Cold Calling: Build New Customers

LCT Staff
Posted on May 1, 2004

I’ve conducted motivational leadership training sessions for many years now, for many different companies, and one of the things I always remind sales people of is that if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten; however, only if everything else remains the same.

As a limousine company, how many of you can say your companies have stayed the same over time? Do things change? So therefore, if you always do what you’ve always done, then you either get the same or less results because today’s world is always changing.

Even something as small as introductions – giving your name to someone – can lead into a conversation on the benefits of choosing your company. It is an opportunity to expand people’s minds on what your company can do or the product or service you have.

How to Approach Cold Calling
There’s a story I like to tell about developing the right attitude when cold calling. There’s an old man fishing, and a young son and father are watching this man. They notice he’s catching a lot of fish. They also notice the old man measures the fish and throws the big ones back in the lake and keeps the small ones. So they finally approach the old man and ask him why he’s doing this. And the old man responds, “My frying pan is only that big.”

My question to all of you is, “How big is your frying pan?” If it’s too small, then perhaps it is time to get rid of it. We need to expand our thinking if we want to grow our business in this coming year. Get rid of your frying pan and do something different this year.

Cold calling is not all we do, it’s just part of our activity. It’s the difference between being successful and borderline. Why not go to the top and be the best in your field?

The business reality of 2004 is that I bet many limousine operators have a discussion, at the beginning of every year, with their sales team or wife or husband to discuss sales strategies. And I bet the discussion goes something like this: We need to do more, do it faster, do it better and with less resources. That’s the new business reality that we’re faced with today in sales. And the challenge is as sales people how can we rise to that occasion?

So if that’s the case, then what holds us back from cold calling? What holds us back from going to our next level? Good question isn’t it? Here’s the answer we have Dale Carnegie Training – comfort zone – again how big is your frying pan or comfort zone?

Cold Calling is stretching our comfort zone. What happens if your frying pan gets bigger? You might you do things with more urgency; might you talk to more people, build more relationships and close more deals. You’ll do more. When we do surveys of sales people across the world, I always want to know, what makes somebody No. 1? What makes the difference between the very best in my industry and somebody who is in the middle of the road?

We did some survey work on the top 1% of sales people. Here’s their approach:

1) They want to get all the business, not just part of the business. They want to build relationships with trust and rapport where they get all the business.

2) They ask better, deeper questions. They get to the heart and understand to the customer’s needs and wants and then they can explain how they can help them. They have deeper relationships. They’re willing to take that extra step so they can build better relationships.

3) They clone customers. In other words, if I have customer who is very profitable, what is it about that customer and the profitability of that customer that I could go and look for similar customers. So whom am I going to cold call on – everyone in the universe or am I going to clone and call on my best, favorite customer. That’s where we ought to be spending more of our time.

There are five fears that hold sales people back:
1) Success – there’s a lot of people who sabotage themselves and for some reason are uncomfortable with success. Expect success and begin to think about it. Act as if you are already successful. Many times when we’re out selling, it’s about what people sense about us.

2) The fear of failure. It’s bad if it holds us back, but good if it inspires us.

3) The fear of rejection. Some people say I can’t take “No’s.” But we should celebrate our no’s because we need four to seven no’s to get one yes from people, so MOVE ON!

4) The fear of commitment. In regards to that I have two questions for sales people: The first is: are you ready to join the team? And the second is: are you willing to do the business? It’s one thing to join the team and it’s another to commit to doing the business.

5) The fear of change. That holds a lot of people back because we get comfortable with who and what we are. But our world is changing and we need to sell at the speed of change. OIf we want do more, faster, better, with less, we have to be willing to make the changes.

Steps for Success
1) You have to want and desire to succeed, not need to. There’s a difference between a need and want. I can have a need and not the want. Do I really want to?

2) You have to plan. Some people say they just like to wing it. You don’t have time to wing it anymore. If you want to be successful, then you have to plan for your success.

3) Sacrifice. You have to be willing to do this and what it takes to be successful. I believe you need to have proper balance and perspective in your life. Balance without perspective is meaningless. Perspective will help bring our life into appropriate balance, but we have to be willing to sacrifice.

4) You have to have the courage to begin and endure. Different people throughout history have given us great examples of what it means to begin and endure, whatever it takes, to make that sacrifice. I encourage you to find your own inspirations all around you to begin, to endure. Read books and learn because I find they are motivating; if they can do it, I can do it. The greatest motivation comes from your own life. Go back and do a check study of when you had to begin and endure to achieve success, and if you do it then, you can do it again.

What enables us to be successful in cold calling? About 92% of all sales people give up after they get their four “No’s.” About 70% of the population is used to saying no four to seven times. If we truly believe our product, good or service can help our customers, endure.

Which leads me to my next point: you have to build and strengthen relationships. If you truly want to be successful in sales, you have to build relationships. There are to a certain degree, people who will call in and it’s a quick, fast sale, but in order to go the next level (you’ll take care of transactional sales, they’re coming in anyways) you have to build relationships.

Mr. Carnegie has nine human relation principles that will help us when we go out into the marketplace to be more successful at what we do.

First of all, don’t criticize, condemn and complain.

Give honest and sincere appreciation. Arouse in the other person an eager way out. Become genuinely interested in them. Make a customer think we want to sincerely help them with an issue and we’re genuine about that. And smile.

To strengthen existing relationships, use people’s names. Mr. Carnegie said a person’s name is the most powerful and sweetest word.

Be a good listener and develop this by asking those deeper questions. Talk in terms of their interests, and make the other person feel more important. In five to 10 seconds, a person can like you or not. If you use these nine human principles, they will feel more important.

From a sales point, I don’t care if I get a sale today or not because I am always planning for the future. There’s a Dale Carnegie sales person, who made a call on someone back in 1981. Well, that sales person finally got the sale recently. So don’t give up.

Follow a sales model. For planning or your pre-approach, anything I can do to understand who I’m calling will help me. Build a rapport with them. Get them to see what you can do to help them. Target their interests or what they want. Offer a solution and specific application to their needs. You can’t do this without proper questions. And have the confidence to ask for the order. But the key is the customer relationship. It’s not about you as a sales person. It has to be about their needs.

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