Cold Calling – Sales Training Jim Tersteeg. Cold Calling. What is it? Cold calling is the process of collecting the required information on your targeted prospects to enable you to secure the face-to-face meeting. Challenges with Cold Calling. Identifying the right people
Cold Calling – Sales Training Jim Tersteeg
Cold Calling • What is it? • Cold calling is the process of collecting the required information on your targeted prospects to enable you to secure the face-to-face meeting.
Challenges with Cold Calling • Identifying the right people • Getting through the gatekeepers • Getting the actual meeting • Four Most Common Response • I am happy with what I have • I am not interested • Can you call me back • Just send me some information • I really don’t need anything right now
Three Phases of Cold Calling • Information Gathering • Securing the Customer Visit • Following Up
Phase I - Information Gathering • No selling occurs during this phase • Out of 100% of the time spent cold calling to secure the customer visit, 60% is spent in this phase simply gathering the required information on your targeted accounts • This phase is the bottleneck of the entire process
Information You Must Have on Your Target Prospects • Full official name of the organization • List of all of its branches, divisions, units, and/or subsidiaries • Web site address • Names and titles of all officers of the organization (the key decision makers) It’s crucial that this information is organized into a spreadsheet
Who Are The Decision Makers • CEO, CFO • COO, CIO • VP’s • Directors • Information must be accurate!!! • Why do we need this information? • To have an understanding of the hierarchy • To use the hierarchy as leverage
Start with These Leverage Points: • The prospect’s boss • Their boss’s boss • Their peers in the organization • Other members of their decision making team
Leveraging the Organization Chart • Why is it so important? • Most of your prospects are more concerned with the relationships they have with their superiors than what you are offering. • Developing internal leverage will enable you to capitalize on leverage that is already in place within your prospect’s organization, even though you have little or no leverage of your own. • The higher up on the org chart ‘ladder’, the more others in that organization care what they do, say, and think. • Using a 'top-down' approach can build automatic credibility at lower levels and will dramatically increase the possibility that people will want to pay attention to you.
Before Cold Calling Cold Calling: Creating your Spreadsheet • Step One –Creating your spreadsheet • List your top 25 target accounts from your prospecting list. • Prioritized from top to bottom using your prospecting qualification criteria • Each account needs at least 5 to 6 contacts • The following fields must be included: • Contact name • Account name • Phone • Title
These four questions need to be asked of any business or personal contact that we intend to leverage. Cold Calling: Populating the Spreadsheet • Step II – Populating the spreadsheet: • Known sources • Any pre-existing prospect knowledge • Databases such as CBI website • Personal and business contacts (4 questions) • Are they the decision maker? • If no, can they you get you an appointment with a decision maker? • If no, can they tell you who the decision makers are? • If no, can they provide any valuable insight into the activities within the company? • If no, they are no help in this phase.
After Cold Calling Cold Calling: Populating and Validating • Step III – Using Cold Calling to: • Populate the missing contacts • You must complete the hierarchy to have leverage • Validate the existing contacts • Accuracy is essential in phase II
Getting through the Gatekeeper • The process of Cold Calling • Turning the company’s gatekeepers into information givers by: • Going through the operator • Going through the CIO’s, CFO’s, and CEO’s office • Going through the helpdesk • Going through other departments • Using the Internet • Using the MIS department • How do you do that? • Your looking to elicit a response by using a combination of words or phrases that is your password to guarded information. • The passwords in this case are the scripts you use.
Cold Calling Dialogue • Scenario 1 – Initial call to account (main number) Operator: Hello, Experian, how can we help you? Jim: I am looking for your CEO. Do you know who that would be? Operator: That would be Kevin Ryan (Transfers call) Assistant: This is Patty, Mr. Ryan’s office. How can I help you? Jim: Hi Patty, this is Jim from Capgemini. I was wondering if we can get on Mr. Ryan’s calendar to talk about IT strategy and cost reduction? Assistant: He’s not the one you need to talk to. You need to talk to Jeff More who handles IT Jim: Does Jeff report to Mr. Ryan? Assistant: Yes he does Jim: Okay thank you. 1st Contact Name 2nd Contact Name
Cold Calling Dialogue • Scenario 1 – Initial call to account (main number) Operator: Hello, Experian, how can we help you? Jim: I am looking for your CIO. Do you know who that would be? Operator: That would be Jeff More. (Transfers call) Assistant: This is Mary, Jeff More’s office. How can I help you? Jim: Is Jeff More the Director of Applications Development? Assistant: No, he’s the CIO. Jim: Do you know who the Director of Applications is? Assistant: That would be Joe Neal. Jim: Does He report to Jeff? Assistant: No, he reports to Pam Frye. Jim: What’s her title? Assistant: She’s the VP of Information Technology. Jim: Does Pam report to Jeff? Assistant: Yes, she does. Jim: Does Joe also handle network security? 1st Contact Name 2nd Contact Name 3rd Contact Name
Cold Calling Dialogue 4th Contact Name • Scenario 1 – Continuation Assistant: No, that would be Greg Polanski. Jim: Does Greg report to Jeff? Assistant:Yes, he does. Jim: Okay. Thank you Mary. 4 contacts in one call
Cold Calling Dialogue • Scenario 2 – Initial call to account Operator: Hello, Experian. How can we help you? Jim: I am looking for your CIO. Do you know who that would be? Operator: That would be Jeff More. (Transfers call) Assistant: This is Mary, Jeff More’s office. How can I help you? Jim: Is Jeff More the Director of Applications? Assistant: No, he’s the CIO. Jim: Do you know who Director of Applications is? Assistant: Who is this? Jim: This is Jim from Capgemini. Assistant: Sorry, we don’t take vendor calls. Jim: This is not a sales call. We just want to invite Some IT managers to a seminar that we are having. Assistant: The Director of Applications is Joe Neal. Jim: Okay. Thank you Mary. 1st Contact Name 2nd Contact Name
Cold Calling Dialogue • Scenario 3 – Initial call to account Operator: Hello, Experian. How can we help you? Jim: Can I have the CIO’s office? Operator: (Transfers call to CIO’s Office) Assistant: This is Mary Joe, Jeff More’s office. How can I help you? Jim: Is Jeff More the Director of Applications? Assistant: No, he’s the CIO. Jim: Do you know who the Director of Applications is? Assistant: Who is this? Jim: This is Jim from Capgemini. Assistant: Sorry, we don’t take vendor calls. Jim: This is not a sales call. We just want to invite some IT managers to a seminar we are having. Assistant: I cannot give that information out, why don’t you forward it to me and I will pass it along. Jim: Great. Thank you Mary. 1st Contact Name Go to next gatekeeper
Phase II - Securing the customer visit • Getting the Meeting • The goal is getting the customer meeting, • NOT SELLING!!!
Four Basic Components to the Initial Call • Get the prospects attention • Identify yourself and your company • Give the reason for call • Ask for the appointment
Securing the Customer Meeting • Goal • To secure a face to face meeting with the customer using the contacts that you have gained from the Phase 1 • Assumptions • All accounts have at least 5 to 6 contacts • All contacts have been validated through Cold Calling • Cold Calling • 40% of your time is spent in this phase • A cold call begins when someone picks up the phone • On average, it takes 40 calls to get a voice on the other line • Volume • Pick 25 prospects to work with in this phase • 25 prospects X 5 contacts = 125 active contacts to cold call • 5 to 1 ratio of contacts that can give me a meeting • Pick 5 prospects to actively work throughout the week • As soon as you secure a meeting, add a new prospect to your list • Average 5 to 7 new meetings per week
Initial Call & Managing the Flow of Information • Initial call • Opening dialogue tells prospect who you are and why they should listen to you. • 30 seconds is long enough to give the necessary information and elicit a response. • The importance of managing the flow of information during the initial call • If you go into too much detail too soon regarding your services it makes it far too easy for the prospect to say no without giving you an opportunity to meet in person. • Avoid temptation to provide detailed information while on the phone even if the listener asks for it. Don’t sell on the phone. • Give enough information to get the prospect interested, but not enough for them to come to a decision on your services without having met you face-to-face.
Regulating the Information Flow. This is where you have to control your desire to sell on the phone. Follow the Script!! Example Dialogue • Non-leveraged call • Scenario – Initial call to customer Customer: Hello, this is Joe. Jim: Hi Joe. How are you? Customer: Fine. Who’s this? Jim: This is Jim from Capgemini. I was wondering if we could come out and tell you about our services? Customer: What kind of services? Jim: IT Cost Reduction, Application Support, Application Integration and Portals Customer: How about this week?
By applying the Leverage of the hierarchy, you changed the dynamic of the call Example Dialogue Leveraged call • Scenario – Initial call to customer Customer: Hello. This is Joe. Jim: Hi Joe. How are you? Customer: Fine Who’s this? Jim: This is Jim from Capgemini. Pam Frye asked me to give you a call. We want to come out and tell you about our services. When is a good time for us to come out? Customer: How about this week? A leveraged approach will help you get into tough accounts when the non-leverage call fails.
Phase III – Following Up The Goal: Ensure the success of the meeting
Confirmation • Confirmation • Get their direct number if you don’t have it. • Always ask for prospect’s email address. • Follow up with an email immediately. • Do no additional follow-up. Just show up. • Follow-ups only serve as a reason to cancel.
Sample Confirmation Email Subject: Capgemini Meeting Dear Joe, Thank you for taking my call. This is to confirm our meeting for Monday Jan 20th at 10:00 am. Thanks, Jim
Jim’s Best Practices • Only introduce yourself when asking for a meeting or when someone asks you who you are. • Your focus should be on getting the meeting not selling. Use your service bullet points • Stay away from elevator pitches and be less formal. • Building your organization chart is number one priority • Be persistent, persistent, persistent • Make as many calls as possible • Don’t take no for an answer. • Go from one gatekeeper to the next; from one contact to the next. • If your contact does not answer their line, have their boss’s office transfer you to their line.
Jim’s Best Practices • Stay focused on your objective. • Getting into your top 25 prospects. Focus on calling 5 at a time. • Do not leave messages. • Cold calling is the key to penetrating the prospect. • The cold call starts when the person picks up the phone. • You can’t leverage an answering machine. • If the information giver is willing to share, fine, take it all. • Sometimes we don’t get a lot of information simply because we don’t ask. • Eliminate your fear of rejection. • When dealing with gatekeepers, be very polite and respectful. • Do not cancel or reschedule a meeting. • Leverage your contacts as much as possible.
Cold Calling Tips • If your target audience agrees to schedule a meeting with you but asks you to call back at a later time to schedule the meeting. The best way to handle it is to say, I wouldn’t mind calling you back but it’s very difficult to reach you. Can we set the meeting now? If your target audience says, “I don’t have time right now call me back”. Make sure you call them back the same day. • When you request a meeting with your target audience and they respond by saying that they would be interested in hearing about your services. However, they have no current active projects, it’s effective to respond in the following manner. I understand we just want to come out and tell you about what we do so when you do have projects in the future we can help. When would be a good time for us to come out? • When a prospect says why don’t you send me some information. Here’s how you turn that response around. Can’t we just get together? How about next Monday at 1:00?” Don’t get any fancier than that. Keep it simple. Remember most prospects don’t read the information or care about it.
Handling Resistance/Objections An approach by Edward Lowe Foundation
The generic Sales Process Step 1 Sales Preparation Step 2 The firstcontact Step 3 Follow-upactivities Step 4 Createquotation Step 5 Close the deal Close the deal SalesPreparation Introduction of an offer Handle resistance Selling Techniques Selling A-Z Sales and ProspectManagement Marketing & Prospect Plan
In selling, one definition of an objection: "a reason given by the prospective customer why they are not ready to buy your offer or service."
Anticipating Objections • An easy exercise for you to do before you make your presentation is to review it in detail. When you get to a point where you think there might be a customer objection, write it down on a separate sheet of paper. When you think you have exhausted all of the possibilities where objections could originate, continue to work on the solutions. Practice your answers. You may not be able to come up with all of the answers to make your presentation "objection proof," but you will surely have a handle on the presentation and be loaded with answers in the event the questions do come up. • The ability to anticipate an objection is very important but not nearly as important as developing the skills necessary to overcome your prospect's concerns. No matter how hard you try to list every possible objection a client may have, there will still be those times when the prospect will have an objection that you never considered.
The Inner Workings of an Objection • It is important to work with the prospect to understand the exact character and extent of his objections. Using a client-centered approach where you provide all of the facts necessary will work well in overcoming the objections. When you welcome objections you are communicating to the prospect that his needs are important and will be addressed. • "I understand what you are saying. Another client asked the same questions. Here's how I worked with him to satisfy his concern…" • "I'm glad you mentioned that because it gives me the chance to show you how our product will solve that problem."
5 Steps • Expect them and allow the client to express them freely. • Welcome them when they occur because they indicate an interest on the part of the client. • Affirm the objection by restating it in the form of a question to be answered. "So what you are saying is that the delivery schedule is a concern to you, isn't it?" • Give complete answers to the objections. Draw upon testimonials, past experiences or whatever relevant information you have. • When the client presents an observation that's perceived as a real drawback, present an offsetting benefit such as, "Your concern about our plant location is justified, but we have air freight service to this area every day. Your orders will be delivered on time." Do not respond immediately to a prospect's objection. Very often he will continue talking to clarify his position or to offer more information. When this happens, wait a few seconds and think about what he has said. Your pause shows a level of respect for what the prospect said.
The Big Three Objections which face salespeople the most are: • Skepticism • Misunderstanding • Stalling
A. Scepticism, possible roots: • Promising too much. If you promise too much too soon or trivialize the uniqueness of the prospect's situation you will surely lose him. • Failing to gain a rapport. You must listen and respond effectively. If the prospect thinks you are patronizing him or saying what you think he wants to hear, his interest in you will diminish rapidly. Learn to listen and respond effectively. • Not asking the right questions. Know enough about the prospect's needs to be able to ask probing questions. Asking good questions is just as important as giving good answers. • Not fully answering questions. The prospect's questions are real. Try not to think that any of them are "dumb questions," and do not avoid a question because you think it is trivial. By not answering all questions, the prospect could think you are trying to hide something. • Coming off as defensive. If you appear to be defensive to an objection, you might turn him off completely. Given a choice, you should choose to be responsive. Always respond enthusiastically, not defensively. • Not client-centred. If you speak in general terms and do not address the specifics of the prospect's objection, you have not given him the answer he is looking for. • A perceived lack of time. If you rush through your presentation or do not give enough consideration to the prospect's concerns, you could make the prospect feel uneasy. Don't linger endlessly on any one point, but don't give any quick answers either.
B. Misunderstanding, possible roots: • Inadequate definition of the need. A good salesman has the ability to define and solve problems. By understanding the prospect's situation, you are better able to offer the help or answers he needs. Take the time to get the facts and offer the solutions necessary to close the sale. • Inadequate goal definition. You have to know what the prospect's goal is before you can try to suggest a path. If his main concern is to produce 2000 units in a month and your solution is a critical part in the units, speak in terms of providing the parts to do that. Don't try to improve his procedures. Help him to hit his goal. • Inadequate definition of benefits and features. You must provide specific examples of how the prospect will benefit from your offer and your proposed solution to his objections. Do not give global answers to specific problems
C. Stalling , possible roots: • He is not the decision maker (part of that group). If this is the situation, find out who the decision maker is and ask to meet with that individual. This can be done by asking the prospect himself or trying to gain the information from the receptionist. A simple question, such as, "Mrs. Smith, I sell security solutions. Can you tell me who the persons/department is that is in charge of specifying and acquiring security solutions?" • He's not sold on your solution. Ask probing questions to determine what the problem is. "Are you not sure about our pricing?" "Is it your concern about our ability to deliver?" "What is holding you back in making your decision?" • He wants to get other proposals. Find out what his criteria is in the proposals. Also, see if you can determine what kind of information he is looking for. Ask if the project is going to be awarded on a competitive bid basis only. Try to be the last bidder to present. • He's too busy to talk right now. Ask him what his schedule is and when you can return or call him back. Also, it might be good to find out if the project is a reality and not just a fire drill. • The project is not budgeted. An excellent chance for you to show him cost benefits and be willing to adjust your scope of work to fit his time frame. "You have told me that his project has not been budgeted for this quarter. However, I can see that you need our solutions. I have spoken to our financial people and we are willing to invoice you at the start of the next quarter if you agree to commence within ten days."
Unvoiced Objections • "You can't possibly understand my business because it is unique." Answer: Stress your experience in the industry and how you have been able to help other clients in similar situations. • "Why should I do business with your firm?" Answer: Tell the prospect how you have helped other companies in the industry and be ready to offer testimonials. • "Is the timing right for a change in suppliers?" Answer: Focus on the cost advantages and other benefits of doing business with your company. • "Why are you calling on me at all; I already have a supplier? Answer: "With our knowledge of the industry and ability to help companies increase production and maximize profits, we feel that we could be of benefit to you." This will also give the prospect a new level of confidence in you because you were not avoiding any of the issues he was holding close to the vest. Whenever it appears that the prospect has an unvoiced objection, that's the time to probe for information. For example, "George, it appears that you have a question about what I just said. Am I right about that?"
Handling Objections – never do: • Never knock the competition. That takes the focus off of you and your company and you never want to do that. • Never say anything negative about your company. • Never say anything negative about your offering or service. • Never tell the customer that they are wrong. • Never tell the customer that "you don't understand." • Never argue with a customer. • Never lie to a customer. Long term relationships are built on trust and honesty. It is far better to say, "I don't know, but I'll find out and get right back to you." • Never be defensive. That's not a positive approach to an objection. • Never lose your cool with the customer. • Never let an objection go by without an answer
Handling Objections – please do: • Always maintain a positive attitude and be enthusiastic. • Always remember that objections are a natural part of the sales process and should not be considered as a personal affront. • Always maintain good eye contact, even when under fire. • Always listen closely to an objection. • Always acknowledge the objection and then give your point of view. • Always be prepared to prove your position with testimonials, references, and documentation.
Some of the More Common Objections and How to Handle Them • "We don't have it in the budget." Not quite the same as your price is too high. The customer may have the money but is not convinced that your offer or service is worth the price you are asking. A good answer to the objection would be to build together a business case / trial products. • "I can get it cheaper some place else.“This is different from 1 and 2 since the client is saying, "I have the money, but you are not worth the difference in price." Two good answers to this objection are: "I understand what you are saying. But have you ever chosen the lowest price in the past and have been disappointed?" Or, "Is your primary goal price or are you also interested in service, quality, reliability,…?" Do measure strength applicable. Otherwise do not mention. • "I don't have the time to discuss that right now." This may be a reality, but only up to a point. It is reasonable to respect someone's busy schedule, however, it's just as reasonable to ask when they will have the time to discuss the situation.
Some of the More Common Objections and How to Handle Them (2) • "I already have a vendor for that offer (service)." Your job here is to convince the prospect that even though he has a supplier, you think you can do a better job and ask him to hear you out. • "You only offer one part for my solution, I also need…" One solution is to tell the prospect that you have a company in mind that supplies the other part and you would be happy to coordinate the situation for him. money." Third, be sure that you can fit into his deadline and offer that possibility. • "Your product (service) is not exactly what we are looking for." Ask the prospect where you are lacking. Once you have that information, you can then address the objections. • "How long has your company been in business?" If region has a proven track record, present it for the prospect's review. Show testimonials, awards, printed recognition in the form of articles or press releases.
Summary • Objections will stay. However, you can minimize those situations by preparing yourself in advance. • Have a great presentation. Know it inside and out. Practice it in front of others. • Be relentless in identifying objections within your proposal. • And then, go out there and give it your best shot. You will win some and you will lose some. • Just remember this little equation developed by Robert W. Bly: SWL + SWL = SW