Everything that has been done until now has been designed to prepare you to begin the cold calling campaign. When you actually start the campaign, you test your assumptions, validate what you thought to be true and make modifications when appropriate.
Your first calls should not be to your primary targets. This is because if your assumptions are wrong, you do not want to be risking the targets that you believe will be most attracted to offer. By aiming at targets slightly lower than the primary ones, you allow yourself the opportunity to recognize and address areas where you may have erred. You will be looking to validate what role is the appropriate one to contact, the benefits that you believe are most important to articulate and the solution set that you should be articulating.
You will also learn a lot about your prospects. They will ask you questions and, frequently, you will not know the answers. This process affords you the opportunity to learn about what matters to the prospect. Some of these areas will need to make it into your script and into your supporting materials. Don’t hesitate to modify them.
The second most important benefit of beginning the cold-calling campaign is that you will begin to get your “voice.” Confidence is such an important part of successfully speaking with prospects. Like anything else, it needs to be nurtured and developed. After making twenty or so calls, you will discover what truly resonates, your prospects’ concerns and what creates an impact. And you will discover that you can speak with them and create a meaningful dialogue.
The only way that I have discovered to gain this confidence is by making the calls, testing modifications and, frankly, taking intelligent risks and making reasonable mistakes. Allow yourself the possibility of failing because it is only as a result of these failures that you will attain success.
Finally, make sure that you are tracking each call. Thee are many, many contact software programs that will allow you to do this easily (Act!, Salesforce, Goldmine are some examples of contact managers). Chart each call and its outcome and note a time to reach out to the prospect once again.
I hope that you have enjoyed these reflections on the cold calling process. If you’ve been testing this process, please write with your comments. I’d love to share ways to make it better and also learn what you have discovered.