If you’ve been in sales for any period of time, you know that selling is all about the numbers. Revenue. Opportunities. Contacts. Prospects. Leads.
Prospecting is where the hard selling process begins. With prospecting comes cold calling, which nowadays means email, phone, LinkedIn, or any other modern way of making contact.
No matter what combinations of methods you use, the purpose of that cold call remains the same: to win the right to start selling to the prospect.
Assume your prospect has already done their homework
A key statistic to remember in today’s information-driven world is that buyers are nearly 60% of the way to making a purchase decision before they contact your sales rep. Prospects are doing their homework and chances are they already know a lot about you and your offerings. The challenge has now become: How do you stand out by making that brief connection highly valuable?
Don’t make the mistake of being too vague
One suggestion we offer our channel partners to drive more heat back into the cold call is to identify and communicate a specific piece of value needed to support their business.
The mistake many cold callers make is talking too broadly about an entire set of solutions. This high-level messaging is too vague and will not help drive understanding about the real value you can bring to your prospects’ day-to-day business. Do not sell the “I can fix everything” solution. Break your solution into snackable pieces of valuable content to easily capture the attention of your prospects.
Consider these three steps:
1) Define value statements about your offerings
Have you done your market research to determine the real need and business outcome behind what you have to offer? Simply start by identifying insights about their business and understanding the problems you can directly address with your offerings.
Research deeply enough to be able to describe those issues in the language and perspective of the individuals and businesses experiencing them. When cold calling, you are more likely to grab the attention of your prospects by using the terms they use to describe the problems they are grappling with today.
2) Segment your value statements
Marketing emphasizes segmenting content to target different groups of customers. Take a page from that book and itemize your prospects’ problems before reaching out. By breaking down value statements into snackable pieces of cold calling content, you can address how you solve an individual problem with a single aspect of your offerings.
More often than not, prospects are not looking at the larger problem and strategy of their business. Rather, they are thinking about what problems are right in front of them that need to be solved. You are more likely to get a return call or a real level of interest when you hone in on words and phrases about individual pain points they are likely experiencing.
3) Get laser specific about their experience
While it’s ideal to think prospects are always solving for the bigger picture, many are tackling pieces of the business puzzle one at a time, and it is your mission to address these, piece by piece. It can be more effective to pique their interest by showcasing your value as the answer to one specific problem. If prospects see or hear certain keywords, then it’s an easy check mark for them on the journey to a solution.
Everything you communicate needs to answer the customer’s primary question: How does it make my life easier – or better – by solving a, b, or c? Talk clearly about a single component of the problem. Use simple wording that succinctly communicates your understanding and value on the topic. The more clearly you can tell a story that a prospect already sees themselves experiencing, the more likely they are to keep on listening.
Prepare your talking points to target your prospect’s pain points ahead of time, in their language. You can then use the call to gather insights on their business and begin to share which of your solutions could be useful for their specific problem.
Finally, when you do get the appointment for a next-level sales call, make sure you answer their questions about that issue. Provide value at the micro level so they understand the value you bring at the highest level.
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Always timely Leah. Been spending the last month role playing with my team on just this topic. Excellent for sharing. Thank you.
Thanks for commenting Debra. If you’d like to share your story about your team’s role playing exercise send us an email. We are always looking for best practice stories to share with channel partners
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