I know you probably don’t do them – which is a shame, because they work.
I have a friend who has no reluctance to make cold calls, has no problem with hang ups and rudeness. He just goes on to the next one and the next one until he finds the gem who answers, ‘Well, as a matter of fact, we have been thinking of selling.’ Trouble is, easy as cold calls are for him, they are often his last resort activity: what he does when he has nothing else to do. If he just did them on schedule, every day or every other day or even once a week, he’d probably rarely get to that last resort place!
Remember Tina LoSasso? She worked with us at Help-U-Sell earlier in the millennium. Tina is quite the entrepreneur. She runs a very successful comic book business with her husband and does a little publishing as well. She’s always in tune with good selling information. On Facebook today, she posted a link to Art Sobczak’s ‘Smart Calling Blog.’ The link led to a piece about how to handle cold call hang-ups and brush-offs.
Art suggests that when the person you are calling hangs up on you or says, ‘I’m not interested’ before ending the call, that you first remember that this person has a life of his or her own. They have issues and demands and deadlines, and your priority of finding a new prospect is certainly not theirs. In other words, be positively empathetic. Then, instead of calling back and saying, ‘I think we were disconnected’ (which is really stupid):
. . . . try an email, fax, or a handwritten note mailed with a real stamp, stating,
“I have the feeling I called you at a bad time the other day. I apologize. The purpose for my call was to run an idea by you that could potentially help you to (fill in the blank with some result they would be interested in). I’d like to ask you a few questions to determine if we have the basis for a conversation. I will call you again on Friday, or you can reach me at at 800-555-2922, and my email is….”
. . . The purpose is not to pitch, but to raise a question that they just might want the answer to.
Is this likely to get a high response rate?
No. You probably won’t get any response. If you do, yay, big bonus. But, when you do call back, you now can refer to the message you sent, providing another point of reference. And perhaps you will reach them at a better time.
I think that is a little gem! From now on, when cold calling, have your best pen and note cards next to the phone. The call and the note go hand in hand!