1. Expect to send info. Now, there is a big debate amongst industry professionals as to whether sending information to a prospect actually helps or makes any difference at all. Here’s my take. Most people are visual. You can tell someone that you have the best product in the world but unless they see it in print-chances are they won’t buy it. Even if the person tosses your info, and they are your target audience, they will more than likely keep your business or service in mind for future reference. I‘ve had plenty of prospects who weren’t initially interested in my services call me after about six months of receiving my info to tell me that they were now ready to get a quote or do business. Neither of which would have happened if I hadn’t kept my name in front of them by sending info. And speaking of info…
2. One question I get often concerns the ROI for info sent. Prospects will often admit to me that they have sent info but haven’t seen much in the way of a return on investment. So I challenge them with one question. Have you followed up on that info? The answer is always the same. Either “ if they’re really interested won’t they call me? Or no I haven’t followed up with the info because I don’t have time”. So on top of everything you’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money on info that you’re no even sure made it to the right person? Bad move. Following up on info has to be one of the top priorities of cold calling because you may land that account simply because you reached the right person before your competitors. But how will you know unless you determine who that is. Remember there are several questions to ask prospects concerning literature. Did you receive it? Have you read it? And what did you think about it? Each question is important on it’s own but it’s the last one that will garner the most telling of answers because it opens the door for determining if there is a genuine need for your services.
3. Once you’ve asked enough probing questions and determined hat this is someone that you want to set an appointment with, it’s time to give only the barest of company background. The reason being that you won’t know if there is an interest until after you’ve probed a bit.
4. Following up can be a bit time consuming .But necessary. Many sales have been lost because the sales person was either too busy, lazy or inattentive to keep trying a prospect to determine if there is a need. I have this discussion often with my clients because they expect that I will be done with a cold calling list in a matter of weeks. When in fact it can take months to really work a list properly. The reason is simple. Week one of a cold call is spent trying to get to the right person(which doesn’t happen on the first call or even the first week assuming you’re calling say 14 hours a week) . Once you’ve reached them(by passing voice mail and the assistant that is), and assuming you’ve verified that they are in fact the right person-you have about a minute to get your purpose for the call through. If they are really interested they will meet with you right away-but this is rare. Be warned that most want to see info before a meeting. So then you send it and call back by week 3 to follow up. Asking your 3 questions to determine a need. If there is go for the kill. So in fact it can take a minimum of 3 weeks to close an appointment. Longer if they haven’t read the info or if you find reaching them difficult. Are you beginning to see why it can take weeks to reach 1 prospect? This of course doesn’t mean that you are just calling that one prospect. But it shows that calling even one prospect is a process.Be sure to begin your cold calls by calling the warm leads first. In other words start your session by reaching those people you’ve established a rapport with. This will make calling not only