Monday, June 29, 2009

Cold Calling

I love cold calling. This puts me in a minority, even among my peers in sales. In my experience, the individuals who suffer from "call reluctance" focus more on the recipient of their pitch than on themselves.

You're busy. Your prospect is busy. If your prospect doesn't like your pitch they will hang up and forget about you in 20 seconds! If they can move on so easily so can you.

Relying on your current clients to buy all of your ideas is a losing strategy. To grow yourself you must pitch your ideas to new individuals.

To successfully cold calling, you only need 2 things:
1) An Internet browser - one of my former colleagues pointed out that I used to make most of my cold calls with no more information than my prospect's website. Remember, the goal of a cold call is to get a chance to pitch in person
2) Confidence - as discussed in "over qualified," one the biggest reasons for failed pitches is lack of confidence. Lack of belief in your pitch comes through like a air raid siren on the phone and makes hanging up that much easier for your prospect

The rule of thumb I live by is it takes 7 "nos" to get 1 "yes." Sometimes this ratio is lower, sometimes higher, but it helps guide me when I pitch ideas.

Since I'm in the minority, I'm interested in your thoughts on cold calling. Why do you avoid it? What do you do to overcome your reluctance to cold call?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Time and Money

When building a pitch keep in mind that your target audience wants to hear 1 of 2 things.

1) Your idea will save time

2) Your idea will save or make money

Really, the list above is 1 thing, saving/making money. Time savings should save your organization money in the short term and allow it to make more money in the long term through increased productivity.

How your idea will save time or save/make money for your organization may not be readily apparent. On the surface many ideas may not have an obvious connection to the list above.

The chances of your pitch being successful will increase if you take time to look below the surface and connect your pitch to a number that is important to your audience (more on that later).