Have you ever been cold-called by a salesperson who opens the call with ‘Sorry to bother you, but…”? You should never apologize when selling and prospecting. How many of your co-workers in other departments, such as operation or finance, have to spend their time apologizing for doing their job? So why should you apologize for doing yours? Timid and weak salespeople bring timid and weak results. Why? Because they have a poor self-image that they project onto prospective customers who will, in turn, reinforce those beliefs.
If salespeople could accept the hard truths about prospecting and the benefits it brings, the less reluctant they would be to do these essential selling activities. Frankly, these aren’t big mountains for us to climb, they are little bumps that trip us up every once in a while. Prospecting new customers not only works, but it is the best way to acquire new business. So embrace these 5 realities of reaching out to new customers.
- Your call is unexpected – Of course, it is. So what? The day can be filled with a lot of unexpected things and many of them can be good? Why wouldn’t you and what your selling be one of those things? If you didn’t have something great to offer, why would you bother them with an unexpected call?
- You are calling at a bad time – Yup. At least that’s what prospects will tell you. My advice? Open your call by acknowledging this. “Hi, did I catch you at a bad time?”. It’s a personal favorite way to cold call. They will always say ‘yes’, but ask you what the call is about. This means they have given you permission to start selling. Go for it.
- You are a disruption – Salespeople who are not willing to disrupt their prospect’s day will not bring in new business. Period. You have to be a disruption to get their attention. Today, phone calls achieve this better than emails for sure (for those of you who say that phone calling is dead). If you don’t disrupt people, you will not get noticed.
- You must get noticed – This is the fact in sales. You have to get noticed in order to begin any sales process. Unless you have a fantastic marketing plan that brings in a lot of new leads, you will need a campaign that gets you in front of people one way or another.
- It takes more than one try – It can take as many as five, ten, or more tries to get time with your prospect. Be persistent and don’t give up too easily. Be willing to try several methods including phone calls, emails, cold call walk-ins, social media, and so forth. Sooner or later they will have to notice you good, bad, or otherwise.