Dec 282018
 

Photograph Bonus: Geralt

 

Cold calling for an enterprise product or service is not the same as cold calling for a low cost item. A high value cold call is not a hit and run. It is not a quickie. Respectfully, it is not B2C. It is not to sell the product or service. Sellers should internalize the difference.

 

Let’s assume that sellers understand that a cold call should never be a cold call by now. So what is it for if enterprise prospecting is not to close a sale? It is to start a process. It is to understand the process. It is to go from cold to lukewarm. It is about a human connecting with a human and to lay the foundation for a relationship. Hard selling will not work.

 

This is not an easy process, which is why sellers must take the time to not make it any harder for both sides. The caller needs to garner enough interest to begin a conversation and a process. That is all. Let’s compare the process to a marriage (OK don’t get excited). No one begins the process by proposing and getting a ‘yes’ on the first date or meeting. With the obvious said how does the dance, which is the process to gain interest, show industry and role-based relevance and prove merit begin?

 

  • It begins with the above-mentioned research and relevance factors. Why and how can you be relatable to them because it is never about the caller. It is about the prospect.
  • Armed with those then comes the short, open-ended questions to obtain guidance for the next steps. Prospects are not stupid and do not need to be spoon-fed or have their time wasted. They are actively assessing if there is a reason they should stay on a call (or e-mail chain) with you.
  • It is up to the caller to set parameters however. Ask and be guided, but also have a reason for your call because you are the expert. As the publisher, creator, vendor or seller you have knowledge of what you can do for them and how it has tangibly helped persons and companies like them. This requires the caller to be confident and convey the same.
  • Stay away from jargon and product names. Assuming they mean something to someone will either lead to putting people off or asking them to potentially admit they are ignorant.
  • Know where you are going with it. To state the obvious the point is not to feel good about reaching somebody, adding connections on LinkedIn or following someone on Twitter. These are all means to an end. The point is to begin a relationship.

Bonus: Measure, Review, Track. Assess your success rate by number of ‘touches’ and over specific lengths of time to know what works and what does not, how you are doing over a comparable measure of time and adopt what works and change what does not. This includes not only assessing the first touch, but also the continuous process of working with prospects no matter which stage of the process and relationship one is in. Bottom-line: if the first approach content does not work it needs to be changed.

Photograph Bonus: Mohamed Hassan

 

Practice and know the reason behind the cold call and prospecting. One never knows when the connection is the one and only opportunity to begin the process. As always, the fundamentals apply. The foundation for success is asking, doing and doing both more and often.

 

PS: And for goodness’ sake if you cannot feel genuinely good about your product or service, cannot stand behind it or know it is not helpful to the potential customer run, don’t walk, to your boss/engineering/manufacturing/programming/whatever department to get the item changed and improved or a new job or back to school.

 

*Things That Need to go away: Cold Calling And Not Knowing Target Industry And Role

Jun 112016
 

Fear sells. We know that much.

What else sells? You might think ‘competence sells’ or ‘return on investment sells’ or ‘likability sells’ or even ‘fun sells,’ et cetra. However, the question of the day is whether insulting a customer sells? What about boring a customer? Does that sell?

Take a look at the following videos. In the first, a man who appears to have been in business a number of years (success?) utilizes something he calls G.U.T.S.* Sales Training Method or the *Great Un-Orthodox-Un-Traditional Techniques Of Selling Success to insult the customer into buying from him.

In this video, the world’s most humanlike automaton cranks out calls at rates that would put those embarrassingly useless automated dialing computers to shame. Is he.. could he… be successful?

What do you think?

*Things That Need To Go Away: Calling Lying, Half-Truths, Fudging Or intimidating ‘Sales.’

Apr 032011
 

The rule of thumb in recent years for the success rate of cold calling prospects or following up on mailers by telephone has been a five percent achievement. In other words, typically in these situations, 5% of prospects allow the seller to advance further in the sales process.

That ratio is now likely obsolete and too high. Nowadays, there is a whole cottage industry of experts and methodologies on how to prospect, or not to, but the fact remains that responses are less and less likely. It could be that the positive responses are at 0.5%. In other words, for every 100 prospects that receive an unsolicited call or brochure less than 1 moves forward and shows interest.

Why? What can a marketer do?

Knowledge is power. Prospectors need relevant information with which to target their customers. That means, one must call into a company in possession of much more information than before. One cannot cold call prospects without having up-to-date information. In fact, that would not even be cold calling.

The ‘need to know’ goes beyond having a name and having perused a website nowadays. Know the name, the history, the events, the news and the website’s information. Have you studied the prospects’ social media profile? Have they tweeted something? Is your pitch aligned with their needs and is it targeted and customized?
No more mass mailers. The mailing list requires customization and personalization for each an every prospect.
Every potential client is unique and the marketer needs to incorporate that in the approach or risk failure.

Read this again: http://www.alighaemi.com/wp/?p=508