If you’ve been at the cold call grind for any amount of time, you’ve probably felt at one time or another that the grind can take a toll.
Tell me if you agree with this: one of the places that cold calling can hit hardest is your sense of self-worth.
Have you ever gotten off a call and felt like you were unimportant?
Can you think of a call that made you toss your phone down and go for walk?
Wait—take it a step further.
Have you ever gotten off a call and felt like your life was going in the wrong direction?
Cold calling is tough. After a few hard calls, it’s easy to get down on yourself. Remember, though, that when you get down on yourself, you, your prospect and your calls all suffer.
Your calls will dramatically improve if you implement strategies to keep your ego in tact day in and day out. “Ego”, in this context, doesn’t mean you hop on the phones like, “Look at me! I’m a phone god.” Rather, it means you should establish rules for what respect you will give yourself and what respect you will require from your prospects.
Your prospects will only respect you as much as you respect yourself.
Respect protects your self-worth, and from a practical perspective, it’s also vital to your credibility on the phones.
To make sure that you treat yourself with the respect you deserve, here are 3 principles to keep in mind every single time you pick up the phone.
Every. Single. Time.
You are in control.
Every second your prospect speaks with you is a second that you made possible. You placed the call. You introduced yourself. You asked your prospect about her business. When your prospect picked up the phone, you made yourself a part of her day. In a dramatic (but literal) sense, you changed her life.
Treat your control responsibly.
Did you know that prospects almost always ask for permission to end a call? No one likes hanging up on somebody. It breaks the conversational norms that we learned from our parents and teachers.
Sometimes prospects will signal with their tone that they’d like to hang up—listen for shorter, choppier sentences and lower, authoritative tones. Sometimes prospects will ask you outright to end a call. When a prospect asks you for permission to end your call, if ending your call will make you less likely to do business together, and if your service might genuinely help, don’t give permission. Let your prospect know that you both have more work to do, then ask her a question.
Not granting your prospect permission to end the call, in practice, might look like this.
Prospect: “Yea, I really don’t think we’re interested, but I appreciate you calling.”
You: “You know, Ms. Prospect, that means I probably failed to interest you. It means you have a business priority that I didn’t ask about, so I wasn’t able to draw a connection between your priority and our service. If we talk this out for a second, we might be able to find a connection, so let’s give this a shot: what would you say is your top priority right now when it comes to ___?”
Your prospects are always looking to improve business—ALWAYS—and you might
be able to help.
Even status quo objections—“we’re good”—have layers to them. Who’s “we”? Every single person in your prospect’s company? If your prospect could have the results you’re promising for free, would she want them? If no, why not? Has your prospect ever championed a product or service like yours before? Would she even be capable of doing so?
A “no” means that your prospect perceives the cost of doing business with you to be higher than the value you’re offering. If you’re to truly understand your prospect’s “no”, you need to understand how she perceives both your costs and your value. Locate the roadblock. Is what you’re offering too expensive, time-consuming, or risky, or is the service you’re describing not helpful enough?
Principle Two reminds you that your call matters. You’re not a nuisance. You’re doing legitimate business.
Your prospect can say “no”, but so can you.
If your prospect says, “Let me call you back tomorrow,” you don’t have to say, “Gee, sure!” Tell your prospect that it sounds like she’s busy and that most often, people forget to call back when they’re busy. Explain that you have 3 questions that you could ask right now to see if speaking later makes sense, and then ask one of your questions as an example.
Here’s what this strategy could look like in practice.
Prospect: “Hey, I’m swamped. Could I call you back tomorrow?”
You: “We can definitely set time to talk tomorrow. To be honest, though, it might not even make sense for us to talk depending on a few bits of information. There are 3 questions that if we tackle now, we’ll know whether talking tomorrow might be worthwhile. For example, do you currently use VoIP phones for your business, or do you use landlines?”
And with that, you can move right into your qualification questions.
Let’s conclude by refocusing on the why of this article.
Why should you use the 3 principles? What good will they do you?
The 3 principles are guideposts for a big picture rule of cold calling. The big picture rule is a little spin on the Golden Rule.
Treat yourself as you want to be treated.
Prospects will follow your lead.
When you receive respect on the phones—from yourself and from others—both your attitude and your performance will soar.
Yours on the grind,