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Using A "Sales Pitch" Kills Cold Calls

Jul 18, 2008
The moment you use the old-school cold calling approach the traditional pitch about who you are and what you have to offer, you trigger the negative "salesperson" stereotype. And that usually means instant rejection from your prospect.

The problem is with how you're selling, not what you're selling. When you start cold calling by talking about what you have to offer, you're "pitching" yourself instead of focusing on the other person. Your voice and demeanor is full of expectation. And this creates sales pressure, which triggers resistance.

So overcome the temptation to immediately discuss what you have to offer. Instead, help the other person overcome the fear of who you are and what is expected. Prospects are much more likely to respond to you when they aren't subjected to an immediate mini-presentation. This approach usually just creates suspicion and rejection.

Allow the conversation to have a natural sense of rhythm. Try these new cold calling strategies:

Focus on the Person

Start by focusing on a specific problem you think your prospect is facing. Once you focus on a specific problem, they'll probably reply, Well, who is this? or "Who am I talking to?"

Notice that you've gotten rid of the usual initial pressure and tension that starts with a cold calling sales pitch. Instead, the two of you are embarking on a dialogue. Don't be surprised by their question. The other person simply wants to know who you are. Implicitly, he or she is also expressing curiosity about your intentions.

Start a Discussion

Because you're not trying to hide anything, you would simply respond with what they're asking for. For example, you might say, Oh, I'm sorry, my name is Julie and I'm with XYZ Company, and we specifically help companies that are having issues with unpaid invoices. After a relaxed pause, you can then add, "Are you open to looking at some ideas about how to deal with that?"

In other words, at this point it's perfectly fine and very appropriate to describe your product or service. But you must keep it brief and relate it back to the problems that you help people solve.

What you don't want to do is shift into traditional selling mode and give a pitch about what you have to offer. You simply say who you are and where you're from, and then you go back to the other person's world and focus again on the original problem you brought up.

Be an Explorer

More importantly, you ask if they're "open" to looking at some new ideas around how to solve that problem. If you know your industry well enough, and the problem you suggest is very real for the people you call, they'll often start to relax and enter into a dialogue with you.

Keep in mind that with this new cold calling mindset, you don't even know whether you can help your prospect yet. You want to determine together whether the problem you've brought up is a problem for them, and whether they want to solve it.

Sales Pitches Block Conversation

Can you see how a sales pitch at the beginning of your cold call blocks this natural flow of conversation? When you're giving a sales pitch, you're talking about what you have to offer before the other person feels any sense of connection with you. You're in that old dehumanizing "push-pull" scenario of cold calling.

When you introduce yourself with a sales pitch, you really don't know at that point if the prospect has issues you might help them solve. You see, you've gotten so deep into the flow of offering your solution that you've lost sight of the new cold calling mindset, which is to discover the truth about any prospect's situation.

Journey of Discovery

So avoid the traditional sales pitch altogether. Talk about the other person and what's important to him or her. Answer questions about what you have to offer in a relaxed, natural way. When you do this, you'll be amazed at how easily cold calling becomes a journey of discovery.
About the Author
Adam Price is a Senior Coach, Unlock The Cold Calling Game, makes cold calling painless and simple. Learn the cold calling secrets even the sales gurus don't know. To receive your 10 free audio mini-lessons visit http://www.UnlockTheGame.com/PersonalGrowth
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