When you send out a sales letter, brochure, or email, you usually follow it up with a cold call. And most of the time you start out the conversation by referring to the sales letter. But the truth is that almost no one reads sales letters anymore.
After you’ve sent out an information package, either in the mail or by e-mail, the old traditional approach to following up is to make the cold call and try to move the process forward into a sale. We’re trained to say things like:
o “I’m just calling to follow up on the information we sent you. If I’ve answered all your questions, how about if we set up a “next step”?
o “Has anything changed on your end since the last time we discussed this?”
This kind of language communicates quite clearly that you’re hoping the potential client is going to buy your solution, or at least to move things forward, right?
In this case, you’re cold calling with the aim of moving things towards the sale. It’s obvious that your only interest in talking with them is to nudge a sale process forward. But this inevitably creates sales pressure, which triggers resistance.
The New Way
In the new way of cold calling, you instead make it unmistakably clear that your goal is solely to answer any questions that your prospect may have, without any intentions to move the sales process forward.
In every cold call, you’re having conversations with potential clients who don’t yet trust you. So you have to assume that, based on their experiences in the past, they’re going to think you’re going to try to pressure them – no matter how easy going you are.
So in this new cold calling mindset, it’s your job to assure them that you’re not trying to move anything forward.
Let’s say you sent information to a potential client, but you haven’t heard back from them. You want to know what they thought and where you stand. You might try saying something like this:
“I’m just calling to make sure that the information I sent addressed the problems you’re concerned about because I want to make sure it was on the mark.”
o “I’m just calling to check and see if you have any questions about the package I sent in regards to your situation, but just keep in mind that I’m not making any assumptions that our solution is the right fit for you until you feel completely comfortable that it’s a match.”
o “I was just calling in regards to the information I sent – not to move our conversation forward in any way, but just to see if any thoughts or questions have come up so far.”
5 GREAT RESULTS
When you follow with this new approach, you’ll experience positive results. Here are some of them:
1. You’ll reduce sales pressure.
You’re eliminating their fear that you’re calling to pressure them into moving the sales process forward.
2. You’ll receive acknowledgment of your information packet.
Without causing pressure, you can find out whether they’ve received the information and whether or not they’ve looked at it.
3. You’ve opened a discussion.
Your call gives them a chance to discuss and ask questions about the information in the package without feeling pressured to make any kind of decision at all.
4. Clarification becomes possible.
Your potential clients are able to consider the package without having to defend themselves against pressure to buy. So they have time to focus on asking meaningful questions and receiving meaningful answers from you. This helps in your immediate cold calling conversation, and may also give you feedback to create better packages.
5. There’s all-around better clarity.
You feel much clearer about where you really are in the process, and your potential clients feel clearer about what you have to offer.
Once you start making these kinds of follow-up cold calls in the same mindset as your other cold calls, your prospects will be far more interested in what you have to offer once they realize you’re not going to try and pressure them into a sale.