Cold calling, the old way, has to be the most painful form of sales work you can experience. There's a lot of rejection, fear, and deflated hopes.
But there's a new way to make cold calling as pleasant and relaxed as picking up the phone and talking to a friend. Just follow these steps, and your cold calls can become an enjoyable part of your day.
1. Rip Up Your Sales Script and Start a Conversation
If you've been selling for a while, you've probably used a sales script. Perhaps using a script is the only way you know to start a cold call.
But people can almost always tell when you're reading from a script, even if you think you're pretty good at it. There's just nothing personal about it, and people pick up on that.
A script is not a conversation. It's a linear process designed to move the other person toward a sale. You're not having a real dialogue when you're using a script. So nothing is "real" about the whole encounter.
A conversation, on the other hand, is a living, breathing relationship. You're two real people, talking normally and naturally.
So when you're just being yourself, the other person's walls can come down. Because you're not coming at them with one-way sales strategy. So your cold calls typically last longer. You'll make fewer calls, and have better results.
2. From "Dreaded Salesperson" to Trusted Advisor
The old cold calling strategies teach you to polarize the roles of buyer and seller. You're trying to coax "prospects" into buying your product. You're not thinking about their world – their budget, problems, or time constraints. You've been taught to think about the sale.
Well, suppose you were to focus instead on the things that matter to the other person. For example, their problems. What if you were to become a problem solver?
That's exactly the place you want to be when making your cold calls. Imagine approaching someone with the idea of finding out whether you can help solve a problem. Imagine the kind of attitude this would convey to the other person.
You're no longer trying to persuade. You're not even thinking about the sale. You're thinking about whether you can help someone solve a problem. You're relaxed, comfortable, and authentic.
When you make your cold calls this way, you'll find that others will engage you more. And you'll also be able to really enjoy what you're doing.
3. Gain the Respect You Deserve – Stop Pushing and Chasing
The old-school sales gurus teach the essentially the same approach. "Focus on closing the sale. Keep pushing forward. Overcome objections. Your job is to turn every no into a yes."
Persuading and coaxing has always been considered a normal and necessary part of cold calling. But it's rooted in a kind of macho selling image. If you do not keep pushing, it means you're giving up. So you keep trying to move things forward, and you keep "chasing" with follow-up calls.
Even when your focus is on solving a problem for the other person, you can be coaxing and cajoling. But if you do this, how can you become the trusted advisor I spoke about earlier?
It's really simple. Just let go of your attachment to the sale. When you do this, you can relax into being the professional that you are.
When you stop focusing on getting the sale, you can become a trusted resource. You're no longer chasing, pushing, and cajoling. You're helping. And that makes a world of difference in how people respond to you.
Follow these guidelines, and cold calling can become surprisingly enjoyable. You'll find yourself spending much more time with each person. You'll also see more positive results, whether or not a sale unfolds. Others will tend to respond to you more graciously. And your whole cold calling experience can become a pleasant one.