Updated: Aug 30, 2019
There are numerous reasons why (YOUR) cold calling does not work - is the not so simple answer.
This particular statement leads to self-doubt in your ability to sell, your belief in the product or service, burnt leads, frustration at prospects, anger and so forth.
Whenever I receive a cold call I welcome the opportunity to hear the pitch; I want people to sell to me. Whether I decide to take up a service comes down to a few key factors relating to the business and obviously the pitch.
Usually, I hear from people who don’t know how to sell. Notice that I didn’t say “speak with” people! Those whom I hear from are of no interest. There is no rapport; there is no ”I know what you do”, it’s a product that they are pushing regardless of the person they are speaking to – I sometimes wonder from their own financial perspective what the value of their product is. Is it really a numbers game and are they hoping that something sticks?
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why (YOUR) cold calls aren’t working.
Generic cold call with stats
“Oh wow! Google says this and Yahoo says that. Amazing!” - Now what is your value proposition? How are you going to solve a pain that I have been struggling with and what can you tell me that I don’t know? The objective of the call should be one that addresses a particular pain or set of challenges that the prospect is experiencing and NOT a generic call.
Not only have I heard generic pitches over the phone countless times, but it saddens me when I attend networking events only to hear stats given regardless of their relevance (lack of) to pitch given to the audience.
From my experience, SEO and internet marketing firms are the worst at this!
Talking too much
Telemarketers are great at this – they talk! They talk and they continue to talk until they give you a scale of 1 to 10. That’s telemarketing NOT sales. Plus, they sometimes don’t need to know whom they are talking to. With successful sales you MUST KNOW whom you are talking to, what is their position within the firm and importantly when to shut up.
As mentioned in a previous article "The Softer Side of Sales - 10 Sales Mistakes" - Stop talking and start listening.
When you are faced with someone selling down the phone, that does not come up for air, all the receiver wants to do is hung up. How do you react to personal cold calls?
Going straight for the sale
There is a common theme in cold calls not working. I had one particular client that use to pitch to those that answered the phone (usually gatekeepers or receptionists!). They didn’t do their homework to find out who they should be speaking with and were praying that the person who answered would say “yes, I am interested” or “let me redirect your call to Mr/Mrs *****”.
Obviously, neither of these happened. I was in 2 frames of mind when I heard this: one of astonishment, the other of bemusement.
This is a pivotal element within any cold call. As is the ability to connect before sales related conversation commences. Such questions as “do we click?” or “do they like & trust me?”; importantly and regardless of my background are they willing to have a conversation with me?
However, the statement “people buy from people they like” is one that is often debated. From a personal perspective I had previously offered services and solutions that were not of interest (literally) to a prospect. With the right questioning and having developed rapport I offered something I did not sell and was able meet the client’s requirements.
Yes, you are reading this correctly! I once worked in an open office surrounded by multiple IT vendors. When I was unable to sell my SAAS offering I enquired as to what the client had a budget for and what would be of interest. I then spoke to various sales guys around me and then propositioned a separate product to the client, arranged the meetings and made the sale. The product that was not part of my portfolio.
Not investing in your sales (cold call) pitch. Why? Should the reason be from a financial perspective I could understand BUT the fact that some business owners with small teams decide to go out alone and pick up the phone only to be rejected; they then shun the existence of cold calling. #BeggarsBelief might be one way to describe this self-sabotaging behavior and mindset.
There is no logic in not investing in your business and yourself, or in solely relying on inbound internet traffic to provide sales, especially if you are a small fish in a large pond.
How do you move forw