Written by Sean McPheat |
You may have heard people say things like, “Today’s 50 is the new 40…,” in that someone 50 years old today, due to a more active and healthy lifestyle, is more considered a person of only 40 years of age now, as compared to a few decades ago. Well, today’s 50 may be the new 40, and 40 may be the new 30. However, my concern is that today’s Warm Call is the New Cold Call!
Yesterday’s Warm Call
Not long ago, a warm call was one where you had more than the basic contact information, some idea of potential interest and often, some previous contact with the prospect. These calls consisted of referrals, incoming inquiries, or customers. Often the warm call was the second call in a call-mail-call process.
Today, as a modern-day sales professional, you have so many advanced e-prospecting methods available that you can and often should, already have such level-one information on prospective customers before making that first call. Therefore, the traditional cold call, as we know it, is indeed becoming a thing of the past.
The New Cold Call
However, because you have made contact with the potential client and even corresponded back and forth a few times, does not always mean that you have your foot securely in the proverbial door.
That first telephone call, in essence, is still a type of first contact call, a cold call. True, it is a much warmer call than the traditional cold call, but it is a first call nonetheless. Even though you may have made a connection with the prospect via LinkedIn or some other Internet-based avenue, you may still face a mountain of obstacles when making that first telephone contact. Many sales people are so overconfident in the pre-call information, that they take the first telephone call for granted and blow it.
With today’s new cold call, you could still face some serious challenges:
#1: The Gatekeeper Screen: Just because you have previous contact with the decision maker (DM) does not mean you will not face a strong gatekeeper (GK) screen.
#2: Projecting the correct image: You had some successful correspondence with the prospect. However, in the first six seconds of the first telephone call, you can destroy all of your credibility.
#3: Proper introduction: Until you speak, you have not yet had a proper introduction. You have not yet established a solid first impression.
#4: The timing of your call: Will the prospect recognise your name when you call? Even if you have set an appointment to call, a poorly timed call can kill the lead.
#5: Confirm and qualify: You’ve been corresponding through LinkedIn, but are you absolutely certain you have the true DM?
Posting November 22, 2011:
5 Powerful Tips For Handling the NEW Cold Call
Originally published: 21 November, 2011
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