Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cold calling for CEOs and Sales

Hey Mr/Ms Startup CEO, or first sales hire at a startup..

I know you hate cold calling but there's no way around it.. It's far too important a part of selling when your brand isn't quite established. How else would the world know you existed and that you can positively impact their lives and that they can pay-up in this quarter?? So here's my approach.. I've added a sample script below..

Prepare upfront and practice a lot:

#1. Less is more: Tell them as little as possible. Don't tell them what you do. Instead talk about a pain and what you have done with others do to address the pain. Short sentences.. Talk no more than 30-seconds in one go.

#2. Be direct, get to the point right away: No need to say courtesy crap.. like how's your day going?? People's time is valuable. Focus on why they should act.. now. Keep focus on wanting a 1:1 meeting.. to discuss a pain, a benefit or even better the money that a successful deployment will make. For example.. "I want to come by and show you how I helped the following companies save the following or earn the following.. what time next week can we meet??" Be prepared then for the rebuttal question about a potential incumbent solution. Have a one liner to say clearly why your offering is better. Don't let a objection spoil your chances of getting the 1:1.

#3 Prepare three to four key high impact questions: This is the meeting closer on the cold call. Be ready with some high impact killer sales questions. Look up my earlier post on the topic for more on that topic. The prospect should help you understand the current, the desired situation and the gap. Ask of the consequences of doing nothing? As they tell you more think if the gap is big enough for them to meet with you? If the gap isn’t big enough, be ready with additional 3-4 question.

Sample script:

Good morning.. This is Harpal Kochar … I’m the sales director at XYZ company,. We are in the business of delivery ZZZ capabilities our customers.. I’m calling you because your business profile fits others who have benefited from what we do. The following three capabilities of our solution that will interest you are.. A...B...C.. (you have to say this fast). That said and without knowing more about your business, this is what I’ve gleaned from my research, I can’t know for sure if what we do makes sense for you.. if I haven’t caught you at a bad time, I’d like to ask you a 2-3 questions. May I? (keep shut and let the prospect talk now)

If the prospect sounds interested, ask the following.. do you have 15-20 mins on your calendar next week Tuesday afternoon? I can tell you more, review with you what we’ve done with other clients in more details and learn about your issues to see if there’s a match? Suggest a time proactively

Happy Selling..

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