The Art of the Cold Call Pitch
Now that you’ve got your prospect on the line, it’s time to pitch your product, right? Wrong.
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of a cold call isn’t to sell. The purpose, according to cold-calling trainer Andrea Sittig-Rolf, is to get the prospect to commit to meet with you, either in person or on the telephone.
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve already got the prospect on ...the phone, so you should take advantage of the opportunity, right? Wrong.
The reason is simple. A cold call is basically voice-spam. If your prospect could hit the delete key and make you disappear, you’d be history.
However, if you can get the prospect to commit to a block of time for a conversation with you, you’re not spam any more. You’re a business commitment. So, rather than pitching, you should simply introduce yourself, explain very briefly (like in one sentence) why the prospect should be interested in what you provide, and then ask for the appointment – suggesting an actual time.
According to Andrea, here’s the kind of opener that works:
“Hi! I’m Jane Doe from CattleProdsRUs; we’re the company that increased programmer productivity at Microsoft by 25 percent. I’d like to meet with you to see whether we can work together to make similar improvements with your staff. How about 10am Thursday.”
Here’s why this works:
- It’s short. Most sales reps try to give way too much information on the cold call.
- It immediately establishes credibility (and ties into what you told the admin – just in case.)
- It gets right to the reason you called, which is to get the appointment.
Note that you don’t ask when it would be convenient to meet. You suggest a specific time. That implies that you’re busy and important, too, and not just some hoi poloi begging for Ms. Big Shot’s time.
The key to this technique is being able to generate instant credibility. In the example, the mention of a competitor accomplishes that, but there are other ways to create instant credibility, as I’ll explain in my next entry.
Popular on MoneyWatch
- Seeking solutions to the student aid mess
- Reverse cell phone lookup service is free and simple
- How to stop the mediocrity pandemic
- Kellogg re-inventing Special K brand
- LinkedIn: 3 tips for building a better profile
- Amy's Baking Company: Post-meltdown PR campaign
- Top 10 professional life coaching myths
- United Airlines resumes 787 Dreamliner flights