When you think of cold calling, the first thing that sets in your mind is “resistance”! At the root of this resistance is the “hardest thing in cold calling” that 99% of the sales executives never address!
The resistance to basically everything that happens in the process of cold calling. Picking up the phone to dial someone you don’t know, interrupting them in a way they may not like, needing to keep telling who you are, being listened to with suspicion all the time, and finally hearing those curse words or you being trolled.
Isn’t this how it sums up your cold calling experience?
What is the worst part – hearing a lot of “No”s day in day out!
It may be the worst, but it is not the hardest part in the world for the sales representative.
What is the hardest thing in cold calling?
Look back at the second paragraph and think what is the common thread in all of it?
Answer – Complete lack of trust!
If there is not trust, what is the outcome? – Fear! Yes, your prospects have a certain fear about you. This becomes the hardest thing to overcome in your cold calling.
They do not know you. They are not expecting you. You are breaking into their schedule. You are the unwanted …. the unknown guy who is looking to grab them to sell something they don’t want or don’t need!
No one wants to be fooled. No one wants to be sold.
If they fear you, you need to sell. If they trust you, they buy! The final result is the same, but the emotions involved are completely opposite.
What do sales representatives generally say that creates suspicion or distrust in the buyers mind?
This is what the buyers usually hear from the sales reps in a typical cold call:
“The reason for my call is to schedule an appointment with you.”
“How will it be if you can increase your conversion by 10 times?”
“If we can save 30% of your operational expenses, would you be interested to move further?”
Do you see the problem here? From the get-go, the sales representatives are trying to get the prospects to buy into their proposals … into the results, they “think” can be interesting for their prospects!
But no one likes to be sold. No one likes to be persuaded in a way that they feel that they are manipulated.
Josh Braun puts it precisely:
“When your intent is to talk people into things, prospects pull away. So do you. So does everyone.”
If someone is getting many such calls every day or every week, imagine what are the natural feelings about cold callers? – Distrust and Fear!
The hardest thing to overcome in cold calling is the “Distrust and Fear” of the prospect!
How can you overcome the fear and lack of trust prospects feel about you?
1.First and foremost, forget what you want to achieve from your call!
2. Setting up a meeting, selling that offer, or generating a new lead .. all of those things that play on your mind.
3. Remember that the focus is your prospect and what they “may want” … Not your offer!
4. Do not assume that your prospects may like the things you are going to offer.
5. Focus on the problem that your offer solves. Then use a needlemover question to explore the current situation around the problem with your prospect.
6. Be curious about how prospects are currently getting the job done without having an agenda.
Here is a sample start of a cold call followed by a needlemover question:
Step 1: Focus on the problem:
“Many transporters we work with say they spend a lot of their time hiring and training their uneducated workforce. It is a huge cost for their business.”
Step 2: The NeedleMover Question
“I was wondering, how are you hiring and training your workforce? How much is it costing you every year?”
Imagine if it was you, who is running a transport company. What would you think after receiving such a call or even a message?
What will it make you think?
You may have the problem or you may not. If you do not have the problem, you can simply ignore and the call will finish there and then. But for the salesperson, you were never their customer in the first place. So a lot of time and hassle is saved.
What if you had this problem?
Now you are intrigued that there is a possibility to solve it. There may be a good solution in the market you haven’t come across.
The sales representative has not tried selling anything to you. Rather, he seems to know your problem and is not in any hurry to sell anything.
Now there is a chance of a good conversation. There is a lot more trust. You have subtly taken the prospect’s fear out of the picture.
Have the interest to understand how your prospect is getting the job done as of now. Avoid assuming that they need your solutions.
The needlemover questions are neutral in their nature. They do not expect a specific answer or outcome.
They are more about the exploration of your prospect’s current situation about things you are interested in because you can solve them if the pain exists.
When you ask these questions, you show interest and as a result can become interesting to talk to, for your prospects.
If the prospect shares his problems or frustrations, his current situation .. think about the things you know that your prospect may not be aware of.
Show what happens if nothing is done about this.
Before you know it, you will have reached a position in your sales conversation, where the prospect is eager to understand your offer.
In the end, modern selling is all about how people buy! You are simply their coach, consultant, or guide. Do you handle your selling with this attitude?
If you are interested to dig deeper, read this article about how to get your prospect to talk in 10 seconds!