Cold Calling Mistake #1: Centering the conversation around yourself and what you have to offer. In the old approach, you pull out your telemarketing list, dial the first number, and when they answer, you introduce yourself, explain what you do, and suggest a benefit or feature of your product using your sales script. And then you close your eyes and pray that the other person will be interested.
Unfortunately, when you stop talking, you usually hear, “Sorry, I’m busy,” or “Sorry, I’m not interested.”
You see, you’ve started your cold call by talking about your world and what you have to offer. But realistically, most people aren’t all that interested in you.
When you talk about your company and your product, it’s just another advertisement to them. You haven’t engaged them, so they often just tune you out.
Without sounding too harsh, the reality is that prospects are much more interested in themselves and what’s important to them. They are looking for something to solve a problem they’re having. So if you start the conversation by focusing on their world, they’re more likely to interact with you.
Instead, talk about an issue or problem they may need solving. Focus on them rather than on what you have to offer. And see where it takes you.
Mistake #2: Be confident they should buy your product or service
In the old cold calling (or phone selling) mindset, you’re taught to focus on the sale and be confident that what you’re offering is something the other person should buy.
The problem with this approach is that you haven’t asked them to determine this with you. So think about it – in the old mindset, you’re deciding for someone else what’s good for them. I know this isn’t intended, but that’s precisely what comes across to your prospects.
So rather than being full of confidence and enthusiasm, stop for a minute and think about the other individual. Relax into a real conversation instead of moving into a persuasive strategy or sales pitch. Put yourself in their shoes and invite them to explore along with you whether what you have to offer is a match for them.
Others really can distinguish the difference. You’re inviting them to see if you might be able to help them solve a problem. This makes for a much better connection right at the beginning, and you’ll get that immediate rejection reaction much less.
Mistake #3: When someone brings up an objection, try to overcome it
One of the reasons cold calling is so difficult is that sometimes you may not be very familiar with the other person and their business. When you make that first call, you don’t know much about their issues, problems, budget, or time constraints.
Chances are, not everyone will benefit from your product or service.
So realistically, your company or product isn’t a match for everyone. And yet, when someone brings up an objection (“we don’t have the budget for that,” etc.), the old cold calling mindset trains you to “overcome,” “bypass,” or “override.”
But when you do that, you put the other person on the defensive. Something they’ve said is being dismissed. And here’s where rejection can happen very suddenly.
So it’s much better to listen to their concerns and continue to explore whether what you’re offering makes sense for them. You can use some beautiful phrases that validate their viewpoint without closing the conversation.
So now you’ve discovered the three major cold calling mistakes people often make when phone prospecting. See if you can shift away from those old self-sabotaging mindsets. When you do, you’ll notice that people will engage with you much more, and the immediate rejection you’ve grown accustomed to will happen much more minor.