I had a sales rep cold call me the other day. She started with, “Hi Louie, this is Lorraine Thompson. Did I catch you at a bad time?” I said, “Well, I’m eating lunch.” She continued without missing a beat. “That sounds good. I’m really hungry too. Here at my company, we blah, blah, blah.” I write blah, blah, blah because that’s all I heard after she said she was hungry too. Lorraine apparently didn’t care if she was interrupting my lunch. Moreover, she then made the conversation about herself. I didn’t wake up that day thinking what some sales rep was going to have for lunch or thinking about her product.
Unless there is some kind of indication that the person I’m calling is busy when I call, I introduce myself, and briefly give the reason for my call (complete with benefits). If they do not have time talk, they will tell me, and I will ask when it would be a good time to have a conversation. What I don’t do is ignore what they are telling me.
Perhaps you don’t know this, but the majority of businesspeople really only care about their job, and their career. They want to know (and quickly) if what you are calling about will help them with either of those two things. It’s not selfish. It’s human nature. Your quota, your sales goals, your income, and your mortgage for that matter, is not their concern. So, if nobody has given you that tough love speech, there you have it.
Remember, it ain’t about you!
Sales Homework – Refine your cold calling opening statement to reflect: WIIFT – What’s In It For Them. Make sure your opening is brief, to the point and covers the benefits. And don’t make them listen if they are not engaged. All they will hear is blah, blah, blah.
Sales Managers – Review your reps’ cold calling opening presentation, as a team. Develop a best practice for that call. Emphasize listening and paying attention to the prospect’s clues
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