How To Prepare for Cold Calls When Resistance is Likely

f_21324500000_church-office-building.jpgMany sales reps look at ads, direct mailing pieces, catalogs, the Internet, anywhere there’s advertising as sources of prospects. This is wise. But I find so many of these people ill-prepared for what they inevitably hear on calls. Here’s an example of what I received.

Caller: “Hello, this is Bill Jones with Video Recorders. I saw the ad for your Getting Through to Buyers video program, and we do video duplication.-

“Uh-huh.-

He became flustered at this point, probably because I didn’t say, “Oh, you do video duplication? Where should I send my master copy; you can do mine.-

“Uh, I’d like to talk to you about doing yours.-

“Look I’ll save you some time. I selected my existing company after evaluating quite a few. They have a very good price, quality is fine, and service is great. I have no reason to even consider looking around. Even if I did, I ordered enough to last me the rest of the year.-

“Oh, OK. Keep us in mind.-

Yeah, sure.

Analysis and Recommendations

So you might be thinking that I gave this guy an iron-clad objection that was impenetrable. And you’re right for the most part-when it comes to getting a sale on that call. However, he undoubtedly runs into that same objection quite a bit, so I’m surprised he hasn’t learned to use something that won’t totally slam the door so suddenly in his face. Here’s what I would do in his situation:

Call Strategy and Preparation: If I were placing this call, my Primary Objective would be to get commitment that the prospect would use my service the next time they duped tapes. Although that wouldn’t be achieved on a majority of the calls, it’s always best to aim high. After realizing on the call this wouldn’t be reached, objectives in descending order would be: to get commitment that I could at least bid on their next job, and if that wasn’t met, to get agreement that they would at least keep us on file as a back-up supplier in case their existing duplicator for some reason no longer met their needs, or if they had other future projects coming up.

Preliminary Information: He knew nothing about me when he called. He could have asked the person who answered the phone here about who we now use, how many we typically order, what we pay, and any other qualifying information which would have better-equipped him for the call.

Opening Statement: He gave no reason for me to even listen. He may as well just said. “Well, I’ve finally called you, so I guess you can start using us now.-

Simply dialing the phone does not give a person the right to take someone’s time. Promising or hinting at some value they could get does.

I would have listened to this: “I’m Bill Jones with Video Recorders. We specialize in top quality video duplication, and now work with quite a few training organizations. Depending on the price you’re now paying and your level of satisfaction with the quality and service you’re getting, it might be worth it for you to take a look at a bid we could do for you. I’d like to ask a few questions to see if it would be worth your while to talk about it.-

I would have been more likely to answer questions at this point. However, even if I did retort with the same objection mentioned earlier, he could have picked up on it and used it to ask more questions. For example, “I see. What price are you paying?- If that resulted in a dead-end, a last resort question to at least try and accomplish the last chance objective would be, “What plans do you have in place for a back-up supplier, if for example, you needed a large quantity in a hurry and your supplier wasn’t able to accommodate you for some reason?-

Determine if parts of your call process are similar to this one. Analyze every step of the process, determine your own strengths and enhance them, and shore up the weak areas.