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July 1, 2013

Cold Calling 101

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I am a sales representative at Digux and I make a lot of phone calls each day to potential clients. In fact, on average I make about 75 phone calls each day and set 2-5 appointments per week. There are some calls I make based on referrals which are nice and warm and then there are the other calls which are ice-berg cold. Almost all companies use a cold calling method to find new customers and what separates companies from those who are successful is by the way they train and encourage their employees to make those calls.

The first, and unfortunately, the most common way is called blunt force trauma. These are those sales calls you receive that are uncomfortable from the minute you pick up the phone. The salesperson will usually begin by stating who they are and where they are calling from. But, before even bothering to ask if you have time to speak they are already telling you all about the latest and greatest thing they want to sell to you. And then, several minutes later, you tell them you have no need for what they are selling. That is if you did not already hang up. Many of these calls feel very impersonal and cold. The sad thing is that sometimes that kind of approach can even turn off a potential customer who may have been able to use the products or services the salesperson was trying to sell. That is because often, customers are buying the salesperson and the company way, not just what they are selling.

At Digux, we use a different approach. Of course I introduce myself and ask if the potential customer has time to speak. But that is where the approach changes. At that point in a call, my goal is to try and learn more about the customers’ business. In addition, I want to share some of the outcomes that are clients receive when they use us to see if there is even a desire from the prospect to get those kinds of results. The real goal is to actually engage in a business conversation. Not everyone I call is familiar with what Managed I.T. Services are. In addition to that, not every company is a good fit to purchase their I.T. services in this way. So it is very important to have these initial conversations in the right way.

Finally, realize that almost every business does have salespeople. And whether they call you on the phone, send you an email, meet you at a networking group or even walk right in the front door of your business. They are essential to the companies they work for. And the work that they do helps to keep their employers and our economy going. So, even if you don’t have time to speak with them or don’t need what they’re selling please be kind. That’s because one of the hardest things in the world to do is to make a cold call.

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