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How to Cold Call Effectively
How are you doing?
adamnichols45




msg:3649069
 6:09 pm on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just bought my self a book on cold calling and I must say it was an interesting read although the 100 odd pages I reckon I could break it down into 5 good pages to use.

Have not actually started yet but was wondering how some of you might be doing. B2B

 

a_chameleon




msg:3670277
 10:32 am on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

second behind that is to hire a telemarketing firm. There are companies that specialize in this that seem to be reasonably priced. They look after the cold calling
This is often the best solution, provided:

a) They charge only for voice-to-voice time

b) You "test" them, insist they cold-call someone you know
and that person gives them a good report

c) Really good out-sourcing often practically insists
someone at your firm be available from X:XXAM to X:XXPM
(if applicable) ready to take over conferenced in calls
from hot prospects who want further data 'right now'

d) You've spoken with the on-floor manager, the person
who carries a "Supervisor Y" cord to jack in when/where
necessary and He/She impresses you
.

IMHO, a very close 2nd is SEO that has your website in the Top 10,
and your site design {where applicable} almost "yells"
the message -Call Us Right Now-;
e.g. a direct-dial phone number on each product page,
clearly readable, semi-large text of your open hour;

A nice "trick" that makes a nice 1st impression is
to include "Ask for Tom Jones" and then list Tom's
direct-dial number so if they get either Tom himself
-or- Tom's voice mail, the impression the caller will get is
"This company really does welcome phone calls";

Your "Contact Us" is at the Top of the page, along with
several phone numbers 1st, followed by email data;

Spend the extra few hundred dollars in your phone closet
for real or virtual direct-dial numbers..
1st time callers Hate IVR's and often dislike extensions;

Invest in quality wireless headsets w/ good range for personnel
who are important to callers - tethering a phone person to a desk
hurts performance, doesn't allow really good closers to Walk-n-Talk,
and where necessary, go somewhere else like the products Dept.
to confirm "Yes, there is in fact {such-&-such} on the label
and/or manufacturers sticker of that item!"
etc., etc.
.

rogerd




msg:3670379
 1:17 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

How well any cold calling system might work for you depends on your target market: selling to small businesses is entirely different than big corporate clients.

Before doing any cold calling or other marketing, step back and decide who your prime targets are, by size of business, by industry, and any other defining charactertistics.

Small business can be reached through good quality BNI-style groups (bad ones seem to feature the same kinds of members all desperately trying to sell each other). As you define the characteristics of your customers, you can also buy contact lists of companies that meet those criteria.

The better you understand the needs of these potential customers and how you will solve their problems, the more effective any contact will be. The emphasis shouldn't be on "I do..." or "We can..." but rather what is causing the customer pain. Only when you have demonstrated that you understand the customer's problems and worries should you think about talking about your solution.

As others have said, community involvement is one way to network with quality people. You'll do some good and, one hopes, you'll enjoy doing it. I've never tried to translate my community activity into business, but I have seen others do it with success. Understand that this is not a BNI situation where you start selling in the first two minutes. Rather, it's a long-term commitment that may, if you prove yourself to be capable and reliable, result in the occasional referral.

adamnichols45




msg:3670386
 1:38 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am planning on ringing hundreds of companys. I dont think they will see it as wasting there time though as I know that my products are half the cost of what most of them are paying now.

HiHo




msg:3670389
 1:41 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi adamnichols45, is 2 years that I am in the cold calling inferno :) Let me give you some advice...

when you call someone, he will ask himself, silently, 3 questions.

who is this guy that is calling me?
what is in for me?
is he wasting my time?

be short, clear, confident and professional. know why he should meet you (or buy from you), prepare your questions and be ready to answer their questions... have email's followup, presentations, case studies ready with you. Be an expert of what you are selling... if you are selling a seo consultation service, but you just read something about PR in a forum you are not ready to cold call.

it's a tought job, but when properly done it is remunerative.

and by the way... avoid to start a conversation with:

"hello john, my name is #*$!x from yyyyy, how are you?"

that "how are you" is the most irritating thing that you can ever say (since when sellers care about their prospect at the first call?).

I hope it helps (drop me a msg and I will give you some cold calling resources too!)

a_chameleon




msg:3670532
 4:19 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

.
Hi adamnichols45;


I am planning on ringing hundreds of companys. I dont think they will see it as wasting there time though as I know that my products are half the cost of what most of them are paying now

I hope this helps a little; I've probably have >3,000 cold calls under my belt across the last 20 years,
and I learned a little bit along the way.

1) Be really polite & humble when seeking the name of the decision-maker(s)
you need to reach, and ask these gatekeepers when is a good time to call them..

Gatekeepers/admins do not like precocious or fast-talking solicitors;
You'll get much better results, and you'll have a helper not an enemy re: the gatekeepers.

2) As I stated above, before anything..
In whatever verbiage you're comfortable with,
Promise the person you are pitching: You will be brief

3) Fulfill that promise; get in & out, like a duck mating :)

4) Cost is almost always at least 1/2 the approval process;
Trim your pitch to the 2 concepts you have equal products for much less money...
Thank you for your time.

5) Never use the words "cheap" or "cheaper".

6) Infer, or just simply state that you understand this buyer "is probably from Missouri"
- (the show-me state).

E.G. - Explain in 10 words or less that you know
all is a pig in a poke until they have samples in their hands..
May I send you 1 or 2 samples?

7) Often, when I'm selling hard goods, I'll simply say
"Hi, I have 'X-Y-Z' for less -
I'd like to just send you some samples and may I
call you back after you've tried them .. ?"

8) When you speak, smile or at least shape your mouth into a smile.
try this by leaving yourself 2 voicemails -
One speaking with a smile, One speaking 'normally'.

You'll hear a definitive difference,
and the subliminal impression you leave w/ the buyer will be much better.
Also, words said with a smile automatically instill a trust factor..
It's human nature.

9) Immediately follow the call (10 minutes or less) with a short email,
thanking them for taking the time to speak with you,
and confirming ("With your permission") you'll be
calling back next week, then close..

10) If you use a signature, with contact data and maybe a tiny graphic,
test this signature against Yahoo mail, Gmail, Outlook and simple webmail.

They -all- behave differently, especially if you've created this
signature file using Outlook 2003/2007.

!? HTH !?
.

travelin cat




msg:3670564
 4:50 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Cold Calling ALWAYS works.

It takes patience and time. It should only be carried out by people with born communication skills, as a successful sales person is born, not made.

In my previously life I was a business development rvp and it was my job to train salespeople. You can always tell who would be successful within the first minute of talking to them and this would become evident when they would submit call reports to show how many cold calls they were making. The more cold calls, the more business and therefore the more money the salesperson would make.

The mantra I would instill in my staff was "Cold Calling ALWAYS works".

pageoneresults




msg:3670573
 5:07 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Cold Calling in the historical sense of the word may be a dying breed. Many Governments are instituting laws and Do Not Call Lists to deal with this issue. That should give you some indication that things have, and are, changing quickly.

I'd much prefer to work with Warm Calling, that is my mantra. Being proactive and developing leads as I traverse through life. You have to do something to get something in return. Just recently, I opted to do a non-profit site for a client who is doing something on the side. Since then, he has referred me to two others who are interested in our services.

Cold Calling is brutal. It does take a special person and I think companies have it backwards because many give the "dead leads" to the inexperienced. Shouldn't those be going to the highly trained closers?

"Build it and they will come" actually works in this instance. :)

wheel




msg:3671157
 12:22 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>>Many Governments are instituting laws and Do Not Call Lists.

What you've said is one reason why I'm very happy to get all my leads off of my website - no 'do not call' list issues since they give me their name and phone number.

HelenDev




msg:3671177
 1:23 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

And no, not for the faint of heart as it goes beyond cold call and into providing some work 'on speculation', but that can do a lot to warm up that cold call.

I agree. Normally I hate being cold called, whether at home or at work, and it makes me think, if your product is that good, why do you have to ring people up and hassle them to get them to buy it?

The one exception I can think of was a few years back when I was cold called at work by a usability consultant offering to review our site. He'd really done his homework and came out with a few ideas for things which could be improved on our site over the phone.

One one hand I thought it was a bit cheeky, but there were some really good points so we decided to sign up for their full report!

HiHo




msg:3671210
 1:59 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

As helendev just said... it works! :)

as long as you are not placing any useless junk, but you have real value in your proposition.

a_chameleon




msg:3671397
 4:59 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree. Normally I hate being cold called, whether at home or at work, and it makes me think, if your product is that good, why do you have to ring people up and hassle them to get them to buy it?


I'm not a big fan of receiving cold calls, even though they are a necessary part of my consultancy to my largest client...
And that's why I always promise to be brief, up front.

However, most legitimate business that employ cold-calling realize it's prerequisite to compensate the recipient's inconvenience with an especially good deal, an especially good service or an especially useful product/technology they most likely might not be aware of, unless they read, on a daily basis, every coupon printed to date, every press release inked to date or the like.
.

nickreynolds




msg:3674457
 10:06 pm on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

No one has ever got anywhere when cold-calling me!

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