Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

What Do You Say When You Cold call

Cold calling is an unheralded intervention into someone's already packed schedule.  They are distracted by the phone from what they were concentrating on, so they are automatically annoyed.  They are time conscious because this call  was not planned.  The person calling them is an unknown quantity so the trust factor is zero or less.  They have been cold called by idiots in the past who say dumb things like "How are you today" which is an immediate warning bell that we are talking to a nincompoop. The unfamiliar voice triggers who is this, being called by unknown people is not good, I don't like this. 
So how do we call people in a way that we can add value to their business?  A good starting point is to define what is the purpose of the call.  Anyone thinking of pitching their whatever on the phone has better rethink right now what they are doing.  There are some items we can sell by phone but actually very, very few with any success.
There is only one point in making this call and that is to sit in front of the client at a later date and have a conversation about their needs and whether we might be the solution to any problems they may be having.  Having said that the point is not to bludgeon them into a meeting should they indicate zero interest.  If you plan on staying in business the. Killing your personal brand is not a good idea.  Be gracious on the phone, definitely don't be pushy and be charming.
Here is how it can go:
"Hello, may I speak with Bill please?"  This presume we have a name to ask for.  Usually in Japan if you only have a title you will get killed at the entry point by some lowly minion whose only joy in life is getting rid of salespeople who call unannounced.
Let's continue:
"Bill  my name is Greg Story, I am with Dale Carnegie. Do you have a moment to speak?  When I say my name I slow down and put a little gap between the Greg and the Story, so that they can easily catch my name.
I ask for permission to speak with them, respecting their schedule.  If they a too busy to speak, it won't matter what I say, I will only be annoying and will blot my copy book for a later call.  If they are too busy, I say: "Thank you for letting me know, I will give you a call later in the week".
I don't ask for a day or time because they have already told me they are busy and I want to show I respect their schedule.
If they say, Fine" , then I know I have their agreed attention.
" Bill, thank you.  We are in the XYZ business.  I have done some research and I see that your company profile fits with what our typical clients looks like.  We have been able to improve the results for our clients who fit this profile because we have ABC.  I was just wondering if our ABC were able to grow your business, like it has for our other clients, would getting those sort of outcomes also be of  benefit to your company?"
We let them know what business we are in so that they can garner some context for this unexpected call.  We mention we have done research and they are the product of not phoning a random stress through the phone book but of some analysis and intelligence.  We mention we have had success for people who look looks them and not unreasonably wonder if lightening could strike twice for them as well.  We ask if they would like to grow their business.
It doesn't matter if they say "Yes" or "No" next, because we are ready for both.  If they say "Yes" then we say:
Thank you. I am not sure if what we have is a perfect fit for you or not but let me swing by and show ou what we have and how it works.  Then you can make a judgement if it is helpful or not.  Would this week or next week better."
We are polite and than them for their agreement to continue.  We are not pushy and we readily acknowledge this may not be suitable but we at least want to give them the chance to make that judgment.  This week or next week is an alternate choice, the answer to which is an agreement. To meet rather than a yes or a no.  If they nominate a week. Then we do the same thing suggesting a choice of days, and having arrived at a day, we ask about morning or afternoon.  We don't continue the alternate of choice after this because it is annoying, we just shoot for a time and then be prepared to vary it according to their time frame.
If they say "no" to wanting to improve the results do their business we say: " Thank you for telling me, may I ask  say that." And then we shut up and say absolutely nothing.
There may a thousand good reasons why they don't want to meet and we should be prepared to accept the referees decision and not try to force the issue.  They may something however which allows us to reframe the value of meeting and we can ask about this week or next week and so on.
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