Come in from the Cold Call
Some people love it and some people absolutely hate it. Where some see it as a challenge and something to battle with, others see it as a chore where you have to grit your teeth and just ‘get it done.’
One thing that everyone can agree on though is that cold calling isn’t an easy activity.
Let’s flip that on its head for a moment; imagine it’s Monday morning and you’re all fired up and ready for the day. You’re at your desk with your second cup of tea (or nineteenth depending on your habit), you’ve checked every message from every piece of technology you can think of…
…and then the phone rings…
It’s a salesperson and very quickly they’ve gone straight into a sales pitch, somehow seemingly never taking a breath while speaking one hundred miles an hour about their services and offers that will benefit you and that you need to switch to them immediately. Suddenly, your heart sinks (and sometimes as you try to get a word in) and you get irritable and understandably with the current mood change, you tell them you don’t need their services and end the conversation.
The best way to understand someone is to be in their shoes. If you’re a person who’s not fond of delivering the cold call then probably the person receiving the cold call won’t appreciate it either. This isn’t to discount that every cold call is a wrong way of doing things or even the services you provide aren’t better than what your intended customer is already getting.
Like the networking techniques we’ve looked at recently in our blog, a strong factor in communication with potential business clients is to make your conversation relational. Now whereas networking and cold calling are different animals and should be treated as such, they can both benefit from strong relationship based foundations.
There’s a story online of a salesperson from a stationery supplies company wanted to contact a local school to see if they could offer a better service, he did have the name of the facilities manager but he needed help and asked a contact of his to make introductions. The contact in question didn’t know the school but rang up and made clear that he had no vested interest in any business deal and talked with the facilities manager on why it would be good to meet the salesperson to discuss how the stationery company could help them. The manager agreed to meet with the salesperson and now the school use his company as their supplier.
Admittedly this situation used a little out of the box thinking but it achieved its goal. The difference was with the third party discussing the situation and not being biased towards or against the deal: the conversation became relational and not confrontational.
In reality, we can’t always ask people to cold call on our behalf (although we may want someone else to cold call for us) but we can all think of new ways to cold call that won’t cause us to dread the activity or annoy the potential customer. Talk to others at our Networking Events and find out how others cold call, ask about peoples experiences and what makes things easier or harder.
Cold calling has all the potential to be a great way of opening doors for you and your business. The best advice is to continually stay positive; attitude is absolutely key but never be afraid to step away from the traditional avenue and find new ways where you can meet with new customers.