Historically this has been the best way of building business, however over the last few years I have noticed a change and now believe there are more effective ways.
I believe that cold calling still has its place and there are a few simply rules that if followed will increase your chances of success.
‘It’s a numbers game’
I used to work on the theory that for every 100 people I call I would get 10 suspects, which equates to 1 prospect, for every 10 prospect you would get 1 done deal.
By calculating what you earn from an average done deal you can calculate how much you earn every time you pick up the phone. This is a great motivator, if you know you are earning £5 every time you dial a number regardless of the outcome it does help with making the next call. It also helped with setting and achieving targets, if you break things down they become less daunting, i.e. I will make 20 cold calls an hour is a lot more achievable than I will earn £100,000 this year.
‘Research is not wasting time’
By spending a few minutes looking at someone’s website you’ll improve your knowledge of that business and that is essential in making a good impression. You may also find details of senior members of staff and asking for someone by name will dramatically increase your chances of getting through. You may also find details of projects that you can relate to your products and services.
‘Only pitch the M.A.N.’
Money, Authority, Need. You may do a great pitch and the person on the end of the phone may be giving you buying signals but if they have to run it past their boss, then you have probably wasted your time. If you have tried a number of times and can’t get through to the M.A.N. or get there email or DDI then as a last resort send info or pitch the person you are talking to but the chances of success are reduced.
‘Try and take something from every call’
You will come across some very efficient gate keepers whose job it is to filter all call and they will not put you through unless you have a relationship. In these situations I always try and gain something for my time, if you take their email address you might be able to work out their bosses, you might discover your potential contact works early or late and there may be a good time to call them. Spending a couple of minutes chatting may be a valuable investment.