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Cold Calling - The First 20 Seconds by primusboy


									Cold Calling - The First 20 Seconds
Cold calling is not dead. Many companies and industries still use cold
calling as a highly effective way to communicate with their client bases.
Cold calling is difficult to do well and has always drawn out the
negativity of those struggling to make it a common, successful practice.
The reality of cold calling is that it allows the caller to connect with
more potential clients in shorter meetings over the phone. Selling has
long been a numbers game, and cold calling is the most effective way to
achieve those numbers. The key variable that most salespeople miss in
their cold calls is quality.
The most important moment of any telephone based sale is in the first 20
seconds. This is the handshake, the smile, and the eye contact all at
once. Since it is impossible to achieve this over the phone, your
available tools must be sharper. The first 20 seconds give callers the
opportunity to explain their services and continue selling. So let's
start with a smile.
In your opening line, you must introduce yourself with your first name
and the company you represent, immediately followed by a question. It is
imperative that you speak clearly and at a normal speed. Ignore the
desire to impress your listener by using any additional words; it is a
waste of valuable time. Your question can be as simple as asking how the
listener's day is going, but needs to warrant a response and create a
Here you can present your "value statement" and the effectiveness of this
statement is a direct result of the amount of information you already
know about your client. For example, if you are calling an HR manager who
utilizes Oracle technology, the description of your services should be
tailored to that specific software. This description should be about two
sentences long. There are a lot of similarities you can focus on here
including personal aspects, their business focus, or networking
connections that the two of you share in common. It is a great
opportunity to try different approaches and see what works best for you
and for each individual client!
At this point, you are building credibility with the client and showing
value. You understand their business need, work within the same space,
and are focused on your delivery of instilling the confidence of your
listener and future client. After the two-sentence description of your
service, it is important to ask a question. This is a conversation,
I am always trying to build a "yes ladder" within every phone call. This
is a perfect opportunity to ask a question related to your value
statement that you already know the answer to, and it is going to be
"yes." At this point the client should answer "yes" and engage you in a
conversation that includes your explanation of how beneficial your
services are. It is here that you can truly begin to sell by listening!!
If the response is short and the client has not been engaged, you need to
present another value statement focused around them. People want to talk
about what is most important to them and you need to know these details
in order to present the proper solution. People focus on what is going on
NOW. Simply asking what they are doing now allows you to focus on their
most important business issues. It also creates an instant relationship
and understanding of their business issues in an effort to begin working
with them immediately.
You have now spoken with your client for 20 seconds and have introduced
yourself, your reason for calling, a value statement, and have supplied a
reason for future conversations. You have achieved immediate success for
the most difficult part of the call, and the rest is easy!!
Written by Patrick Donlin- August 26, 2008

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