Put on your spacesuit--We're going to the moon!
While the line above may sound like its straight out of "The Wolf of Wall Street", it’s not far from the truth. Lines like this - and others that were equally obnoxious - were standard fare in brokerage offices in the 80's and even into the 90's. Some, such as the one in "Wolf", were a bit more notorious than others. Lines like the one above were a big part of the cold call cowboy culture that gave Wall Street its swagger. I was fortunate to work at firms like Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley where we were a bit kinder and gentler (at least that was the reputation). But I did spend a bit of time at one that really pushed the envelope; name not necessary (and the firms are long since gone anyway!)
No doubt, the reputation of sales as a professional and skilled practice were damaged by the image of aggressive closers using cheesy lines and tactics. The image of the hard-driving, morals astray sales person, has been portrayed in movies, tv and other places. And while admittedly those folks may be out there, I believe there is a higher bar.
One very sad result of this portrayal is damage to the lost art of Prospecting and particularly the Dreaded (but necessary) Cold Call. Before we jump into this ancient but awesome practice, I'll share that I agree with the notion that if you have warm calls to make - a real and established connection - more power to you. Make them! Enjoy them! But do them AFTER you do your daily dose of Cold Calling as a reward for your hard work! Even if you're swamped with warm leads, prospects and existing clients to call, the Cold Call should still be a part of your daily routine whether you work in the corporate or nonprofit sector. I've had the fun of doing it in both.
Cold Calling is the perfect venue to do the following:
- Reduce your fear of approaching new clients
- Perfect Your Sales Presentation
- Nail Down your responses to objections to your presentation/pitch
- Experiment with new ways to gain a commitment a.k.a. Close the Sale
- Build up your immunity to the word no - and figure out YOUR MAGIC NUMBER: the number of calls it takes you to get a YES!
And this is just the beginning. The other bonus is that you might actually get a client, new opportunity or more. All in all, a pretty sweet deal for just setting aside 30 minutes a day to do some cold calling in person or on the phone. Both still work. Both still yield results. Both will make you infinitely better at what you do.
If you're not doing this today and see the value in it, start with three simple things:
- A list of prospects that you'd like to reach out to where you have no connection yet. (Try to get a connection but if you can't, put 'em on this list)
- An introduction that will be of universal interest to those you'll be calling. Hint: Interesting IS about them and why they might be interested in spending the next 30 seconds listening to you i.e. "I'm with (XYZ) and we've developed (ABC); from speaking with other firms in your industry, I thought that might be of interest. It's NOT about you, your company or your stuff.
- A sheet with lines for each call you plan to make. For each call you make, note who you speak to, highlights of the conversation and main things you learned. Sure, you've got the fancy software to record all this but the reality is that you'll be scribbling notes and you don't want to tell Mr. or Mrs. Prospect to hold up while you put your notes into the database.
If you can develop a baseline number of calls, say 10 every day, and fill in info about calls, you'll feel great!
I've titled this Part 1 as its the stater stuff. More parts to follow with details on the call, the script etc. Feel free to write in and share if there are specifics you'd like to hear about or questions you have. This may develop into a bit of a workshop so since I've been in a Jerry McGuire mode, "help me to help you" (remember that?)
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