A Great Check List for Telemarketers who need to “cold call”

A Great Check List for Telemarketers who need to “cold call”

Are you a telemarketer who needs to “cold call”? Does your telesales approach revolve around “spray and pray” and even then you struggle to get even the smallest results? I’ve been thinking about you and what you can do to elevate both your telephone sales results and your job satisfaction.

All that thinking led me to a presentation I gave last November at The Cranfield School of Management called  “Make Every Call Count“. In the morning I had provided some 1:1 coaching on how to “start conversations from cold” (a much easier way than “cold calling”!). Both were very well received and Vivien Harrington who was the Director Of Alumni Relations at the time gave me this excellent testimonial:

David gave a presentation entitled ‘Make every call count’ at our Alumni Careers Day.  He proved to be an excellent motivational speaker, very quickly engaging with alumni at various different stages of their careers, giving them very specific advice and encouragement.  Our alumni feedback to his session was extremely positive.

For both the presentation and the coaching, I gave out this checklist, you will find it invaluable in your calling endeavours!  Please do pass this on to your colleagues if they are struggling to make new decision-maker contacts:

  1. Do you have a “valid business reason” to make contact with this person in the first place.  If not, go to the web, company website or “google” the individual. If they are a prospective career contact, can you do any further tele-research on them?
  2. If you were in their shoes, would you listen to you? Would there be real interest? If not, what do you need to change  in your proposed approach that would create the necessary level of interest? From your research, how can you link your world with theirs?
  3. Have you mentally prepared this call, run the call a couple of times “in your head”? Does it sound right? Does it feel right?
  4. Are you in the right state to make this call right now? If not, change your state and then make the call. E.g. stand up, move around and take ten deep breaths if necessary.
  5. Remember, your state is critical as it will affect how you sound and this in turn, will affect the quality of the outcomes you get. This is because the main impact of any telephone conversation is based, not so much on what you say but how you say it. In fact, your delivery of your call can affect up to 70% of the impact of the call. In your world, this means more  conversions to new career opportunities, work projects or new business. Think  in terms of “feel, sound, new opportunities!”
  6. Assess the tone of the person you are calling as soon as  they answer the phone and respond accordingly.
  7. If you hear negative tones, back off and arrange to speak at a later date, preferably with a telephone meeting, if you feel they are a worthy career contact/prospective client. If there are strong negative tones, you can say “would you like me to go away”! This will often bring the person round, so at least you can arrange to speak at another time.
  8. When you get “another time”, frame this as a “telephone meeting”, this is a formal 10 -15min slot in their diary with an agenda. In this way you can elevate the agreed call-back above “just another telephone call,” which can be easily postponed or at worst ignored. Reconfirm directly with them or their PA the day before as if it were a face to face meeting.
  9. If you come across a PA, immediately make her your ally. Let her be your guide to when it is a good time to speak to the executive to set up your telephone meeting.By matching her world of being the “gate-keeper” she will in time transform into being your “gate-opener.”
  10. Constantly assess your performance in terms of 1) How many calls you need to make to get your desired outcome and 2) What is working and what is not, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t!. In this way you can build your model of excellence so the whole process becomes easier and easier.
  11. As well as constantly being aware of your delivery, remember rejection is part of the process.  Research in the sales environment shows that you may need to speak to a prospective client on average 6 times before they will say “yes”.  So if you know this, getting a number of “no’s” means that you are closer to a “yes”. It has also been shown that the sales people/business developers who continue to make the calls, take the lion’s share of the business. So, if your research shows they are a worthy prospective employer/client, keep calling!
  12. When asking for referrals, ask for 2 -3 rather than 1 or 2, in this way you are likely to get twice as many.  Research has shown, that on average, people will give the lower number, so start with the higher numbers!


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