Tips to keep in mind before going for a 'Super-Cold Call'

To every sales man worth his salt (or salary!), the most challenging kind of sales calls are those that require knocking on doors he did not know existed. En-route to normal sales calls, one may always encounter places for which he does not have an appointment. Or for that matter, he has no clue as to what they do and whether they would fit the sales person’s view of a qualified sale. These then are the super-cold calls! Attending these are almost like going on a blind date. Your partner may just turn out to be color blind. Or at best, well blind!

One reason such calls occur is that you may be in an area far away from your base and your chances of a revisit may be distant. Given this scenario, it is important that despite very limited information and knowledge, one must make all efforts to make it a success. Success in this case may not be instant business but a positive rapport with the person you met who with luck may be the deciding authority. Such calls are important as they help you expand your lead base and sales lists.

A few points that need to be kept in mind while conducting such sales are mentioned below.

  • Know your product inside-out so that from the gate-keeper to the CEO/ Owner, everyone is clear as to what to expect from you.
  • Asses the would-be client carefully so that you do not end-up wasting time on a completely useless activity. The assessment should be in terms of your product and whether the client finds the same to be of any importance in his/ her working. A few pointers would give you a good idea whether to go beyond the entry gate or leave it right there. Where you feel confused, try chatting-up with the security personnel at the gate who may be in a position to throw some light on the exact nature of the activity inside.
  • Dress appropriately to create an impression of importance (though not overbearing). This may change with the product and place.
  • When meeting the lower-level staff like the security personnel, reception etc., be courteous, clear and firm. Firm here means your clarity of purpose. No one likes a wavering character.
  • When you come un-announced, it is not expected of you to give a quote right then and there. A quote should ideally come after a round of sustained meeting(s) which helps you understand the client, their activity and where you fit in. In fact, if the client expects the same when you make a cold-call, in all possibility, he is buying time and is not serious enough. Where you quote in such circumstances, the client shall in all possibility come back for more details and keep you hanging before saying a final no.
  • Such super-cold calls are at best ice-breakers. You and your client get to know each other and whether it makes sense taking it further. Try and put your best foot forward in terms of content and presentation within a fairly limited time period and if all goes well, you may be called again for a detailed presentation. If not, and provided the client finds your idea useful enough, he may refer you to someone who he thinks may need your services more.

These points have come about due to experiences on the ground though by no means are they the only ones.

On doing a few cold-calls you would in all possibility, come to get these insights and hopefully generate business at the earliest.

Happy selling!