Article from Tabitha Gray of ICanProve.IT
Who Here Likes Cold Calling
This was the ‘tag line’ opening question for someone’s introduction at a recent networking event. In hindsight, look I realise the object of the question was stunned silence, so I probably threw a spanner in the works when my hand shot up and I shouted ‘Me!’
Despite my interruption, the gentleman in question went on to give a great 40 seconds about how he will train people to get results from their calling. Something has been on my mind ever since. Why was I the only one to raise my hand, and would the others in the room - even after quality sales training raise their hands to say they enjoyed calling?
When I bring in business or a lead from a call, I often receive the reaction ‘you got all that from a cold call?’ I have trouble responding to that, as in my mind, it is not that single call that has brought the business in.
I’ve worked at places that are stats driven, asking staff to make a huge amount of phone calls to a set script, imagining that more calls will amount to better results. This is probably the type of cold calling that is in everybody’s mind when the subject is brought up. My introduction to sales calling was through a good friend who gets great results. She gave me a piece of advice I keep at the top of my mind - ‘It’s just having a conversation’.
Each person in the room at the networking event (about 25 people) was obviously passionate about their business, and were ready to have conversations about their offerings to a room of strangers - if they are interested. To me, there is not a big leap to take this passion and belief to the phone.
My call isn’t about signing somebody up, selling a product or even gaining an appointment for our sales team. In fact, the probability is that they will have no use for our services at this point in time. What I’m looking for is to establish a connection, discuss what needs the potential customer has in regards to our product or service if any, and when they will be open to carrying on the conversation. I’m interested in finding out if what we offer fits with what the call recipient needs, as I would be in a face to face meeting.
This approach has led to some great conversations, and more importantly, a pipeline for the future which may not be there if I had gone straight into my ‘elevator pitch’. The latest big opportunity could have been entirely lost if I was purely selling and not listening to the person on the end of the phone.
Maybe the question should be ‘Who here likes having conversations with real people around one of your favourite subjects?’, but I have a feeling that may not be met with stunned silence. I have at least one of those conversations every time I sit down to make calls.
If you want to have a conversation with me to discuss your business’s requirements for any of our services - IT support, on-board computers & camera solutions for vehicles, and funded work based training, I’d love to find out about you and how our services may fit - message me and I’ll pick up the phone for a conversation!