Why is cold calling so difficult

Cold calling: this is how you jump into the deep end

Tips for cold calling

Put yourself in the open air swimming pool: You are standing on the three-meter board and want to jump upside down into the pool. But you feel a bit queasy: What if you are at the Jump to slip? When the water is colder than you thought? What if someone splashes in the water right below you?

The uncertainty before the jump - that's how it feels too Cold acquisition at. Therefore, the mere thought of it makes the hairs on the neck of many salespeople alike.

Personally, I think cold calling is great. However, I also have years of experience in this area with my own company, with which I - I say quite immodestly - can show a quite decent hit rate. I am also happy to share the experience I have made and proven with other medium-sized companies. The only restriction: This is exclusively about cold calling in the B2B area.

Cold calling: Acceptance in three steps

There is certainly no one golden silver bullet, but there is at least a very classic (because successful) process in three steps. This:

  1. You call the company to which you would like to offer your product or service. Important: It should of course be a suitable addressee, whom you have thoroughly determined beforehand. Good preliminary research is essential for cold calling, which admittedly doesn't make you so cold anymore. Finding the right contact for your concern can be difficult, especially in larger companies. However, please do not let yourself be disturbed by waiting loops. The person you are talking to notices when you are internally upset or annoyed. Never let yourself get rid of, but keep asking for the right contact person in a friendly and friendly manner until you have him or her on the line.
  2. Slowly and clearly introduce yourself and state your concern. Your concern is, of course, to sell something. Sometimes I say that very directly: "I want to sell you my product XY!" Then we both have something to laugh about first. The introduction is well received because it acts like a can opener: It is disarmingly honest, but comes across as light and joking. Then I can calmly explain what I am about and find out whether there is a fundamental interest.
  3. The goal is to have at least the consent to send my documents at the end. Because that is a good starting point for the next call. At the end, therefore, always ask for the direct dialing number and, if possible, for the e-mail address of the person you are talking to. And of course, make a note of the name and pay close attention to the correct spelling.

Sure, the method doesn't always work for me either, but it does very often.

Bonus: 7 questions to ask yourself BEFORE

  1. Which customer would have what advantage from my service (broad target group)?
  2. Which customer would have the greatest benefit from my service (most attractive target group)?
  3. How can I describe my products / services in a few words in such a way that the person called immediately perceives them and finds them interesting?
  4. Are my current documents suitable for addressing not-yet-customers?
  5. What is the most effective way of finding out the names of my possible contacts?
  6. When is the best time to start my cold calling?
  7. Which time slot do I reserve per week / month for cold calling?

What is the problem of cold calling?

Many sales employees often describe the same thing concerns: For example, that they simply do not know who they meet on the other end of the line and how they react.

I always say: You don't know when you call. You can even make friends and acquaintances Get caught on the totally wrong footif you just got stuck in a traffic jam or haven't had breakfast yet.

In my experience, the overwhelming majority of those called are extremely open and friendly. Just don't make the mistake of doing a lot Seller-bla-bla around the bush. Many are allergic to it.

Leading questions do not come well either. Better get to the point quickly. And don't bother memorizing product details, prices, and other details beforehand. On the first cold call the details are usually irrelevant. Only in the second step do you get down to the finer points.

My motto for cold calling:

  • If I not calling, the non-customer remains a non-customer.
  • But if I do Calls, there is at least a realistic 50:50 chance that the non-customer will become a customer.

The only risk you face is a cold call that leads nowhere.

And is that supposed to be a problem?

Why you should never neglect cold calling

In my own company, I attach great importance to everyone Sales staff also operate cold calling. That keeps you mentally fresh and your colleagues remain flexible. Because the contact persons change and suddenly ask completely different questions than those with whom you have been working confidentially for years.

In addition, customers will always drop out for various reasons. The market is constantly on the move. And we don't want to stand still either, we want to continue to improve our position.

Many years ago we had two customers, each around 20 percent ours Total sales have contributed. That was nice, especially nice and comfortable.

Unfortunately, at some point we lost both customers without us being able to do anything about it. So were suddenly 40 percent of our sales gone. So we had to acquire new ones without further ado, and quickly.

If we hadn't already successfully cold-called at that time, at a time when the need was not yet acute, we might have run into serious problems. Ultimately, we even emerged stronger from this story because we were forced to find a new and more diversified one afterwards Customer base created with fewer dependencies.

I can therefore only recommend that you keep exploring the market anew and seriously incorporate cold calling into yours Everyday work a. How to prevent complacency and stay awake to needs Changes and requirements of your market.

By the way: the outdoor pool season will soon start again. The feeling of jumping off the three-meter board and diving into the water is simply overwhelming!

About the author

Reiner Kafitz is the founder and managing director of KMS Medienservice. He also brings his many years of experience in corporate management and in dealing with customers to his management consultancy. His focus here is on value-oriented employee and company management.