Cold Call Tip Reminders

It’s funny sometimes how patently unconnected experiences can smash together to give you a selling idea.  Just before lunch I received a cold call.  Someone was trying to peddle some server cabinets.  Normally I wouldn’t have to field such overtures, but my main man in Cape Town is taking hols for paternity support – congrats Steph! – so the call fell to me.

“Do you need any server cabinets?” No thanks, I replied (although I don’t exactly know what a ‘server cabinet’ is, I’ve a pretty good idea we don’t need one!)
“Do you know anyone that wants some?”  No, have a good day.  Call over.

As I then drove to pick up some shoes being mended at the local cobblers, this conversation haunted me a touch.  Granted, S Africa and the vanguard of commerce rarely go hand-in-hand, but even still, who on earth is managing/training this guy to cold call?  I was still day-dreaming about how I would have approached the conversation (too long on detail to scribe on here!) when I had to escape the searing late November heat to grab a juice.  I found shelter in one of those cafes-in-a-bookstore set-ups.

The magazine shelves made it easy to distinguish local and international titles.  The golf ones were nearest me, with Ernie Big Easy Els peering ahead from one with the headline “40 great golf ideas”.  It was about trips.  Given my weekend trot ‘round Steenberg for a cheeky Nine (awesome course, despite my rustiness), I thought what a bugger, if only it was about 40 tips.  The kind that could save you a shot on every round to improve my game.

Then the thought smacked me, what if I could give my telesellers 40 tips on handling cold calls.  The kind of list that could, every single day, ensure one extra success than presently experienced.

I remember being at an office supplies company in the mid-90s where each telesales person had two yellow stickies, one either side of their screen.  The one had a list of the most popular 10 products, the other the most recent 6 special offers.  The idea was to make sure that when the buyer was about to wrap up, they always said “by the way…” before pitching whichever of these 16 seemed most appropriate to the call just had.  They made boat-loads more sales through this.

Maybe 40 is too much given this, so I thought of creating a Quickfire 5.  I can build upon training I’ve recently been party too, which means my set would be less about process, and more slanted towards winning lines.  So whilst not a definitive list you’ll get the idea from these, albeit with some confidential data removed:

  1. This call’s about ______. If this appeals to you at the end we can agree to meet….
  2. What are your current plans around _____?
  3. How much time does it take to ______?
  4. How about we work out your savings during 20 minutes sitting down together ….?
  5. Which suits you best, next week or the week after?

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