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Making the Cold Call

This lesson will focus on how to handle cold calls.

Tips on getting prospects to call you back.

The fine line between persistence and stalking:

 

  •  Make only one call per day to each prospect.
  •  Call consistently.
  •  If you leave a message, tell the prospect you will call them back and indicate when - and then stick to it.  Say: "If I don't hear from you by February 12th, I'll call you back on the 13th."
  •  It takes at least 4 to 8 attempts to reach your prospect over a period of weeks, or even months.

 

Get down to business quickly:

 

  • No one cares for phony friendliness.
  • State your business.
  • Be professional and brief.
  • Sharing more in a voicemail is a waste and not relevant.
  • There is no need for company, title, reason for the call.
  • Share the name of a prominent person that referred you:
  • Open the call, with the name of the person that referred you.  Say: “Greg Meeks suggested that you might be interested in hearing about my services.”
  • Do not open with your own name.
  • When you close, the calls say, “As I indicated earlier, our mutual friend Greg Meeks encouraged me to call you.”

 

Sound like a trusted advisor:

 

  • Bring personal value to the relationship.
  • Buyers want to work with confident Sales Pros.
  • Do not convey hope to meet or gratefulness for a few minutes.
  • Converse as if you are calling a collaborator with an idea.

 

Mention a precise point you want to have a dialogue with them about:

 

  • Use a voice of expectation not one of question or doubt.
  • Will vs. would  - Now vs. sometime.
  • “I will appreciate the ability to hear your comments about the proposal I sent you last week.”

 

Present a strong value proposition:

 

  • Talk in terms of outcomes that you will deliver.
  • Do not talk about your product or service.
  • Use metrics.
  • Use business terminology.
  • Use time frames.
  • Use dollar amounts.
  • Use percentages.
  • Do not round numbers 2.3 is far more believable than “a bit more than 2.”
  • Say: “We help companies in the conversion to cash cycle with a 23.2% reduction in time and expand order sizes by 13.3%.”
  • Mention how the call will benefit them.

 

Share the primary business drivers that are enhanced when customers work with you:

 

  • Employee turnover.
  • Productivity.
  • Waste.
  • Time to market.
  • Operating cost.
  • Share of customers.
  • LTV – Life time value.
  • Cost of goods sold.
  • Customer retention.
  • Compliance.
  • Collections.
  • Inventory turns.

 

“When you return my call, I will make clear how my services can increase your company's turnaround time.”

 

Send a video email:

 

  • Increases your likeability.
  • Helps make the prospect feel good about you.
  • Encourages them to take your calls.
  • Have an effect on people over a written email.

 

Do your homework and demonstrate that you have:

 

  • Researched the target prospect on the internet.
  • If you have worked with similar companies tell them.
  • Say: “I was recently on your website and noticed  ...” or “I have worked with other dealerships and I know the industry struggles with…”

 

Put them on “gentle rain”:

 

  • You have tried everything you can and you are not ready to give up entirely.
  • Send interesting things of value (not simply advertisements) every month.
  • Stay at the top of the prospect’s mind.

 

 

Get rid of self-serving verbiage:

 

  • A prospect does not care to talk about the Sales Pro or their company.
  •  No self aggrandizing puffery.
  • No creative crap.
  • No procedural drivel.

 

Create a deadline:

 

  •  Gain agreement from the prospect as to next steps.
  • Remind the prospect of the agreement to take the next step based on the agreed follow up dates.
  • Say: "I'm calling since the last time we spoke; we agreed to have further dialogue today about…."
  • If they do not return your call in a couple of days, keep calling, and gently remind them of your mutual agreement.

 

Call early or late in the day:

 

  •  During normal hours, C-level executives have “directors of first impressions” on duty. Some prefer to call these “gatekeepers”.
  • Call quite early in the morning or late in the day.
  • Do not leave a message, attempt to reach the executive when they are alone and likely to pick up the phone on their own.
  • To bypass the voice mail system attempt to dial one number higher than the main number.

 

Use a call outline:

 

  • You do not want to ramble on. Be brief.
  • Every word counts if you are leaving a voice mail.
  • A call outline helps you stay on task and focused.

 

Change your media:

 

  • If a prospect has not responded to a call you made within a few business days, email them.
  • Everyone has his or her own preferred way to communicate.  Find out which communication tool is easier for the prospect.
  • Do not be surprised if social networking sites become places to communicate.

 

Cold Calling: Changing Your Perspective

 

When we look at what actually happens - and can happen - during the cold call, we see why the cold call stage of the selling process is so potent and full of opportunity for the sales person.

When we stop looking at cold calling from the sales person's viewpoint and from the customer's viewpoint, and start seeing it from a business perspective, cold calling becomes a wonderful opportunity that anyone can enjoy and optimize:

 

How salespeople typically see cold calling

How customers see cold calling done poorly

What successful cold calling should be

  • fearful
  • boring, repetitive
  • unpleasant
  • pressurized
  • unimaginative
  • rejections
  • thankless
  • confrontational
  • unproductive
  • demoralizing
  • unhappy
  • numbers game
  • nuisance
  • unwanted
  • indiscriminate,    unprepared
  • pressurizing
  • tricky, shifty
  • dishonest
  • reject, repel cold callers
  • shady, evasive
  • contrived
  • insulting
  • patronizing
  • disrespectful
  • honest/open
  • straightforward/brief
  • interesting/helpful
  • different/innovative
  • thoughtful/reasoned
  • prepared/informed
  • professional/business-like
  • efficient/structured
  • respectful
  • enthusiastic/up-beat
  • informative/new
  • thought-provoking
  • time/cost-saving
  • opportunity/advantage
  • credible/reliable
  • demonstrable/referenced

Obviously the aim is to move cold calling behaviors and methods into the third column, and definitely to stop anything which produces the feelings and effects of the first and second columns.

 

This is partly achieved by changing methods and techniques - and in some cases adapting or using scripts quite differently - but more so changing attitude and style.

 

Changing attitude and style - behaving as a helpful strategic enabler rather than a deliverer of verbal junk-mail - will automatically start to re-shape your methods and techniques.

 

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Contact Info

24 Degas Street

Brisbane QLD

Australia

1300 789 737

sales@xciteadvertising.com.au

Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:00

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