For anyone who has ever done cold calling, rejection is a natural part of life.
Should that really come as a surprise though?
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, cold calling by definition is an unsolicited interruption. They don’t know who you are, they may not even be familiar with your product. And here you are disturbing them in between whatever it was they were doing a few seconds ago.
Any interruption can cause a negative reaction and often a straight out rejection.
By the way, if you want to know how to reduce the chance of rejection, check out my previous post about pattern interrupts.
The thing to remember though is that they are not rejecting you as a person. You shouldn’t take it personally. It’s not because they don’t like you (they might be annoyed though). And it’s not because you’re a bad person.
This is one of the main reasons sales reps don’d like prospecting. Because who wants to run right smack into being rejection.
I know I don’t.
But I do anyways because (1) I don’t take it personally, (2) I truly believe I sell an amazing product, (3) I know for a fact that the product I sell will help their business.
Now if you don’t feel the same way with your product, it might be prudent to reconsider other employment but that’s for another post.
Assuming you do feel the same as I do there are a few steps you can take to make rejection less likely during your cold calls.
Be An Expert
First of all is to do build your professional brand by establishing yourself as an expert. If your’s or your product’s reputation precedes you then the conversation will go much more smoothly.
You must know as much as possible about your product to do this. And before every call re-study any single topic you think that prospect might ask you about.
For me, in the property management software field I generally work with multi-family or commercial companies (and sometimes mix). If I am spending my time that day cold calling on commercial only companies, I only have to freshen up on the commercial management software side.
Do Your Research
Find out everything you possibly can about the prospect you are cold calling. Find out where they went to school, what associations they are a part of, what companies they have worked out before, etc.
Anything you can use to associate them with yourself will give you an excellent talking point.
“Not sure if you new this but I am also a UCLA alumnus”
“I saw on LinkedIn that you and I are members of the commercial management executives group”
“I found an article about your involvement with Wounded Warrior Project, my uncle is part of that as well.”
Whatever it is you can use to build rapport you should use as long as its ethical.
Get To The Point
You’re intro should be quick. I like to use my name, where I found his name, and and ask for 30 seconds to tell him why I’m calling (pattern interrupt). 99% of the time they say sure.
The first 5-10 seconds is the intro to your company and product. That’s all you get. If you check out my LinkedIn page you’ll see a version of my pitch.
“I help real estate investment and property management firms better manage their assets and reduce their monthly expenses with enterprise level software”
I feel that this one (run-on) sentence gets my point across in a short amount of time. Quick and easy.
After you give your pitch you get to speak one more time and ONLY to ask an open ended question.
You can ask what issues they’re having with this current set up. Or maybe added features you’d like to see on your next upgrade.
The point is to let them take the next steps and get them talking. You’re an awesome sales rep, you can take it from here.
The main point of this post is not to lead you through the cold call but rather to help you get past the rejection that is likely to happen.
What’s great though is that as time passes and you make more and more sales calls, you’ll gett better and better at it and you won’t feel the sting of rejection like you use to.
So go out there and make some calls.
~ Johnny Bravo
Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net