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One of the most frightening things to do as a small-business owner to do is making ‘cold calls.’ A cold call is the process of approaching prospective clients or customers who are not expecting such an interaction. Without a built rapport with the person at the receiving end, cold calls can be frustrating and difficult.
As a small-business owner you have the ability to call anyone, anytime, anywhere if you know how to do it correctly. Attract new clients and grow your business using these five tips for better cold calling:
1. Do your homework: When making a cold call you want to be as prepared as possible. With today’s technological advances it is easy to do research on anyone. It is as simple as putting the CEO of a company’s name into Google, or looking at their Web site and reading their mission statement. For example, you could Google John Assaraf and find out that he is a member of the board for the Jenna Druck Foundation. Now when you call, you can say ‘I understand that John Assaraf is on the board of the Jenna Druck Foundation and I have an idea/program that I would like to talk to him about that is going to help him give more money to that foundation. Do you think I could have some time to talk with him?’
2. Set small, obtainable goals: If you are reluctant or apprehensive about making phone calls to an unfamiliar person, set small goals at first until you get the hang of things. For example make a small goal to make one call a day, Monday through Friday. This will help you start to achieve success and build your confidence. Most importantly reward yourself for overcoming your challenges; it can be as simple as yelling ‘woo hoo!’ after a successful phone call.
3. It’s not about you, it’s about them! It is crucial to know in advance how your product or service is going to help your customer. You need to have your Unique Selling Benefit, Unique Selling Position and your elevator speech ready and know how each applies to your specific customer. You need to show your prospective clients what their benefit is for taking the time to talk to you.
4. Be persistent and enthusiastic: A smile actually causes a physiological change in the tone of your voice because smiling elongates the vocal chords. Your energy and enthusiasm is easily recognizable over the phone, so it’s OK to be excited about your business. Leave an enthusiastic message and don’t just leave it once, leave it three or four times. ‘John, I called you last week on Tuesday. I understand how busy you are. I am going to leave you that phone number again in case it got buried.’ (Remember to leave the number slowly and repeat it).
5. Be memorable and follow-up: In order to reach a decision maker or your target audience you need to stand out of the crowd. Leaving the same voicemail four times isn’t going to sell your potential client. For example; if you are operating a doggy daycare and are trying to reach more clients, in addition to leaving a voicemail, send potential clients a dog biscuit and tie a note around it and mail it out. This will allow you to stand out.
Everyone has a busy life; there are so many opportunities for a phone message to get lost or an e-mail to end up in the spam folder. Use a variation of media when you follow up. You can call and say ‘Hey, just wanted to leave you a quick message. I sent you an email and I want you to be looking for an mail from John-at-OneCoach-dot-com. If you don’t receive it in the next hour, please check your spam. Thank you.’
These five tips can help you become more confident with your cold-calling skills and ensure that you are effectively using your time.
Finally, remember to have fun and take risks. When you believe in yourself and your company, your enthusiasm and energy will pass on to your clients. These keys to success will help you grow your company and expand your client base.
About the Author
John Assaraf is a New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur with a unique passion for quantum physics and neuroscience, and teaches people how to apply findings from these disciplines to achieve success in business and in life. Assaraf is Founder and CEO of OneCoach, the world’s leading franchisor for small-business growth services. www.readtheanswer.com/index.php?RTA=web2
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