Use Cold Calls To Sell, Not Make Appointments
Do you still try to make an appointment as your first entry to a prospect? Are there more than 5 people in attendance? Do you waste 90% of your list of names getting “no’s”? Here is a secret: you can find prospects who will buy, on a first call, without going to visit them. Or, use the first call to mutually discover if there is a real opportunity and have all decision makers present when you arrive. Indeed, you are losing more than you’re winning by trying to make an appointment on a first (cold) call the way you’re doing it now. Think about it.
1. Who will take the appointment? Only those already seeking a solution, so the moment you enter you’re already in a competition.
2. You have no idea if the person you’re speaking with offers a fair/accurate representation of the buyer’s ‘needs’.
3. You have no idea (nor do they, probably) if all the decision makers and influencers have assembled and offered their thoughts on needs – so you have no way of knowing if there is a real match between your solution and their need.
4. You do now know what percentage of the Buying Decision Team this person represents – if any.
5. You have absolutely no idea – none- what the person taking the meeting will do with your data/presentation. Who will they tell? What will they say? How will they represent you? To whom? When? Will it be used to compare other competitors? To give their internal folks data to use to design their own fix? You have no idea.
6. You are merely dumping data on a hunch that if you give the right data to the right person at the right point in their comprehensive decision/change cycle, they’ll buy. But it’s all specious. You – and possibly they – might not know the full fact pattern of their needs.
Stop beginning your interactions and prospecting by making appointments. Use your cold calling to actually facilitate them in assembling all the folks you need to speak with to determine if it’s time for them to make a change, and help them – yes help them – figure out if they have a workaround they can use without buying anything. Using Buying Facilitation® you will help them quickly recognize if what they are doing is working optimally or not, and they can quickly discover for themselves they need you. Oh, and that will take about as long as your pitch to try to get an appointment.
Once all that is taken care of, THEN ask for a meeting. You will have good prospects, ready to buy, and bring the right people to the appointment to meet you. They will know what they need from you, and will be ready to hear it. All in the time it would take you to try to get the appointment originally. Plus, you can get a 40% close from first prospecting call. Just add Buying Facilitation® to your sales process.
Sharon Drew Morgen is the NYTimes Business Bestselling author of Selling with Integrity and 7 books how buyers buy. She is the developer of Buying Facilitation® a decision facilitation model used with sales to help buyers facilitate pre-sales buying decision issues. She is a sales visionary who coined the terms Helping Buyers Buy, Buy Cycle, Buying Decision Patterns, Buy Path in 1985, and has been working with sales/marketing for 30 years to influence buying decisions.
More recently, Morgen is the author of What? Did you really say what I think I heard? in which she has coded how we can hear others without bias or misunderstanding, and why there is a gap between what’s said and what’s heard. She is a trainer, consultant, speaker, and inventor, interested in integrity in all business communication. Her learning tools can be purchased: www.didihearyou.com. She can be reached at sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.
www.didihearyou.com ; www.sharondrewmorgen.com