If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Building awareness of your products and services to existing and potential customers is a key success factor.
Don’t assume everyone knows who you are, where you are and what you do
Don’t wait for the phone to ring, because the chances are, it won’t!
There are people who make things happen
There are people who wondered what happened.
Who would you rather be?
Simple tips – Preparing for telephone prospecting calls
Do your deskwork, create lists of business contacts in 3 categories
Loyal customers – ensure you keep in touch with these clients, update on new products, industry news and build the relationship as they may just pass you some referrals. Also as their business grows you want to grow with them.
Clients and customers whom buy from you but also from other suppliers – these are normally the best prospects for additional business, you already deal with them however the key task is to create a closer business relationship and move them up to loyal customers. Call them regularly, visit them and ask them about their business, get to know them better, their buying habits and current and future needs, this will lead to additional business opportunities.
Known non-customers – your prospect list, these are the toughest as a cold call. Break this list down into manageable lots, by area, business size or industry sector.
Once you have your lists – create a weekly plan and set yourself a target to contact a number from each list. Mix the calls between categories and aim for at least 12-15 per week to start with.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10.00am and 3.00pm can be the best time to call. Some contacts you will get through to first time others may take more time, but be persistent.
Making the cold call – tips
- Be prepared – check out their website and company info on the web, have details to hand
- Choose a quiet office, no interruptions or background noise
- Use a land line rather than mobile
- Don’t tuck the phone under your chin as can muffle your voice
- Do – Stand up – smile – concentrate – take notes following up anything relevant, have your diary open
- I’m just phoning __
- I’m updating our database
- Sorry to disturb you
I need to speak to _______ (from research ask for the manager/owner/decision maker)
Make the phone call sound important! –
Once through to the person you need to speak to, use positive openings such as “I’m calling selected customers”, “I want to find out more about your business”
- Remember don’t sell, the first 10-15 seconds is about breaking the ice!
Once you have their attention – explain you’re going to ask a few questions.
- Use open questions starting with How, Why, What, Where, When, Who?
e.g. “How do you currently manage your ___?”
Or “Who within your business would normally deal with ____?”
If they relax and open up and mention issues, ask “How does this currently impact on your business and/or current client base?”
Then use examples whereby you have helped customers with similar issues/challenges.
Ask for an appointment – the objective of the call.
Give 2 or 3 alternative dates and times – then use silence ,to get an answer and hopefully you get that appointment,
If not, ask if you can please call back another time
Don’t get sucked into giving any pricing over the phone or sending a proposal by email.
Say you need more information, hence the requirement for you to visit.
- Use a script or bullet points to build confidence,
- Save any information and diarise,
- Follow up any appointment agreed immediately
- Thank them for their time
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