Monday, February 21, 2011
Avon Calling? Anyone calling?
Do you dread cold calls? Dread most any business calls? Why? It seems the reason behind cold calling is not the call, nor the person at the other end, it's you. Not in a bad way, mind you, but in that you do not trust you know what you need to talk about. Don't worry what they think of you or that they do not want the opportunity you're offering, worry only that you know your product, service, or self inside and out.
If I was selling a car and someone called me, I'd be sweating. I don't know anything about cars! If they ask me more than how old it is, what condition the body is in, or how many miles it has, I'm not going to know and I'm going to stress about it. Heck, I'll probably start talking a lot just to cover up my obvious nerves and lack of knowledge.
If I was calling someone to babysit... no problem. I know what I need, when I need it, how long I need it, what I'll pay, etc. I know everything there is to know about what I need in a babysitter and what I offer in return.
Before you call, take a deep breath and think about why you are calling. What is the purpose? Regardless of whether the person is expecting your call, requested your call, or you're about to ask for a few minutes of their time, know why you are calling. Then, using only a sentence, sum up the reason for the call. Make that sentence count, get their attention and make it short and sweet.
If it helps, take an index card and write any points you want to make in the most basic terms so you can see it as you talk. You may end up reading it off the card and sounding a little as if you are, but the main thing is that you don't waste your time or theirs and that you do get to the point right away.
Pause a moment so they can talk and hear what they have to say. If you don't know an answer, be honest and let them know you aren't sure, but it's a great question and you'll get back to them with the answer in the next two hours or the next day, and go from there.
If there are too many questions you cannot answer, brush up on your business and all the nuances and make the calls at another time. You must know your business or you can't help someone else make any type of decision and of course your calling others will be more than uncomfortable.
Other than all that, what's the worst that can happen?