If you’re a small business owner struggling in sales, you can learn lessons from salespeople who cold-call your business.
If you think about it, you’re probably put off by salespeople for some very simple reasons.
“What?” you ask.
Subconsciously, it might be a case of your “feelings of transference” — your unconscious redirection of feelings. Yes, you’re often annoyed for the same reasons prospects have ignored your sales calls. Why?
Consider the reasons why prospects ignore cold-callers:
- Sales calls are made at illogical, inconvenient times.
- Salespeople are unwittingly rude.
- They’re guilty of making poor elevator pitches.
- They don’t research the prospects well enough to pitch the right services or products.
Great salespeople understand human nature to create and capitalize on sales opportunities.
In other words, people are successful in prospecting when they have emotional intelligence (EI).
EI enables a person to perceive emotion, the ability to reason by effectively using emotions, the ability to understand emotion and the ability to manage emotions.
Put in other ways:
Successful salespeople have EI – the ability to understand and respond to the emotions of prospects. In their prospects, they discern tones of voice, body language and facial expressions.
By productive thinking, they prioritize how to proceed in their prospecting. If they are having a bad-hair day, they manage their emotions.
Sales result from having enthusiasm and a positive outlook. You need to regulate your emotions and to respond effectively to the emotions of others.
If your sales pipeline is empty and you’re desperate for sales, you probably have nothing to lose by launching an all-out sales blitz.
Otherwise, make the most of your time, emotions, and energy by using your EI.
Successful prospectors know that timing is important. They respect their prospects’ time and consideration.
Generally, the best times to cold-call people you don’t know are either early or late mornings; and in the early and late afternoons.
The best days to prospect are midweek. Mondays and Fridays are often taboo. In this economy, prospects are swamped on Mondays in starting their workweek.
On Fridays, prospects are either tired from a long week or getting ready to leave for the weekend. Many successful decision-makers take long weekends. Actually, it’s likely they’re not even at the office on Mondays and Fridays.
Other bad times to cold call, the week before and after a major holiday.
There are also taboos for prospecting on certain industries, for example: Don’t call on restaurant owners at lunch time for an obvious reason. Don’t approach car dealers the day following a major car sale – they’re busy trying to close their sales.
If you’re unsuccessful in reaching a prospect on a Tuesday, change your approach and cold-call the person the following Wednesday.
Don’t be desperate – wait five business days before cold-calling a prospect again.
Getting past gatekeepers
Getting past receptionists and other gatekeepers is a universal challenge for salespeople, but it’s a must. Read the room and become friends with the receptionist.
Successful salespeople know the secrets for getting by receptionists and other gatekeepers.
By building a rapport with the receptionist, you might get some important clues about the company.
The receptionist can also tip you off on urgent information. Perhaps the prospect is involved in a tense meeting, such as disciplining or terminating an employee. Or perhaps there’s a death in the family.
If you get an introduction to the prospect, ask the person’s permission before launching your pitch. For example, “Do you have a minute to hear…?”
From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for related information:
For Strong Sales, How and Why to Cold Call Prospects — Are you lacking in sales? Do you get enough face time with the right prospects? Here’s how and why in-person cold calls will help you make sales.
6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.
You Will Overcome Cold Calling Anxiety Using 5 Strategies — One of the worst pieces of advice for business owners and salespeople is don’t cold call. That’s a very short-sighted idea. Cold calling is very effective in footwork to generate revenue.
7 Tips for Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs — As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success. Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.
For Top Sales, 5 Rules for Targeting the Right Prospects — If you target the right prospects, you’ll save time and money and increase your revenue. There are five rules to follow. They’re developed for B2B but work for B2C, too.
“All learning has an emotional base.”