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What Your Prospect Is Thinking - And How to Connect

Sharon Gillenwater
by Sharon Gillenwater on Sep 1, 2015 12:07:13 AM

What_Your_Prospect_Is_Thinking_And_How_to_ConnectYou and your prospect likely have a lot in common. As someone who sells to Fortune 500 executives, C-suite occupants and other high-level business professionals, you also no doubt are an educated, experienced, savvy, and time-pressed individual. So to get into the mind of your prospect, let’s take a look at your own.

Is This You?

Whether at home or at work – often even on your cell phone – you’re bombarded with telephone calls. Many are important; from bosses, spouses, clients/prospects, and so on. But many are from telemarketers and salespeople.

Some even are “robo calls,” in which calling software dials numbers from a database and, when someone picks up on the other end, alerts a telemarketer, who then speaks. We can safely say that no one appreciates these calls.

But all phone calls are disruptive. Whether a minor annoyance when things are quiet or a major headache when the pressure is on and you’re on a deadline or in a meeting, they disrupt thought patterns, tasks, meetings, and more.

So you – exceptionally busy you – are, shall we say, at least a little peeved when a salesperson is on the other end of that call and possibly even exasperated if you are in the middle of an important conversation or working on a tight deadline.

Still, Cold Calling WORKS!

You know it, I know it, and your prospects know it. But there’s an art to the cold call. It begins with doing some homework to make sure that you know a little about the person on whom you are calling--and that they actually have a need for your product or service.

Do your research on your prospect’s professional background, her industry and her company, because the more you know about an individual, the more personal you can make a call, and the better chance you have of laying the groundwork for what could become a beautiful business relationship.
So many salespeople don’t do this baseline work, so it’s a wonder any sales ever result from cold calling.

Cold Call Horror Stories

Here are some of worst cold-call stories we’ve ever encountered. Don’t let this be you!

The sales call is done completely according to a script, with little or no variation. You can even hear the caller thumb through pages of paper as she works to find her next “line’ should you ask a question for which there is no scripted answer.

A call from a sales person who has no idea what your company does or your role within it. She got your name somehow and “believes” you could maybe, possibly, kinda sorta, use her product/service. And by the way, she pronounces your name wrong.

The recipient of the call is marginally engaged and proceeds to ask some questions, which the caller never answers, instead reiterating the features and benefits of his products/services. In other words, he keeps charging through his script without listening to you.

Checking your voicemail and hearing a telemarketer speak her whole, complete call script, two minutes long! (Tip: always have a shorter message for leaving voicemails since most cold calls – about 90 percent – go to your prospect’s voicemail.)

Extra pushy callers who try to get you to buy the product right then and there! Remember that the purpose of a cold call is to introduce your products/services to the prospect and secure a date for further discussion. Your goal should never be to make a sale with the one call.

Cold Calling Does Work, When Done Well

Cold calling works at least some of the time– why else is it still being done? But the best calls--while they might seem perfectly natural and effortless--typically result from hours of preparation and research.
Providing insight into your prospect’s background and business initiatives is where we can help. Check out some samples of our executive profiles, which will help you increase your chances of cold calling success. 

Executive Profile View Samples

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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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