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Avoid Cold Call Failure With This 5-Point Checklist

Sharon Gillenwater

Avoid-Cold-Call-Failure-With-This-5-Point-ChecklistI know of no one who doesn’t get at least a little bit of the stomach flutters before a cold calling session. Still, as nerve wracking as it can be, cold calling can be an effective way to introduce yourself and your products/services--if you do it right.

To help make your cold calling efforts more successful, we’ve put together this five-point cold calling checklist. Follow the steps and your cold calling will lead to more conversations and more sales.

1. Do You Understand Your Prospect?

The easiest prospect to call is the one you know needs your products/services and who – more importantly – knows that he needs it, too. Having a nugget of information about their company--knowledge of a key initiative or a key quote from their boss or CEO--provides the perfect, relevant hook for getting them to talk to you.

2. Do You Understand His Industry?

Make sure you know about few relevant facts or data points about prospect’s industry--this helps you quickly establish credibility. This can be relatively easy if you’ve sold your product/service in his industry for a long time or if you’ve worked in it yourself. But if this is a new industry or business sector, you’ll need a crash course in its its initiatives and challenges, who the major players are, and so on. You need to speak your prospect’s language and that’s a lot easier when you have some basic knowledge about the industry.

3. Do You Understand His Specific Pain Points?

Industry insight is a must but be careful not to assume that every company has the same issues. On top of the general industry challenges, each company has pain points of its own--they might be going through an acquisition, a round of layoffs, dealing with a PR crisis, a data breach, etc. Going into a call without basic knowledge of a major company challenge is a mistake easily avoided. Be sure and do some basic homework before making that call so that you are aware of any company-specific challenges that exist.

4. Do You Have Anything in Common?

People want to buy from people who “get” them. Who understand what challenges they’re up against. Who are “like” them. So the more you have in common, the better. Have you worked in the prospect’s industry? Don’t be afraid to say so. If you don’t share an industry background, do some research on the prospect. Perhaps you’re from the same state, or went to the same college? Do you both enjoy tennis? Does he have college-aged children, as you do?

5. Do You Understand How Your Product Can Help?

What particular industry or company problem can your product/service fix? How is your solution better/different than the competition? What other industry players have you worked with? Being able to reference that you have successfully worked with other companies in his industry will pique your prospect’s interest and make him want to learn more.

For help understanding your specific prospect, what he values, what he needs, and what you have in common, consider purchasing his in-depth profile from our database of over 10,000 executive profiles. For a sample of what you will get, take a look at some of our sample profiles.

Executive Profiles by Boardroom Insiders

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Sharon Gillenwater
Written by Sharon Gillenwater
Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.
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