By preparing a script it lets you organise your thoughts before cold calling but never read from it. Research the company you are calling and get a feel of what would be relevant to them. It helps you avoid common mistakes and will give you more confidence. It’s normal to be a little nervous but don’t let those butterflies in your stomach get the better of you. All athletes are nervous prior to a race but they use that energy to win. It is during the first few seconds of a call that the customer forms crucial first impressions that will influence the rest of the call. Often, I make some small comment to just break the ice to the Personal Assistant … “It’s beautiful weather today in Sydney how’s it in Melbourne?” By distracting him or her they forget you are cold calling. Say…”Your name is really lovely where does it originate from?” Chat for a few moments about nonsense… it really works!
I always start off with Hi, it’s Odile speaking from XYZ, and I am hoping you can help me? Or Hi, it’s Odile Faludi speaking from XYZ, could I please check something with you? Start the conversation by seeking answers.
In most instances, you will need to have a reason for asking them for their email address or starting a conversation. It can be as simple as:
- I have recently seen many of the CEO’s in your area in similar businesses and I was hoping I could meet with you to discuss XYZ. Happy to bring the coffee, how do you take it?
- “Hi I’m calling from XYZ and we have a quarterly newsletter detailing a number of essential things to do in order to gain maximum dollars when you decide to sell your property. It provides a clever checklist of items to do around your home. Would you like to receive it? It also keeps you up-to-date of things happening in your local area. Is it possible to add your email address to the circulation list? It is only sent quarterly so you won’t get bombarded.”
- Begin the conversation something like, “I appreciate you taking my call. I’m Odile Faludi from XYZ and our company has helped companies similar to yours increase revenues. Would you be open to a discussion about this?”
- “We have an upcoming event showcasing our products/services and we would love to invite you.”
- “We are launching a new product range and would love to send our latest catalogue to you by email.”
- “I am calling from XYZ in Sydney and our CEO will be in Melbourne next week and he is keen to meet with you to discuss XYZ.”
- “John Smith referred me to you and suggested we meet to discuss XYZ.”
- “We have been working on a similar project to what you are currently working on. With a small team of two people we have achieved outstanding results for our customer. I would like to send you an introductory email with a case study attached to outline our credentials and how we can help you maximise your efficiency resulting in a huge cost saving.”
If you are confident, ask an implication question and then shut up and listen…
- There’s no doubt about it, questions persuade more powerfully than any other form of verbal behaviour. By asking a question you are providing a platform for someone to speak and it shows interest. But you must know and understand what you are going to ask.
- Open questions are more powerful than closed questions because they get the customer talking and often reveal unexpected information.
- You know you are good, believe in what you do… the conviction and “tone” in your voice should say it all. Just peak their curiosity enough to make a date for a meeting. You are selling nothing at this stage just trying to get an appointment.
- Curiosity applies to voice messages as well. Say very little, just enough to intrigue the listener to want to call you back. People are born curious!
Good questions for consultants to ask in recruitment
- What does a good candidate look like?
- What are some “must haves”?
- Good people tend to know other good people. Is there someone you could refer to me for this position?
- I work everyday with people like you. I would love to meet you as I am very interested to hear more about what you do.
- What does great value look like to you in a candidate?
Record results and make a date
If there was no need to send an introductory email and you have been able to strike a conversation, progress the call by saying, “Would Wednesday at 11am be a good time to meet?” Instead of saying, “Can I meet with you to discuss this next week?” Don’t give them the opportunity to say Yes or No – just make the date as if it was a done deal. Make sure you send an Outlook invite. Note the names and titles of the people on the invite and do some research about them prior to the meeting. Never ask for more than an hour of someone’s time in an initial meeting. Sometimes you will only get 30 minutes. Always put a personalised note on the Outlook invitation with the purpose of the meeting.
Therefore, without you even realising it you have done the following: preliminaries, investigating, demonstrating capability and obtaining commitment – this is almost every sales call. Good luck let me know how you go here.