Cold calling does not have to be an ordeal to be dreaded. In business-to-business selling you will regularly have to work your way through one or more individuals to arrive at the appropriate decision maker. It may take several telesales calls before even finding out who your target is.
Often, you may have to persuade the “gatekeeper” – the person who guards the decision maker – to let you through to him. This must not allow thinking of the gatekeeper as an enemy. He or she could be a useful ally, one who could offer useful information about the decision maker.
There is no necessity for using trickery with the gatekeeper about the cold call. For being successful in sales, trust is a prerequisite. By trying to trick the gatekeeper the prospect’s trust is broken right away. Instead, tell the gatekeeper what the promotion is about and ask who would be the most suitable person to talk to about purchasing the product or service.
Sometimes the best strategy is to be straightforward and ask the gatekeeper for his or her support – most individuals respond naturally to such pleas. The point of your cold call should be to only to get an appointment. You want to trigger the decision maker’s interest just enough that he or she wants to know more.
Never start by asking if it is a good time to talk, or how is the person doing. Most decision makers are busy people and such openings are extremely irritating to them. If they are not interested in discussing now, either ask for an alternate time, or defer the telephone selling for another day.
If the prospect is willing to discuss now, their attention has to be grabbed quickly. The first few moments of the telesales are significant. There are umpteen different techniques; however, some of the possibilities could be to have an opening sentence that makes people laugh, offer something of value, or offer to solve a problem.
It is not that this will definitely create a perfect opening. As said earlier, busy people may ruse your attempt to be playful when they are in some deep technical discussion. At other times, one may be lucky to catch a prospect in a more receptive mood, especially if he has just completed his pet project right on schedule.
Throughout the course of the telesales talk, project confidence but remain courteous. Your confidence should come from the knowledge that the product or service is going to assist the prospect, and you are the one to convince them. However, remember to do this in a respectful and polite manner, when cold calling.