We have been discussing Game of Thrones in the office today and it seems that I am one of the few people on the planet that doesn’t really get it. When someone tells me that by season three it will all start to make sense I wonder what all the preamble in the first two seasons is about. What’s the point? Twenty wasted hours to figure out what’s going on.
It got me thinking about the alternative, Game of Phones. In recruitment and in sales generally, nobody wants to have their time wasted; the client, the candidate or the person who is trying to sell. No matter the size of a business, revenue growth has to come from an initial contact between a sales person and a prospective client. The dreaded Cold Call. Some people say cold calling is dead but I disagree, it’s just that the style of that call has changed. If you haven’t and you’re still calling like it’s 1999 then the likelihood of success is slim. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you position your calls better and increase the chance of success:
Don’t sound like this is your 1000th call of the day: If you sound bored then you have lost the battle before you even say hello.
Know who you are calling: Make sure the person on the phone is actually the decision maker or has significant influence in the buying process.
Know why you are calling: Whether it is a case of having a script that you work from or being more freestyle you must have an objective for every call. A sales call without an objective is basically just a chat.
Rapport is nice but not what everyone wants: This is where you need to be able to guage how much of someones time is reasonable to take up. Do they want to watch seasons one and two of Games of Thrones before they have a clue why you are calling? Chances are that they know what the weather is like as they have their own window. Get to the point…
Know how to handle the most common objectives: Chances are that you regularly get the same objections so you need to know what they are and how to handle them effectively. Equally if you keep getting the same objections perhaps you are actually creating those objections because of your sales pitch and you should change it.
Don’t pitch too soon: Don’t forget to fact find before you try to sell. Your USP’s need to be relevant and you won’t know that without getting some background information. Once you see an opportunity then pick your moment and open the door.
There are so many other relevant points that I could list here but in short, be confident, interesting, relevant and don’t give up. Don’t let bad calls get you down, instead be resilient and learn from your mistakes.