Cold calling is hard. But you might be making it harder.
You work your tail off, but you are striking out. What you had once chalked up to a cold streak of poor leads and bad luck might actually be a series of bad mistakes you're making on your sales calls.
Stop making these 10 cold calling mistakes now and see your sales results improve. Then, download a free ebook to learn more about turning cold calls into hot leads.
You may not mean to do this but you may come off sounding insincere. It’s painfully obvious to the buyer or potential customer when reps sound insincere or disingenuous. Instead of making unrealistic promises you know you can’t keep, offer rational fact-based reasons as to how you can help the buyer.
Similarly, don’t rave on and on about how superior your product is. You may be passionate but this could be misinterpreted as boasting. Nobody wants to hear such aimless bragging. Instead, within the first minute of connecting with a prospect, you should communicate why your product is great for them specifically.
You may be new and innocent. And this isn’t to say that call scripts are bad. Rather, reading robotically and sticking rigidly to the script is immediately obvious to your prospect and will turn them off from whatever you are saying.
Learn the script but speak like a human.
As a sales rep, you want to be helpful. Many talk too much thinking they should tell the prospect as much as possible. This backfires and bombards potential customers with tons of information and minutiae without addressing their specific pain points. Stop talking and start listening. After all, this is why you have two ears and one mouth. Ask questions, learn about the prospect’s needs, and be helpful.
If a sales rep isn't confident, how can the prospect be expected to have confidence in him or her? Exuding or projecting confidence through a sales call requires practice, knowledge and desire to be helpful. You know you possess all three so be confident.
If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail.
The adage is as old as it is true. Don’t put yourself in that position. Make sure you have all the information before your sales call. It’s easy. There is no excuse for this today. You have the ability to get informed from sources such as Google, social networks, and your trusty CRM system.
Sales reps should have real expectations about their chances with prospects. Everything is a funnel and not all of your leads (or even opportunities) will end up closing. So don’t waste your time pitching or pursuing prospects that are unqualified or have little interest.
A fast no is better than a slow maybe.
Have a clear message for the prospect and know it before you pick up the phone. You need to articulate your benefits crisply within the first 30 seconds of the call or you will surely lose their interest.
Just because an initial sales call is successful does not mean the deal is done. It is critical that reps get a buy in on the next steps in the buying process. The prospect will not follow up with you. Your job is to discuss and get agreement on the next steps - that’s why you are in sales.
If you are not using metrics to measure your call effectiveness then you will not know how to improve. Also, ask your manager for sales coaching based on what you measure from your call performance. No rep is perfect and your sales manager can analyze your calls with you and will help coach you with metrics.
What about you? Add your own cold calling mistake in the comments section.
Zorian Rotenberg is a recognized authority on metrics-driven sales and marketing management. He is a VP at InsightSquared and was on management teams of several successful software companies each of which he grew by over 100% in sales every year, going from $8mm to $100mm in a span of a few years. He was also CEO at StarWind Software. Zorian has a degree in Finance with minors in Applied Mathematics and in Computer Science from Lehigh University, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
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