>If you want to turn your prospects into clients – stop making cold calls. Yes, you heard me! Unless you just love calling people you don’t know, who don’t know you, and pushing your product or service on them then stop. You know you want to, you know your prospects want you to, and whether you know it or not there is a better way.
Late last Friday afternoon, I received a message from a nice man (named George) in Washington DC asking me to return his phone call. He said that he had received my name from Vicki someone, that he believed I knew, and she recommended we talk. Well, I could not recall a Vicki someone, but as I strive to return all of my phone calls, I called him back. This time I received his voice mail, so I left a nice message explaining I did not know Vicki, but to call me back and let me know why he was calling and I would be happy to talk. Next time the phone rang, I recognized his number so I didn’t answer . I wanted to see if he would let me know why he was calling me. Sure enough, he left a nice message with no reason why he was calling. Naturally, I did not return his phone call. My suspicions were confirmed – this is a cold call!
Monday rolls around, and I am busy running from one meeting to another. The phone rings, I grab it (unfortunately) without looking, and my luck, it is this nice man (George) – again. I say hello, listen as he explains the Vicki connection again. I interrupt him and explain I do not know Vicki and again ask why he is calling. He explains that Vicki is actually a researcher (meaning she pulls calling lists together for him) and he sells technology for delivering courses on line. He asks if I would like to hear more about his online technology, or if I am interested in purchasing it. I say no, he pushes a little harder and begins explaining his product. Again, I interrupt him, let him not I am not interested and say thank you as I hang up.
I would guess that I was much nicer than most prospects he called that week. This process can not be enjoyable for ole George. I mean, we just effectively wasted each other’s time He made five long distance phone calls just to connect with me. He lost credibility with me on several fronts – one he described Vicki as someone who knew me (not true), two he would not leave me a message as to why he was calling which made me suspicious, and three he talked only about himself and his products and services. He never asked what I do or inquired about my challenges and opportunities. We never discussed how his product or service would benefit me. We simply discussed his product, his need, and his goals.
Why does anyone want to sell like that? It certainly is inefficient, as he put in a lot of effort and gained no return. It is stressful, as he told a white lie, and he knew I was resistant by the fact that I kept asking why he was calling. Lastly, it was ineffective. I did not buy the product, and because of his dishonesty I never plan to.
If you want to turn your prospects into clients then try a different way. Take the time to clearly identify who can truly benefit from your product or service, and invest in building relationships. Your process also needs to involve asking great questions, learning about your prospect and then finding unique and custom ways your product and service is something that truly adds value. Selling should be fun, enjoyable and something both you and the prospect look forward to. Stop cold calling, start relationships building, and sit back and watch your prospects turn into clients!