hook all day with clients offering you business, the reality is that if you want business, you need to go after it, and cold calling is an effective sales tactic if it's done properly.

But many small business people would rather spend an entire day in a dentist's chair than go cold calling. Does the thought of cold calling makes your stomach drop to your toes? These cold calling tips won't eliminate your fear, but they will help you make cold calling a more successful experience.

Focus on the goal when cold calling.
Beginners tend to think that cold calling is about making the sale. It's not. It's about getting the chance to make the sale. Specifically, the purpose of a cold call is to set an appointment to make the pitch.

Research your markets and prospects.
You need to target your cold calling to the right audience. Use market research to focus on your target market. Then find out as much as you possibly can about the company or individual you're going to cold call in advance. This gives you the huge advantage of being able to talk about their business and their needs when you call them.

Prepare an opening statement for your cold call.
This lets you organize your thoughts before cold calling, and helps you avoid common mistakes in the cold call opening that would give the person you're calling the chance to terminate the conversation. For instance, you should never ask, "Is this a good time to talk?" or "How are you today?" Don't read your opening statement into the phone, but use it as a framework to get the conversation off to a good start.

What should be in the opening statement of your cold call?
Include a greeting and an introduction, a reference point (something about the prospect), the benefits of your product or service, and a transition to a question or dialogue. For example, 'Good afternoon, Mr.Mehta. This is Raj Singh with XYZ Company. I read in the local paper that you recently broke ground for a new office complex. We specialize in commercial landscape services that allow you to reduce in-house maintenance costs and comply with the city's new environmental regulations. I'd like to ask a few questions to determine whether one of our programs might meet your needs.'