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Sales Eye - Cold calling in chilly January (Jan 17th, 2005)



Cold calling in chilly January

17th January 2005


Salespeople love January. We get to begin the year with a fresh start. The problem is, even though prospects and clients told you to wait until after the holidays to call them, now they are too busy with preparing budgets and setting their calendar for the New Year to meet with you.


So salespeople don't know what do in January- they hang out, waiting for new catalogues, killing time until February rolls around and clients will have time to meet. We think January is the perfect time for cold calling-cold calls, client calls, referral calls, whatever. If you are not out of the office, meeting with potential clients, than you should be on the phone talking to them and setting up appointments.


This year, Santa left us some very nice presents in our stockings and a wide variety of sales books and tapes, ranging from Cold Calling to How to Give the Perfect Presentation.


We want to share some of the golden nuggets we learned from reading a book from Stephen Schiffman, called Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work! (Adams Media Corporation, zł.28). These are ideas and changes that you can start using immediately and that will ultimately lead to higher sales. We also include some of our commentary as well.


Cold calling is essential

The number-one reason that businesses fail is lack of sales. To be successful in sales, you have to constantly be searching for new prospects. Cold calling is still one of the best ways to find new prospects.


The A=P=S formula

Appointments give you Prospects give you Sales. It is that simple. We don't hear your phone ringing off the hook, except for all those personal calls. So you need to establish a system where you can search for new prospects every day. This is year-round, not just January.


Track your results

How many calls do you need to make one appointment? If you make 15 calls a day, that's 75 a week; how many appointments will you receive from that, and from those appointments how many resulted in sales? You need to track your results every day and monitor your own performance.


Use a cold-calling script

It doesn't mean you have to sound like you are reading from a script, but think of any Hollywood movie-the actors sound natural, but they are still working from a script. You need to rehearse your message and have it down pat, so it sounds natural, and, in fact, you won't be reading.


The five basic elements to the initial cold call

Get their attention: Don't worry about a fancy opening line, just say: "Good morning, Ms. Kowal." Identify yourself and your company: "This is Anna Nowak from Lynka, we are Poland's largest provider of promotional products and corporate loyalty programs."


Give a reason for your call: "The reason I am calling today is to set an appointment so I can stop by and tell you about some new promotion ideas and how they can help grow your business."


Make a qualifying/questioning statement: "I'm sure that your bank, like Bank Handlowy (our client), is interested in increasing the number of new account holders. Would you agree with that?"


Set the appointment: "That's great, Ms. Kowal, then we should get together. How about Wednesday at 3pm?"


When do you call?

Still coming into the office at 9:15/9:30am, having coffee, breakfast and then a smoke? That has got to stop. Make at least 20 calls first thing in the morning starting at 8:30am. Everybody is busy by 10pm and the hectic workday has begun. Get it out of the way early and then get on with your day of selling.


In this book, Steven Schiffman also teaches the four-step sales process and offers sample scripts that you can use and cater to your own needs. You can find this book and many other sales books on Stop waiting for your company to invest in you and invest in yourself. After all it's your paycheck, if you want it to grow, do something about it.



From Warsaw Business Journal by John Lynch, Matt Lynch -"The Sales Brothers"