We never expected it. Even the Ebola virus didn’t cause this much damage. The last time something like the coronavirus lockdown happened, a lot of us were yet to be born so this is something we are definitely not prepared for.
Speaking of preparations, our brains are wired to predict what would happen next and most of us aren’t fans of uncertainty, which is why cold calling is a risky step to take in sales.
Receiving a cold call leaves prospects in a state of stress and uncertainty. There are questions going on in their minds about trusting you and wanting your offer.
What makes it even more challenging is that you have about 90 seconds or less to convince your prospects. If you lost them then, you might have lost them forever. So, how do you overcome all the long talk and build rapport almost immediately with prospects?
- Leverage LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the social media for business people, is a great way to build rapport with prospects. You’ll need to be active for this to work. Take time out to connect with 10 new prospects, engage with 10 of their posts and also post an original work of yours. Doing these constantly, will put you in front of your prospects at all time.
Afterwards, check the profile of those that either viewed your profile or engaged with one of your posts, call on those that fit your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) using this format;
Hey [first name], this is [your name] with [your company]…
I saw that you [stopped by my LinkedIn profile, made a comment on, engaged with my post about]…
PAUSE (wait to see if they recognize your name)
I took a look at your profile as well and noticed [something that stuck out to you related to how you can help them].
I’m calling to [share an idea, see if you need help, to learn more about…etc.].
I know I caught you in the middle of your day here. Do you have a few minutes?
You are most likely going to be recognized using this format. If not, try giving LinkedIn more time and dedication.
- Follow the Engagement
Sending cold mails aren’t always as effective as cold calls. More than half of your prospects will never open your mails. It will be futile to call all of them.
Rather, call those who open your mails. Those ones would remember and more likely give you listening ears.
Also, set task reminders on your sales enablement platform to call prospects that open your mails but didn’t respond.
- Bring Insider Information
Many sales persons use a top-down approach when prospecting but it only works effectively for a FEW people. Starting from the C-level executives is usually hard because they usually have a lot on their plates. Everyone is calling them for one reason or the other, especially the ones from mid-market and enterprise companies.
A bottom-up approach is much more effective. Starting with a VP of Sales, for example, especially those that have had previous engagement with on LinkedIn, could get you to the top. Use this method:
REP: Hey [first name], this is [your name] with [your company]…
REP: You sent over a message to me on LinkedIn about [reference their message].
REP: I was hoping you might be able to help me out?
Prospect: Sure, what’s going on?
REP: I’m calling to [share an idea, see if you need help, to learn more about…etc.]. Do you know about any challenges or initiatives you guys have in this area?
Prospect: Actually, [shares insight]…
REP: Interesting…[dig in more]. Do you know who would be best to chat with about this at your company?
Prospect: That would be my boss, [their name].
REP: Great. Would you be comfortable doing a quick intro?
With this, you have likely gained a possible meeting with someone who’s higher up the ladder. As well as learning inner workings of their company that you couldn’t find online.
In this corona-era, it is evident that we are all stuck up in our various homes and will be doing lots of calls since we can’t be physically present. The aim now would be to come as less of a surprise to the prospects.
Deals still need to be closed. If not now, later.
If you’ve read this far, it’s obvious you are passionate about beating the challenges that come with a worldwide pandemic and still closing those deals. You are among a million other determined sales people. So, join us this Saturday on the 3rd of May 2020 by 3pm-4pm as Bunmi Jembola, CEO of Salesruby Ltd and Ezekiel Solesi, CEO of LIMBSimple host a webinar on Instagram Live on the strategies to win through COVID-19.