The Single Biggest Cold Calling Mistake
Kevin - Is Mr. Williams in?
Admin - No he isn’t.
Kevin - Do you keep his calendar?
Admin - Yes I do.
Kevin - This is Kevin with ABC Company and I am calling to schedule a 30-minute meeting with him. I would like to introduce him to our company, our ViewDirect family of products and especially ViewDirect for Agent Portals. Can you help me schedule this?
Admin - I’m sorry, Mr. Williams doesn’t have time to meet with you.
Kevin - When is a good time for him to meet?
Admin - Kevin, would you please send me an email describing your company and the topic for the meeting. I will review it with him and get back to you if he’s interested.
This is a classic product-benefit statement type of cold-call presentation. It cannot work and does not work in today’s environment for three reasons: (i) the culture does not respond to product-benefit statements; (ii) the entire approach smells like sales stench and the moment your pitch sounds salesie, its doomed for failure; (iii) your targets receive dozens of almost identically worded cold-call pitches each week, maybe each day, and it all sounds like the same white noise to them.
The culture of phone sales can be understood and manipulated through several rules that I have developed: The old adage about working smarter not harder is true. Tele-prospecting is a unique practice that needs to be developed and honed. Some of the methods and practices we prescribe may seem counter-intuitive. But that's only because you are likely accustomed to thinking about prospecting as step 1 of many steps in your sales cycle. While that may be the case from the perspective of your sales organization, if you communicate that to the customer you will never gain an entry point. What needs to be communicated to your prospects clearly and consistently is that this is not a part of your sales process. When you sit down to prospect you need to convince yourself that that you are not a sales person. In fact, if you execute the principles of The Must-React System properly, you are not inviting your prospects to attend a sales call. No, not at all. You are inviting them to attend a research-based briefing that contains compelling information that is educational and relevant to your target buyer. The fact is that your targets are much more apt to attend a briefing that contains research that is relevant to their profession, than they are a sales call.
You might be thinking, OK smart guy, what happens now that I win the meeting? Blaire Group has built dozens (hundreds?) of Analyst-Briefings for our clients. By following the principles of Must-React, our clients acquire voluminous meetings with targets and deliver Analyst-Briefings in place of a traditional, initial sales call. The beauty of the Analyst-Briefing model, however, is that you keep your promise of delivering relevant information, but the talk-track associated with the presentation allows you to deeply qualify the target’s environment, carefully determining if there is a sales opportunity. When there is no opportunity, we simply thank the prospect for attending the briefing and document the results. Where there is opportunity, we schedule a definitive next step meeting with a date and time certain and begin the sales cycle in earnest.
One Blaire Group client devoted seven (7) inside sales professionals full time to scheduling and conducting Analyst-Briefings after they were certified in The Must-React System. In a 12-month period, those seven inside reps delivered 1,700 analyst-briefings that was directly responsible for $30 million in pipeline and $10 million in net-new, closed business transactions.
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