Want Better Cold Calling Results? Do Some Homework First

Over the past few weeks, FEI sales leader Zoot has given young salesman Ganymede some valuable tips for winning back customers who have left. This week, Zoot shares a tip for effective cold calling. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot was working in his office one afternoon when a loud, repeating thump grabbed his attention. Concerned, he followed the noise to its source—Ganymede’s office. Here, the young salesperson was banging his head against the wall.

“If you’re trying to break down that wall to remodel your office, I’d suggest using a sledgehammer,” Zoot said in jest.

Ganymede looked surprised and embarrassed. “Oh, hi Zoot. This cold calling is driving me nuts!” He sat down at his desk and offered Zoot a seat. “I’ve spent all day fishing on the phone without a single nibble to show for the effort. People just don’t seem interested after I give them my pitch.”

“Maybe I can help,” Zoot said. “Give me a sample pitch.”

“Hi, this is Ganymede calling with Fire Enterprises, Inc. Can I have a moment of your time?”

“OK,” Zoot said.

“I’d like to talk to you today about how FEI’s fire solutions can reduce your organization’s heating costs by 15 percent.”

“That’s a passable opener,” Zoot began, “but you’re not addressing the prospect personally. Your message may be compelling, but it sounds like the same thing you’ll say to the next 49 prospects you call—because it is.”

“How do I make it better?” Ganymede asked with concern.

“If you do a little research before dialing, you can personalize each call based on the prospect at the other end. People are more likely to listen when what you’re saying has to do with them. A few minutes of ‘O-Google’ searching is sometimes the only thing separating cold callers with full appointment books from cold callers who, um…” Zoot gestured to the small dent in Ganymede’s wall.

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T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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