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How To Use Cold Calling To Make Business Work

Aug 11, 2008
However, most of the work you will do on the telephone will be Business to Business calls and if you have warmed up the recipient with a good, personal sales letter, your approach is made much simpler.

I spend a lot of my time on the phone to people. Here are some of the tips and tricks I use to make it a positive experience:

1. Smile! Your positive attitude will come through in your voice.

2. Be confident, even if you are rejected

3. Be polite, even if you are rejected

4. Never hang up!

5. If you need to conclude the conversation, physically stand up! Your body language will have an impact on the call.

6. Never use a script! If they don't have one you will die when they ask the wrong question!

7. Make the conversation open ended so you have the opportunity of calling again.

8. Listen to them! Listen to them! Listen to them!

9. Don't try to save the world on the first call.

10. Be business-like but personal - make sure you are properly briefed.

11. Don't address the person using their first name - unless you know them well and have a good relationship with them.

Getting through to the right person takes a certain skill. But there are tricks and techniques you can learn to make it happen. Usually the first person you speak to will be the receptionist. Pick their brains! In the course of conversation, you can discover who does what in the company and who the key decision makers are.

They will often answer the phone using their first name: "Good morning. My name is Natasha. How may I direct your call?" Something like that. Feel free to address them using their first name. "Good morning Natasha. I wonder if you can help me." Make sure you keep a note of their name for your follow-up call.

There are a variety of ways to get through to the right person:

1. "Natasha, I have been in touch with (prospect's name) requesting to tender for (project) and am calling to track the progress of the project. Can you help?" It is unlikely they will have details, so will attempt to put you through to your key person.

2. If they have details, they will let you know so keep a note. Then ask to speak to the person directly, thanking them for their help.

3. If you end up with a voicemail, leave a short, polite message reminding them that you wrote a letter to them requesting to tender for (project) and ask them if they need further information, leaving your direct line contact details.

4. If you speak directly to the person, apply all the telephone techniques listed above(!) and start to build a relationship with this person. Keep note of the conversation and ascertain more details about the project they are dealing with. Think: you want to offer them a solution not a product. So as they are speaking, use some discernment. What is it that they need more than anything else for this project. What are they looking for in terms of a contractor? What are the criteria they think important in this selection.

5. If you only have the first name initial of the key decision maker, it is worth getting the full name of the person for future reference. For instance, if you know the initial is 'A', then use any name beginning with 'A' when phoning. Say to the receptionist: "Good morning, my name is (your name) from (your company). Could I speak to Alan Evans please?" She will say, "Do you mean Andrew Evans?" You say, "Oh yes, I'm sorry, I meant Andrew Evans." Job done!

6. When you ask the receptionist if you can speak with this person, it is better to use their whole name: Not: "Can I speak with Mr Evans please." Say this: "Can I speak with Andrew Evans please." This is formal but with a personal touch and gives the impression that you know this person.

So don't be afraid of the dreaded cold calling. Telesales can be challenging, but also a lot of fun if you apply the right strategies.
About the Author
Steve Flashman is a Marketing Consultant with a unique edge! He is a public speaker published author, recording artist, media broadcaster and communications expert.
Marketing For Construction
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