The fear of cold calling stands in the way of many sales people. Whether cold calling is the best way of generating leads for service businesses is debateabe but if you do not have much in your sales pipeline then it is a good place to start. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of cold calling is to get clear of your target audience and why they would be interested in talking to you
Cold calling can be an effective way to generate leads but is typically hard for services unless you take a very strategic approach with a very focused target audience that typically have an unresolved problem that you can solve. The reason why most people and tele-marketers do not get satisfactory results is down to the strategy. If you assume that people are too busy to spend 2 minutes on the the phone to take your call it forces you to think about what would motivate them to give you 1 hour of their time and agree to meet with you.
Getting this right is key no matter what method of lead generation you use – and I recommend using several including the one that Jane provides. Unless you have your sales and marketing strategy thought through then its not going to be that effective whatever methods you use.
Step 1 – define your target audience. The more focused you are the better. Find a small niche where you can demonstrate you can help them. For example, schools
Step 2 – Identify the major pains that your target audience are experiencing. The unresolved problems that you can fix. lets say, for example, there was new health and safety regulations and schools could be fined or even jailed for having untreated water running through their taps
Step 3 – Develop a compelling proposition – like ‘Avoid being put in jail for Health and Safety violations’. That is going to get the ear of business owners who either did not realise the risk or did but are worried about what they are going to do about it
Step 4 – Decide on your primary sale – eg a Health check to ensure they are not at risk. From there you up-sell and cross sell if there is a need.
Step 5. Develop your stories about why they should do business with you and trust you to solve their problems. For example you have a number of customers who are schools and you can claim to be a specialist in schools
Step 6. Let your target audience know of your proposition. This is where you undertake your lead generation activities like cold calling, internet marketing, networking, etc etc
The trouble with most businesses that are struggling to generate leads is that the have not got steps 1 to 5 done and they go straight to step 6. There is no need to beg if you focus on the pain. if you were talking to someone who is literally dying of thirst because they cannot get decent drinking water then they should be begging you!!
Once you have done steps 1 to 5 then you need to build your confidence in cold calling. I will be doing a couple of free tele-seminars on this in the next couple of months to give you some tips. The book ‘Cold Calling Techniques (that really work) by Stefan Schiefmann is a good one. If you are not going to put in the activity then best choose another method that you are prepared to take some action.