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14 Steps to Successful Cold-Calling
The vast majority of salespeople do not enjoy cold-calling. Yet, at the same time, it is an activity that most need to do on a regular basis. The biggest reason sales professionals are not more successful in this necessary endeavor is the defense that they have other things to do. However, nothing will overcome this excuse faster than being held accountable for making a set number of cold calls each day, each week, or each month.
As much as people would like to believe there is a secret formula for being successful at cold-calling, the only valid one is being disciplined enough to do it. When people avoid cold-calling, they are generally telling themselves that either they don't know enough about what they're selling or they don't believe the outcome will be successful. For this simple reason, it is necessary to be confident in yourself and what you are selling.
The following may be beneficial as you begin to practice this critical discipline.
1. Have a dedicated time each day to prospect.
2. Know the reason for calling before you call: customer benefits, not product features.
3. Leave short voice mail messages.
4. Assume your voice mail messages will never be returned.
5. Always call one level higher in an organization than you believe is necessary.
6. Be confident and competent.
7. Phone calls placed before 8:30 AM are the most likely to be answered by the person you're trying to reach.
8. Respect the gate-keeper by treating them in the same manner you would treat the prospect.
9. Prospecting calls on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons will have the worst results.
10. Prospecting on "semi-holidays" and inclement weather days will get a higher response.
11. Make it your goal to earn the right, privilege, and honor to talk to the person again.
12. Believe in what you're selling and the benefits that the prospect will receive from your products/services.
13. Believe in yourself and your professionalism.
14. Anytime is a good time to make a call; don't wait for the "perfect" time.
By practicing and persevering, both your skills and confidence will improve. Furthermore, making yourself accountable will help you turn your excuses into successful sales.
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