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Cure for the Common Cold Call 
A Prescription for Building Your Business 
By Jerry Scher, Peak Focus LLC 
How would you li...
It’s time for a major overhaul in your approach 
to building business and gaining new clients. 
To begin wit...
Phone: 678.805.4465 
Peak Focus LLC © 2009 • All rights reserved. 
Unauthorized duplication in who...
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Cure for the Common Cold Call


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Cure for The Common Cold Call

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Cure for the Common Cold Call

  1. 1. Cure for the Common Cold Call A Prescription for Building Your Business By Jerry Scher, Peak Focus LLC How would you like to eliminate the dreaded cold call from your life? You know, the sales activity that we all fear and dislike the most (by the way, so do the customers). The sales activity that brings out the best defensive skills our potential prospects have to offer. If you are like most salespeople, you are most creative when thinking of ways to avoid “cold calling.” After all, chances are you’re going to be rejected or turned away. So, why waste the time (yours and theirs)? OK, enough talking. All those in favor, raise your right hand and repeat after me, “NO MORE COLD CALLS. NO MORE COLD CALLS. NO MORE COLD CALLS.” Are you feeling better? Probably not! You are still responsible for building your business; and there are only a few ways to do that. You either have to find ways to motivate your current customers to increase the business they do with you or find new customers. Now, before I prescribe a course of action, we’d better diagnose the problem. Remember, prescription without proper diagnosis could lead to malpractice, so let’s “Analyze This.” Diagnosis When you ask most salespeople why they cold call, they usually say they are looking for new clients or they want to find out who the decision maker is and meet them. Sometimes, they say they want to uncover a client’s needs so they can present their product and hopefully get an order. For many sales people, cold calls are a required sales activity; they make them only because their sales manager tells them to. In fact, if you view cold calling as purely a numbers game – the more calls you make, the more clients you’ll have – then you’re making a big mistake. In this day and age, when everyone is so busy, the quality of your sales calls is far more important than the quantity of calls you make. What’s your success rate, your closing ratio? How often do you “cold call” a prospect and walk away with an order? Is this activity really cost effective? In today’s business environment where no one has enough time, the cold call, as we know it, wastes everyone’s time – yours and the client’s! Have you ever asked a client how they feel about “cold calls”? Try it sometime. They are extremely expensive for everyone. By the way, client’s don’t want you to sell them anything; they want professional sales consultants to assist them in solving problems and buying what they really need. Do you know why most cold calls fail? Well, to begin with, not everyone you call on is truly a prospect. Too many companies don’t meet your criteria as a customer. Secondly, since most salespeople are ineffective at asking good probing questions and then actively listening for 80 percent of the time, they end up telling, whoops… selling the prospects their product line, instead of gathering the necessary information . In other words, they prescribe before they diagnose. Guilty? Finally, most salespeople are in such a rush to “close” or get an order(WIIFM-what’s in it for me) that they view the sales call as an event and attempt to gain a commitment before they even establish themselves as a value adder. What a disaster!
  2. 2. Prescription It’s time for a major overhaul in your approach to building business and gaining new clients. To begin with, your mindset has to change, so that you view gaining new clients as a process, not an event. This process must integrate a proactive, strategic approach that includes: ▲▲ Defining your expectations and goals. ▲▲ Profiling and targeting the types of clients you can best serve. ▲▲ Pre-planning the business-building program you will implement ▲▲ Developing a customer-focused mentality. ▲▲ Carefully defining the uniqueness that you and your company represent to the marketplace. A business-building program that incorporates this philosophy leads to “warm calls” when you finally visit with a prospect for the first time. Warm calling requires that you follow a well-thought out game plan that will generate more productive clients – at an overall lower cost to you and your company. This approach requires that you fully develop each of the processes outlined in the prescription below: ▲▲ Define your sales expectations for a specified period of time ▲▲ Identify the most suitable type of prospects for your business, and target them. ▲▲ Develop a unique description of yourself, your company, and your offering and learn to communicate effectively. ▲▲ Create and communicate a market awareness of your company through multiple strategies such as targeted advertising, seminar programs, and industry association activities. ▲▲ Research every target account prior to making the initial contact. Utilize multiple sources such as company web pages, industry contacts, and annual reports. ▲▲ Determine the approximate amount of potential business prior to meeting with decision makers. ▲▲ Be prepared with a customer-focused presentation if an accidental contact occurs; prepare a great “Elevator Speech” ▲▲ Create a referral program from loyal existing clients to generate pre-qualified leads that meet your target client profile. ▲▲ Develop a third-party endorsement program that will generate qualified leads. This is a great opportunity to take those letters from your waiting rooms and really put them to work for your business. ▲▲ Develop a “voice mail strategy” that integrates technology and good old-fashioned discipline. ▲▲ Remember – successful selling doesn’t happen by accident; it is a carefully planned process. The Warm Call Once you have finally been invited to meet with the decision maker, you still have a long way to go before they become a client and a source of revenue and income. Consider how many times a day prospects meet with salespeople. Imagine how many ineffective sales calls they have to sit through. How many times have they heard, “We’re different” or “I can show you how to save money and increase profits?” Unfortunately, most salespeople talk about being customer-focused; but clients will tell you only a handful meet the challenge. They claim that they add value; but they don’t offer anything unique and valuable to the client. Just think of the opportunities you have to differentiate yourself. The first contact, in person or otherwise, is critical. During the first interaction, the client will decide whether or not they want to spend time with and possibly do business with you. They determine if you can benefit them or if you’re just there to get some business. How much time do you spend developing your opening and planning your strategies to improve your effectiveness? Most sales managers and customers will tell you that too many salespeople talk too much and don’t listen enough. They are not skilled in the “art of asking questions” and are not capable of identifying the “client’s pain” or defining the “issues of urgency.” They don’t spend enough time identifying what keeps the customer up at night. In other words, where does the stress come from? How effective are you? Customer-focused “warm calling” requires that you: ▲▲ Spend the necessary time with clients to identify their needs. ▲▲ Communicate how you can be of assistance in solving their problems and achieving their goals. ▲▲ Describe how your product or service can address the issues you have uncovered. ▲▲ Jointly develop a quantifiable action plan for proceeding in an agreed upon time frame.
  3. 3. Phone: 678.805.4465 Peak Focus LLC © 2009 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. A strategic sales approach that encompasses all of the pre-contact activities that lead to “warm call” business meetings will not only enable you to shorten the selling cycle but will increase your degree of success in turning these activities into revenue. Upon examination, the process of building your business through gaining new clients can be challenging and rewarding – something you should look forward to. Instead of treating the symptoms that result from the “common cold call,” let’s take a more strategic approach to gaining new clients. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” About the Author Jerry Scher - Founder and Principal at Peak Focus, LLC Jerry is well known as a business builder, c-level executive, conference speaker, trainer, facilitator, coach, entrepreneur, and mentor. Regardless of the title, the end result is the same–Jerry makes the people around him significantly more successful through his ability to simplify the complex, ask the right questions, and develop appropriate solutions to keep businesses and individuals moving forward. About Peak Focus, LLC People. Performance. Profitability. Peak Focus is a Master Distributor of the Harrison AssessmentsTM Technology. Harrison Assessments™ assists organizations worldwide in their efforts to hire, develop, promote, and retain top talent. Its unique, fully customizable job analysis and integrated assessment technologies ensure optimum job fit and predict job success. The system effectively addresses selection, development, succession, and career planning needs to manage talent from front line to executive levels. Peak Focus gives you the tools to grow, develop and strengthen your team. With a mix of resources that we’ve created ourselves, as well as several powerful tools we’ve carefully assessed and believe in, we combine our passion and experience to guide companies and individuals toward optimized performance. Select your team members with confidence, help your key players develop their soft skills, and learn how to coach your entire team more effectively by engaging the experts at Peak Focus. For more information and access to free resources, please visit our website at Engage With Us Free tools, resources & updates LIKE us on Facebook Check out our blog Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn