Friday, August 30, 2013

Are You Making These Cold Calling Mistakes?

Cold calling is hard. But you might be making it harder.

You work your tail off, but you are striking out. What you had once chalked up to a cold streak of poor leads and bad luck might actually be a series of bad mistakes you're making on your sales calls.

Stop making these 10 cold calling mistakes now and see your sales results improve.

1. You are insincere

You may not mean to do this but you may come off sounding insincere. It’s painfully obvious to the buyer or potential customer when reps sound insincere or disingenuous. Instead of making unrealistic promises you know you can’t keep, offer rational fact-based reasons as to how you can help the buyer.

2. You're overconfident

Similarly, don’t rave on and on about how superior your product is. You may be passionate but this could be misinterpreted as boasting. Nobody wants to hear such aimless bragging. Instead, within the first minute of connecting with a prospect, you should communicate why your product is great for them specifically.

3. You sound like a robot

You may be new and innocent. And this isn’t to say that call scripts are bad. Rather, reading robotically and sticking rigidly to the script is immediately obvious to your prospect and will turn them off from whatever you are saying.
Learn the script but speak like a human.

4. You talk too much

As a sales rep, you want to be helpful. Many talk too much thinking they should tell the prospect as much as possible. This backfires and bombards potential customers with tons of information and minutiae without addressing their specific pain points. Stop talking and start listening. After all, this is why you have two ears and one mouth. Ask questions, learn about the prospect’s needs, and be helpful.

5. You lack confidence

If a sales rep isn't confident, how can the prospect be expected to have confidence in him or her? Exuding or projecting confidence through a sales call requires practice, knowledge and desire to be helpful. You know you possess all three so be confident.

6. You aren't prepared

If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail.
The adage is as old as it is true. Don’t put yourself in that position. Make sure you have all the information before your sales call. It’s easy. There is no excuse for this today. You have the ability to get informed from sources such as Google, social networks, and your trusty CRM system.

7. You have "happy ears"

Sales reps should have real expectations about their chances with prospects. Everything is a funnel and not all of your leads (or even opportunities) will end up closing. So don’t waste your time pitching or pursuing prospects that are unqualified or have little interest.
A fast no is better than a slow maybe.

8. You are as clear as mud

Have a clear message for the prospect and know it before you pick up the phone. You need to articulate your benefits crisply within the first 30 seconds of the call or you will surely lose their interest.

9. You don't set next steps

Just because an initial sales call is successful does not mean the deal is done. It is critical that reps get a buy in on the next steps in the buying process. The prospect will not follow up with you. Your job is to discuss and get agreement on the next steps - that’s why you are in sales.

10. You aren't measuring

If you are not using metrics to measure your call effectiveness then you will not know how to improve. Also, ask your manager for sales coaching based on what you measure from your call performance. No rep is perfect and your sales manager can analyze your calls with you and will help coach you with metrics.