High Probability Selling for Sales Professionals: Turn Cold Calling into Warm Sales Leads
Like most sales lead consultants, I do not advocate cold calling . However, I acknowledge that cold calling is necessary at times.
You need prospective clients and customers: If you don’t have a customer list from which to solicit referrals, and you also lack an advertising/marketing budget, cold-calling to a highly targeted list is the fastest route to finding high probability prospects.
A High Probability Prospect is one who wants, needs, can afford, and is ready to buy your product or service- now. Those who only want, need, and can afford- but are not ready to buy now- are prospects that you will not meet with now. But, you will continue to contact in the future, until they are ready to buy.
How does Cold Calling fit into High Probability Prospecting?
Before picking up the phone, you need to define your target market. Your target markets are consumers and/or companies who are likely to want your product or service. If you haven’t gone through the exercise of defining your target market, start by making a list of your best customers: What characteristics do they share? Are they in similar industries? Are they companies of about the same size, or in the same vertical markets? In B2C sales, look for similar socio-economic factors.
Your prospect list, whether you’ve created it yourself or purchased it, is the basis of your prospecting campaign. Contact each person on the list repeatedly, each time with a different offer. In High Probability Prospecting, an offer is a succinct distillation of two features of your product or service. Every time you re-contact a prospect, present a different offer.
When call your list, only first-time calls are cold calls in High Probability Prospecting. A truly effective prospecting campaign requires that you call the same list every 3 to 4 weeks, so after a short period of time, most of your calls will be ‘warm’ calls. A higher percentage of the people on your list will say “Yes” to your prospecting offer with each successive call.
5 Simple rules for maximum effectiveness and maximum efficiency:
- Don’t repeat the same prospecting offer more frequently than every third call.
- Your offer must be no longer than 45 words, describing your product/service and mentioning two if its features.
- Your prospecting offer must clearly request a “Yes” or “No” answer.
- When prospects say “No,” you say, “Okay, good-bye.”
- When prospects say “Yes,” you say, “Why?”
With practice, you should be able to make at least 50 dials per hour. You’ll find an increasing number of High Probability Prospects- people who respond with ‘Yes’ to your offer- with each pass through your list. You’ll be on your way to making appointments with people who are ready to buy what you’re selling- right now.
High Probability Prospecting doesn’t eliminate cold-calling entirely. You will, however, make successively fewer Cold Calls and far more “Warm Calls”. That will eliminate most of the Rejection associated with cold-calling. Thus, you will turn telephone prospecting into an efficient and enjoyable activity.