Welcome to the world of cold calling!

With so much riding on social media marketing and digital marketing avenues, it may be right to contend that cold-calling is passé.

Think again. Is that so true? Most likely not.

Welcome to the world of cold calling!

Believe it or not, it requires resolve and nerves to talk to a total stranger and try and sell him stuff. This is even more difficult where you are not physically present before your prospect client as is the case with phone calls and e-mails.

Being a vast field, we concentrate on the aspects of physical cold-calls and what makes for a successful cold call. At its basic, a physical cold-call is almost at par with kerb-side selling. It is TOUGH. To make life easy, we need to take certain steps like,

- Knowing what is being sold ie., your product. Incomplete knowledge of the product is something which rankles most prospects whether you are an employee or the CEO/ Owner. Before approaching a prospect, get a thorough understanding of your product(s), its features, advantages and disadvantages. The last is only for one’s knowledge and should be used sparingly. This would also include understanding prospective clientele who would be interested in your product.

- If your product is likely to have a pre-defined clientele, it makes sense to know more about them, their attitude, likes and dislikes. As re the product per-se, it would make sense to know more about their payment terms and attitude towards business. Take time out to read about them in some depth.

- It would also make sense to know more about the person you plan to meet, their likes, dislikes, tastes and preferences. This may add weight to the conversation. It may happen that in the course of your meeting, there may be an uncomfortable silence when one can discretely bring up other issues not directly related to sales to hold the conversation and not feel awkward.

- Your appearance matters. Dress according to the client’s perspective and carry all possible information which may be needed during the pitch. If you fall short of information, either request your office to send it or request the prospect for more time to do the needful. The concept of personal hygiene changes according to culture but some things do not change. Nothing is more off-putting than a smelly salesman! Either you smell or you sell. Don’t try both!

- A positive attitude and a light disposition are always called for in a sales man whether over the phone or in person. This may not hold true for mailers though but ways of writing can sometimes be a dead give-away.

- Do not leave the meeting inconclusive. Either you make a pitch and close the deal. If not for what-ever reason, structure it such that both you and the client can call on each other for some other deal. Never leave saying “we cannot help you”. Word it differently by keeping it open-ended. These by no means are the only points to be kept in mind while attempting a cold-call. Your experience shall define your strategy. These though are pointers which have come about after some success with cold-calls.

Happy selling!

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