Maintain The Right Attitude
The attitude you take towards your cold calling determines the results you will experience. Maintaining a good attitude is essential to getting new clients.
I read years ago, in a book called Think and Grow Rich, about how thoughts become things. In other words, what you think about becomes reality. This applies to almost every aspect of life. I know by personal experience that it applies to cold calling. Your thoughts about cold calling make a huge difference in your results.
If people are not getting results, one of the first things I troubleshoot is how they are interpreting their calls. For example, it is no coincidence that if people view their calls as a nuisance, then they have very little success. If you start with the attitude that the person on the other end of the line doesn't want to receive your call, your approach will be tentative, and your client will sense your lack of conviction. Without the confidence necessary to effectively promote your products/services, you will spend the rest of the conversation trying to convince the client, against his or her will, to commit to an appointment.
A poor approach will not only disrupt your call, it can completely prevent you from making that initial important contact with a potential client. One sales rep for a large telecom company told me that he regarded leaving voicemail messages as a waste of time. "Why would they want to call me back?" he asked. I have no doubt that the lack of conviction in his approach was communicated in his message in some form. He is absolutely right: what client would want to call him back? Put yourself in the executive's place: You get a call from a rep at a database company every three months, and her voicemails sound apathetic, as if this is simply an obligatory follow up. As that executive, would you call her back? Probably not, because you have no cause to think she has anything valuable to offer.
Approach each call from the client's point of view. Take some time and think about what a client needs before making the call; asking questions during the call is also a great way to gather information. You are playing a positive role in every manager's search for the best solutions, and your approach should convey information tailored to that manager's specific issues. Companies expect to be approached with ideas. To be effective, be prepared, confident, and offer relevant information. The most important task is to identify the problem that your potential client is having, so you can provide the solution. That means learning to listen. Approach the conversation as an interactive transaction, meaning that you have to ask questions in order to find out what the prospect needs. Then listen carefully to the client's responses. Once the prospect identifies the problem, then you are in a perfect position to recommend the remedy.
When you take the appropriate steps, you will find that cold calling can be positive and rewarding to the extent that you bring a client-centered approach to your work. Remember, your internal dialogue will manifest externally. Your attitude must be one of confidence, reflecting your belief that you are providing something of great value to your clients. Get it out of your mind that people don't like sales calls—what they don't like is a bad sales call. Think of how you are becoming part of their businesses and providing solutions that will make their jobs easier and more productive. Believe that you have a right to call.
What is your attitude towards your cold calling efforts? Do you need to change it?
© 2013 Laura Lowell
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This excerpt by Mari Anne Vanella is Rule 3 from "42 Rules of Cold Calling Executives". Mari Anne Vanella is the founder and CEO of The Vanella Group, Inc., a Telesales firm serving the high-tech industry based in the Silicon Valley. For over 20 years, Mari Anne has designed and executed outbound calling practices that outperform traditional methods. She has worked with companies such as HP, Borland Software, Cisco, Guidewire Software, Savvion, and many others helping them identify opportunities for their sales organizations. You can learn more about his book and others at http://42rules.com.