August 2018 - Smart Sales Coaching

inside sales agent cold calling

Cold Call The RIGHT Way

Cold calling is a scary prospect for a lot of people. Even for good sales people who spend a lot of time on the phone every day.

The reason for this is simple, talking to unsuspecting strangers on the phone sucks. The prospect is not prepared to hear what you have to say, and you know in the back of your mind that they have very little patience or time for strangers. Especially stranger sales people. You expect resistance on their part and think, before you’ve made the call, that they are predisposed to say “no”.

You need to overcome this.

It’s All About The Mindset

Your mindset is the key factor that will determine your success as a cold caller. It doesn’t matter how many scripts you study, how many objections you practice handling, or how much research you do on your leads. If you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t be successful on your calls.

And the critical element is positivity. Staying positive about your role and about the disposition of the lead is paramount. What this means is that you need to be telling yourself the right stories in your head about what you doing and what you are trying to accomplish.

Because let’s face it, our heads are filled with crap when it comes to cold calling. It has an almost visceral negative connotation. Put that to bed for you and any agents or ISAs you have working for you.

If your sales person has good stories in their head—if cold calling has a positive connotation—they will be unstoppable. If they have negative stories in their head about cold calling, lead generation, setting appointments, etc. and what those things mean about them as a sales person, then no matter what you do or say, they won’t cold call successfully and they won’t generate leads.

Here are three things you can do to help cultivate a positive mindset and interaction:

  1. Know and understand the benefits you bring to every person BEFORE you dial them. Know what you are offering them and how it is going to palpably improve their lives.
  2. Live and breathe mantras like “they are waiting for my call” or “they need my help”. Repeat these between each dial to keep your energy up on your entire list of leads.
  3. When you feel yourself becoming negative, take a break and focus on your commitment to helping others. Remember, they are benefitting from your call because what you are offering is valuable to them.

Enter Your Calls Confidently

This may seem obvious, but if you don’t project confidence when you get on the call you will not be successful. This means that when the lead picks up the phone always sound as though you know exactly who the person is that just answered.

Believe me, they will tell you if they are not the right person. Quickly identify who you are and ask your most important question, usually some form of “are you buying” or “are you selling”.

Remember, you are a stranger and most people typically do not want to talk to strangers on the phone. So you are fighting an uphill battle. The minute you hesitate, the minute you sound like you don’t know exactly what you are talking about, or the minute you sound like you don’t want to be on phone, you have given them the excuse they are looking for to hang up.

So build a positive mindset before the call, and use that positivity to enter the call confidently and with a sense of purpose. They need you and you are helping them. Have the attitude and sense that you belong on that phone with that person and that you are making their lives easier. Know what you are talking about and get to the point quickly.

Objection Handling

You’re going to hear a lot of “no’s”. You can’t escape this, it’s the nature of the business and the nature of cold calling. But what you can do is learn how to properly deal with objections and turn more of those “no’s” into “yes’s”.

To do this, you need to understand where objections come from. At Smart Inside Sales we have a technique we call the PPO Process. PPO stands for Perspective Process Outcome (See the PPO process video in Module 5 of the free trial of Conversion University to learn more).

The prospect’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation. Examples of perspectives that may lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before”, “I’ve already met with an agent”, and “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”

The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. Examples of a process is “I’m going to sell my home myself”, “I’ll just use the agent I used before”, and “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal”. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.

And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them. Examples of these are “not wasting time”, “avoiding disappointment”, and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right”.

These are the three components that make up an objection. The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own. Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:

  1. Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
  2. Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
  3. Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
  4. Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
  5. Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.

Follow this process, understand where the prospect’s objection is coming from (from their own point of view), and respond in a way that makes sense given the lead’s perspective and goal.

Become A Cold Calling Master

In the end, cold calling is a numbers game. To have results you have to put in the work, pick up the phone, and make calls. Cultivate a positive mindset, enter your calls confidently like you know you’re meant to be on the phone, and handle inevitable objections by studying and practicing the process above.

Cold calling does not have to be scary or dreaded. It is a skill that can be learned and perfected like anything else. When in doubt, focus on the value you are adding to yourself, your company, and your client with each call.