The rumors that the days of cold calling are over are grossly exaggerated.
The truth is, cold calling is still an integral part of sales.
Regardless of whether you’re approaching your prospects via email, direct mail, or picking up the phone and calling them, you have to keep reaching out to new people all the time in order to grow your business. It may be cleverly disguised, but under the mask, it’s still cold calling.
I have met very few people who actually enjoy making cold calls. In fact, it can be the bane of any business owner – and often is! Those folks who embrace cold calling, and indeed make it into an art form, are few and far between.
But then there’s the rest of us.
I freely admit that I struggle with the cold call. Yes, I know it is something that we all must do. And, once I start making the calls, I always question why I suffered from call reluctance. I have almost never encountered anyone who treated me rudely, so what are we afraid of?
I suspect that the answer to this lies in the psychology of human nature. We all desire acceptance, and we all fear rejection. And these emotions reside in our subconscious. Therefore, we build up a resistance to reaching out to strangers, especially if we are representing a product or service that can be rejected. When the recipient of our cold calling effort declines our product or service, we tend to take it personally, as though we were being rejected rather than recognizing the fact that the prospect is simply turning down our offer.
So instead of fearing the cold call, we have to learn to embrace it.
At minimum, you are creating more exposure for your business, and in the best case scenario, you are actually gaining a client.
We have to change the way we look at the cold call, as well as the delivery mechanisms. You can’t simply send the same message over and over again, asking them to buy your product or service. Remember that your prospect is being approached by many people every day to purchase their products or services. So, how do you position yourself to stand apart from the others?
The simple answer is to provide them with something that no one else is: value!
Continuing to ask prospects to meet with you or to buy your product or service doesn’t automatically translate to providing value. Buying decisions are almost always made based on emotions. We’ve heard it before, but the reality is that people will buy from you either because you have a unique product or service, or – most often – you are resolving a problem for them.
So, why not try a new approach? Why not provide a free resource that is of value to your prospect? This will open the lines of communication as well as differentiate you from your competitors.
Why not try…
• sending your prospect an article, website or an e-book that is applicable to their needs
• call your prospect or email them to offer an idea or suggestion
• invite a prospect to an event
• offer to make an introduction or introduce them to someone they should be connected with
By giving something to your prospects, with no strings attached, they will begin to understand that you are looking to provide them with of value, not just land a sale.
Of course, we all have to earn a living and no one has the right to expect something for nothing all the time. So provide value to your prospects to build trust, but remember that the goal is to lead them to becoming your client.
The key is to make your message valuable enough that the prospect will hear you out.
Until next time…
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