1) Have a positive passion about them.
Very few things are as infectious as a positive passion. But it's not believing in your company or the strength of its products that's important. Your passion has to be for the value your product or service can provide for the prospect.
The difference sounds small but it is huge. A lot of salespeople believe strongly that their companies and products are terrific. Only a few reserve their passion for what makes a deal terrific from the prospect's point of view, not their own. Those few are the winners . They knock people's socks off.
For positive passion to be contagious - it has to be all about them!
2) Be Prepared.
Naturally salespeople need a thorough understanding of the features and benefits their company and their products have to offer. But the real trick is to be prepared from the prospect's perspective.
What's on their mind? What worries them? What takes most of their attention?
Whenever possible, great salespeople do their homework about the issues the person they are calling on faces on a daily basis.
TIP: If you are calling on a public company, check out their last two or three quarterly reports on their web-site - they are usually good indicators of where time and effort are being spent. If it is a private company, insiders like administrators marketing people, and current salespeople are good contacts. Outside the company, customers and competitors are always talking as well. The big question is ARE YOU LISTENING?
A key element in execution is to take the offensive. Ask. Ask questions, ask for help, ask for understanding. If you are really passionate about them and their needs, and if you've done your homework, prospects want to talk with you.
But don't ask questions just for the sake of asking questions. You have to earn a seat at the asking table. That's where homework comes in.
"Mr. Smith, based on your last quarterly report, it seems you are looking to increase your inventory turns, is that right?"
"Ms. Jones. I talked to some of your people, and it seems that your company could really use a solution that would measure the success of new product launches. Is that right? "
4) Start from the next step.
Time and time again, salespeople begin a cold call only to have the prospect say something like, "Well that sounds good, why don't you call me back in a few weeks when I have time to talk?" A lot of salespeople feel good about this. They pull out their calendars and mark a date in a few weeks when they will call the prospect again. Hey, the guy invited them to, right? Obviously he'll take the call.
Wrong. What you just heard was a stall. Stalls can go on forever. To prevent stalls and to avoid dropping the execution ball, try to get prospects involved in a "next step" of some sort.
Give them homework - give them something to do. Ask them to fill out a form, send an e-mail, or gather some information. We are NOT talking about you sending them a mountain of your literature and asking them to read it. Give them a simple assignment. Have them call someone or do something. Get them involved in the start of the process.
Get a date - Get a specific date of action. Not "real soon" or "as soon as possible". Set a real date, one that shows up on your calendar. Then you'll be moving the sale along
Ask if you can call around - before the cold call ends, tell the prospect that as a next step you want to do a little more homework. Ask who they would recommend you speak to in order to get some more information before your next conversation.
These 4 steps gain involvement in a roundabout way, but give you a concrete reason to call back and give the prospect a reason to take your call.
While there is no on "right" way to execute a cold call, if you incorporate these steps into your process, you may find, to your surprise, that cold calling is not as hard as you may have thought.