Cold calls can be excellent door openers, they’re also a great way to get one slammed in your face. Why do so many cold calls go wrong, and what can be done to improve effectiveness?
Having been on the receiving end of my share of bad cold calls and a guilty source of just as many, my career in sales has taught me to always keep one thing in mind:
The purpose of a cold call is to OPEN a door.
That’s it. The sole reason for making a call is to open up the possibility of another call if and only if it is relevant to do so for BOTH the salesperson and the prospect.
If it’s relevant for both parties, set a time to speak which suits both diaries and hang up. It should never take more than 3-5 minutes, never.
I find the acronym OPEN keeps this present in my mind:
OFFER to hang up.
Sets the prospect at ease, and is the opposite of what they expect.
Shows respect for their time, which has been interrupted by the call.
Set clear EXPECTATIONS.
No one likes surprises. State the purpose of the call and how long it will take.
If they want to hang up, politely say goodbye and agree a specific time to follow up.
What does this look like in practice?