I once asked a training class to describe how they felt when I said the words, "cold calling." I got the typical answers, "scary," "hate it," "don't do it," "necessary evil." But interesting enough there were a couple of entrepreneurs in the room who had a different take on cold calling. Their answers were, "possibilities," "helping others," "opportunity to make things happen."
Cold calling, just like selling, is how you see it and 90% of your success at it is in your mindset. If you believe it's hard, scary, difficult, no fun, and challenging – that's what it's going to be for you. But if you can shift your mindset to see how it can be full of possibilities, reaching out to help others and an opportunity to grow, then that's what it's going to be for you and you will have a lot more success at it.
Cold calling is necessary to grow your business, particularly in the first few years of starting your business. But it certainly doesn't have to be seen as a pressure-ridden nuisance by your you or your prospective clients.
Here are five great tips that can help you become more effective around cold calling:
1. Shift your mindset away from "making the sale" towards whether there is a "fit" or not.
Too often when we call prospective clients, even on the first call, we are trying to sell them, even before we've determined whether or not they are an ideal client. If your intention on the call is to get to know the person better and to determine whether or not you can help them, or even want to work with them, you will be far more likely to be successful. You'll know if you want to begin to enter into a deeper relationship with the prospect, or you'll figure out quickly that they are not the client for you.
2. Be a helper, not a pitcher
Understand where your prospective client is struggling, what is keeping them up at night, and how can you help solve their problems. Too often, I see people begin the calls talking about all the features their product or service offers, well before they have a good understanding of the potential client's problem!
3. Focus on the beginning, not the end
You are probably not going to close the sale on a cold call. It's not totally impossible, but it's not likely. That's okay, so get that out of your mind and stop trying so hard. Be real. Be authentic, and think about slowly building a relationship with the client that could last a lifetime. Creating trust with your prospect should be your initial goal, not making the sale.
4. Stop chasing prospects, start solving problems
This is a mindset. You are not chasing people; you are reaching out to people who may have a problem that you can solve. It's like that quote from motivational speaker Bob Proctor, "Sales is not something you do TO someone, it's something you do FOR someone." Don't think of it as "chasing" a prospect. You have a product or service that could change someone's life, end a struggle, help them make more money, save money, or save time. If you aren't reaching out to people and letting them know what you have to offer, they may continue to go without solutions to their problems. You don't want to be responsible for that, do you??
5. Connect with your prospects
Make sure you fully understand your prospects problems, so that they feel you get what they need. Think about beginning a long-term relationship with them. Drop the "sales speak" and relate to them in a natural, authentic way that makes a genuine connection. Cold calling is the only way to increase your business. You must let people know about you and your products or services. You have to get them to trust you to help them solve their problems.
If you can learn to incorporate these five strategies into your mindset about cold calling, you will quickly increase your number of solid prospects and start to build the long-term client relationships that will fuel the growth of your business.