But what about experience?
Do I need to know your industry like your sales people know it?
To close the sale, of course...but NOT for discovery call outreach.
You're probably saying to yourself....
"that's what my sales reps are supposed to be doing!"
But what if how I sound on the phone is more important than what I know about your customers and all the technical stuff involved in selling to them?
Effective business development cold calling is a skill---one that can be learned, honed, perfected.
Phone prospectors --- the really good ones --- can work any industry.
Technical data and industry buzz words are helpful.
But over the phone skills ---genuine friendliness...business savy...good etiquette --- are even more important.
Never "Wing It". Use a script. It keeps repetitions, omissions and improper sequencing out of your pitch.
Keep It Short. Make your introduction brief and to the point.
How brief? Twenty to thirty seconds! That's all you get.
So be accurate, concise,and persuasive. Are you starting to see why you need a cold calling script?
R-e-l-a-x. Dialog and delivery in movies, TV, and plays flows from carefully crafted scripts. Yet these staged conversations sound completely natural and -spontaneous.
Effective cold call prospecting is no different.
Subtle inflections and pauses make your presentation more natural and far more believable.
Prospect Qualify. Good prospects...weak prospects?
Find out who's who by asking specific questions.
For example, "Does this interest you?" Or "When would you like me to recontact you"?
Make prospect qualify questions part of every cold call script!
Test, Test, Test ----but control your variables carefully.
Be especially careful with key words or phrases.
You might think they don't matter, but they do!
So once you find a winning script, stick with every word of it!
Question: Does effective business outreach cold calling require a background in the industry or markets you are calling?
Answer: Surprisingly, industry specific knowledge about the business segments you are calling is NOT essential.
Your ability to bond with someone --- usually a complete stranger if you're cold calling --- will have more to do with your tone of voice than anything else.
But too many sales managers insist only salespeople with deep understanding of the markets they are selling can do business development cold calling.
It's myth based on lack of real-world testing and experience rather than tested cold call business experience.
Question: Why do B2B sales managers consider business cold calling obsolete?
Answer: Social media and web based marketing are their focus.
And cold calling is misery for their sales people.
Question: Is cold call otreach effective?
Answer: Harvard Business Review On-Line says cold calling is "the most effective way to set up appointments with the right decision makers at your target accounts...and should be used by every B2B sales force."
Building Good Prospect Lists
What I've learned is nothing worthwhile comes easy. Especially so-called telemarketing lists. Most of what you buy are loaded with junk you need to clean up and that's a real pain. What to do? Build your own lists and keep your data clean and up-to-date.
Helps if you have a good list company like Accurate Leads ---- Small family owned list company. Great service. Plus you can test small batches of prospect lists custom built to match your needs. My review of Accurate Leads is here.