Looking to expand your client base?
You can put your website out there – but they probably won’t see it.
You can do Search Engine Optimization – but the rules for that seem to change daily, and most businesses are in categories that are populated with thousands of competitors.
You can do mass e-mail, but most people delete, without reading, dozens of e-mails daily.
You can do a snail-mailing, and if it’s clever enough it will probably be looked at. The percentage of people who act on it, however, is likely to be tiny.
Or you can simply call.
While many professionals avoid cold calling, it can be highly successful – if you approach it with the proper attitude. In cold calling, your goal is to get appointments; to arrange to be face-to-face with someone who might spend money with you. Sales research tells us that more face time and phone time with people who can buy what we’re selling equals more sales.
Here is a step-by-step guide to cold calling success.
Escape Your Fear of Rejection
Remind yourself that any rejection you receive is a rejection of the interruption your phone call represents, not of you personally. Many people reject because they have been burned by cold callers and telemarketers in the past. Don’t allow yourself to take their coldness personally.
Don’t get cold, tough, or pushy – people hate that. In your call, start with a Clean Heart Position: a sincere desire to see your prospect get what he wants, whether or not he gets it from you. You’re in business to be of service, and if you can help, great. If you can’t help, that’s fine, too, and be sure to say that you appreciate his time.
Create the Optimal Structure for the Call
Once you get the prospect on the phone, you have to pique her interest. Begin by saying something provocative, and ask her a question that is designed to reveal a challenge she may be facing. For example:
“I’d like to speak with you about how your firm can acquire many more new clients this year than in any year before. Is adding clients a priority for you, Ms. Jones?”
“I’d like to talk with you about getting better control of the expenses of your employees who travel. Are travel expenses high, Mr. Smith?”
“Mr. Jones, this is Lenann Gardner, I’m an attorney at Gardner, Smith & Reidy, and I believe there may be some matters of mutual professional interest for us to discuss.”