FranticFish - 10:17 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
I worked at sales for a while in another life and was useless, probably because I hate it with a passion.
I tried cold calling when I set up on my own and failed miserably at that too.
First thing: introduce yourself, introduce the business, explain how your business (or the business you're calling for) relates to theirs.
My first rule is I NEVER mention Google or anything technical. This much I learnt from sales jobs: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Although if you get someone with some technical knowledge then switch to jargon to impress them, drop some SEO hints into the conversation.
My second is that I don't have a script. I found that if you have a script you just reel it off. Ever taken a sales call and felt like you're being read small print by someone with a gun to their head? That's what scripts do to people. Also, if you're on a script and then get asked questions you don't anticipate then you suddenly switch to 'real you' mode and people notice the difference.
All I can say is to be yourself, say it your way (but be brief and straightforward), and really LISTEN to what you're being told. You just pick it up as you go. Make an effort to talk a little slower than you think you should until you feel relaxed and confident about what you're saying. Finally, recognise that people are busy and once you get a 'yes' get the f*ck off the phone unless THEY want to chat.
One other thing I do is to tell them the email address I'm using to send and who it'll be from. I do everything I can to get them to remember my name.