A lot of companies dislike picking up the phone to generate new customers. The general opinion is that even cold acquisition, also called cold calling, is pointless and only frustrating. However, optimal cold calling can definitely be successful and even be fun. In the end, it is exclusively about acquiring new customers for the company.
Where does the shoe pinch for the customer?
The reason why cold calling is so unpopular is that a lot of business people themselves have suffered from bad telephone marketing. Who has never received a call from a bold call centre employee wanting to sell something? Nowadays it is even illegal to do so with private customers – unless the consumer has explicitly allowed it.
The problem is that most cold calls are simply performed wrongly and exactly this is what leads to rejection and failure: According to the book, the conversation is started with a notorious pattern, but this conversation starter only results in activating the rejection button.
In practice this means that new conversation starters are necessary, such as the so-called strategic calling. The company or the product is not in the foreground anymore, but the customer himself instead. How satisfied is the customer with the company? How satisfied is he with the product?
A grid of important questions is fundamental, questions which are also crucial for the customer at the end of the line. A professional telephone conversation reveals problem areas. Only afterwards can the next step of the sales process be initiated.
Strategic calling is the new cold calling
The new key to success is: Asking instead of saying. In practice this means:
Do not talk about your own company or product anymore
Avoid old sales clichés
Address the customer with specific questions
Involve the customer actively into the conversation
Claims interrupt the flow of the conversation, whereas questions favour it. The customer should take centre stage and the salesperson should never give the impression that he only wants to sell something. The interlocutor will perceive the call as pleasant, then open up and share.
Actually it is ultimately all about convincing the customer without having to argue too much. In addition, it is also important to speak to the right interlocutor from the start when prospecting new customers. Many companies make the mistake of speaking with someone who is not the appropriate decision-maker. The decision-makers are those people who can freely decide what to invest in.
For corporate clients, this can be the managing director of a limited liability company or the board of a public limited company. Following the phone call, a review and an analysis are pending, whereby the following checklist is helpful:
Was the objective achieved?
When was the turning point of the phone call?
What was said exactly at the moment?
What can be improved next time?
Afterwards, improvement approaches must be taken note of, as well as personal strengths. Before every new phone call, this list should then be perused.
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