Happy New Year Everyone!! I hope you all had an eventful holiday and come refreshed and ready to jumpstart the New Year with more effective cold calling, business promotion and development tips. Here´s a few to keep in mind for 2007"?¦
1. Set aside a specific amount of time every week for cold calling, follow up calls etc. If you´re doing outside sales and can´t afford a cold caller then be sure to set aside a minimum of 14 hours (2-7 hour days) a week to do the calling yourself. Setting a schedule to call will keep you focused and on target for reaching more people on a regular and consistent basis. By making the commitment to call a designated amount of time (with no interruptions) every week you´re almost guaranteed a successful cold calling campaign. And more appointments/sales.
2. And speaking of consistency… Be sure to commit to the schedule and hours for months at a time without fail (don´t simply call once and not pick up a phone for months). A lot of my consulting clients begin their 10 week session with me with every intention of committing to making the calls. Inevitably the day to day running of their business often gets in the way of actually making the calls. This can cause a cold calling campaign to slow down considerably or even stop altogether. Consistency also means momentum because without consistency to keep the leads flowing, you´ll wind up with a lot of follow-up calls that are weeks old. This can turn a once warm lead into a cold one in a matter of weeks. And that can put the freeze on a once effective system that results in lack of sales.
3. Know what you want to say before you pick up the phone. Nothing is more ineffective than a cold caller making a call to someone without the first clue of what they want to say or what the out come of the call should be. This isn´t about a script but understanding why you´re calling the prospect. If you can´t tell the average person sitting next to you in a bar what your firm does; how can you expect to do it over the phone?
4. Every week spend at least an hour going over your lead source (Business Times, Dunn and Bradstreet) targeting the leads you want to call during your phone session. This will help you to focus on the type of calls you want to make. For example; let´s say that there is a picture of the new VP of Marketing listed in the Business Times who will be in charge of hiring graphic design firms (let´s also assume you´re a designer) one marketing strategy might be to simply call the VP and congratulate him on the promotion telling him you enjoyed the article (be sure to go into the purpose of your call after that). People enjoy good PR and really enjoy compliments. It validates their business existence and lets´ them know that the publicity is effectively reaching people. It´s a better way to establish rapport than a simple cold call because you took the time to target that lead.
Next Column: more tips