Cold calling is not a sales activity, it is an art, useful in every walk of life and which I have learnt over the 3 decades of my business development career. I am sharing some insights from my experience in this series of videos. Hope it helps you people, who are striving to increase sales in these turbulent times.
As a lifelong learner, I keep observing other salesmen, read books, listen to podcasts or watch videos to keep learning newer techniques. Over three decades, I have seen transitions in cold calling, from door to door visits to calling companies by referring phone directory, to calling prospects on mobiles, …. But, still every new call poses challenge and has a thrill. Over these years, I adjusted my strategies with changing times and kept winning.
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Now, If you look at the process of cold calling it starts with building right mindset for selling story to unknown person, then prepare script, the call itself, qualify the leads, getting past the gatekeepers, follow up effectively and close the sale.
Cold calling is not about only selling, it is how you interact with unknown people you meet, everyday in your life. It is all about articulation and story telling ! For cold calling you need to get into right frame of mind, it demands go getter attitude. Which off course will get built over a period.
Getting over the fear of rejection is the first and most critical part of the whole process. If you get over it, half the battle is won. I learned to get over the fear of rejection, from door to door salesmen, who used to visit our home. I saw them greeting us with smiling faces, explaining us about their products and accepting rejection with smile. I have seen doors slammed on their faces and still they would go to next door with smiling face.
As a child, we never had any fear of rejection. But, during formative years the fear of rejection got inculcated in our head. So getting over fear of rejection is actually unlearning our learned behaviour. So the fear of rejection is actually made up in our mind. It is assumption that we will get rejected.
How I got over it ?
On hindsight, it may look easy. But, trust me it is hard not impossible.
First, I always taught myself, how absolute necessary the sale was for me, as entrepreneur, it was only source of livelihood for me. I had to sell, no matter these few rejections. That led to positive frame of mind, the optimism. Now that optimism is an obsession. Obsession for sales !
Second, the rejection from customer is not for me, it is for a particular product that I am trying to sell. It reflects on product that I am selling and not me. That leaves the door open for me. I can keep approaching them for other products. I will give you an example to explain this. There was this customer, I was trying to sell a specific technology solution. But, they were not interested. I got into sales of a different technology solution, which was addressing their challenge, I approached them again. You know what, they laid red carpet for me.
Third, No is normal in sales. I kept teaching myself that percentage of success in cold calling is less than 10%. So, what if 9 guys shut door on me, the 10th guy will give me business, which would be worth the exercise. That led to building perseverance, which is helping me in every walk of life. Even my success percentage kept increasing.
Fourth, I never took it for granted that, the receptionists of those offices, are there to connect us with right people in the company. They are there to stop unwanted people from entering their companies. That is why they are called gatekeepers. I always thought, they are my enemy no.1. They are roadblock between me and my sales. However, I will talk about getting past these gatekeepers in other blog.
Fifth thing, is to decode the rejection. Many a times, we call or visit customer on wrong time and the customer says, they are not interested now. We need to have ability to read between lines of the messages. When the customer says, they are not interested now. That means, probably or mostly, they are occupied with more important tasks. In such situation, we can always approach them after a month. So, that is not a rejection.
Sixth, sales is rewarding profession, so what few rejections. Sales guys earn more. Company pays you for taking prospects to dinners. No other profession gets these perks.
Seventh and my favourite, never take No for a No. Keep trying to convert no in to yes.
I will discuss other aspects of cold calling in subsequent videos.
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Take Care, bye for now ! See you soon.