Cold Call Selling Starts with Buying


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If you’ve ever tried your hand at cold call­ing, you’re painfully aware that the chance of con­vert­ing a cold call to a sale is extremely low. Suc­cess depends on a num­ber of fac­tors but con­ver­sion rates of only 2% to 3.5% are common.

Those per­cent­ages can be dis­cour­ag­ing; they can also be improved.

Before you begin sell­ing your prod­uct or ser­vice, another sale has to take place: you have to buy the prospect’s time. This trans­ac­tion is just as real as the sale of the prod­uct or ser­vice you’re try­ing to sell, and it has to come first.

The mis­take many tele­sales reps make is fail­ing to offer the prospect any­thing of value up front in return for his or her time. Peo­ple value their time, and if you want a few min­utes of it you bet­ter be pre­pared to offer them some­thing. Sim­ple as that: you need to buy their time before you can sell your prod­uct.

What can you offer a prospect to make her or him want to lis­ten to your sales pitch? Con­sider what peo­ple value:

  • Con­ve­nience

  • Security/Safety

Suc­cess­ful tele­sales reps know how to link their prod­uct or ser­vice to at least one of these uni­ver­sal val­ues, and they have to do it within the first few sec­onds of a call to grab the prospect’s inter­est. This is known as the com­pelling rea­son, the rea­son why it’s worth your prospect’s time to lis­ten to your pitch and con­sider your prod­uct or service.

Think of the com­pelling rea­son as the “com­pen­sa­tion” you’re giv­ing the prospect in exchange for lis­ten­ing to your sales pitch.

  • How much money can your ser­vice save peo­ple like this prospect?
  • How does your ser­vice increase pro­duc­tiv­ity or reduce the amount of time required for nec­es­sary tasks?
  • How can what your sell­ing pro­tect the prospect’s fam­ily, her home or her credit rating?
  • How will she feel bet­ter after using your prod­uct or service?
By let­ting some­one know that you’re pre­pared to answer these ques­tions, you’ve given them a com­pelling rea­son to con­tinue lis­ten­ing to you.
  • “Hi Ken, I’m call­ing from Car­son Floor­ing. How are you today?” is not a com­pelling reason.
  • “Hi! This is Jen­nifer from Acme Invest­ments. Did I catch you at a good time?” is not a com­pelling reason.
  • “Hello Caren. I’m with National Real­tor, the lead­ing indus­try source for real estate news. Do you mind if I ask where you’re cur­rently get­ting your comps?” is not a com­pelling reason.
  • “Hello Ann. This is Dave Nel­son with Adven­ture Vaca­tions. Are you inter­ested in sav­ing money on your vaca­tion travel this sum­mer?” is a com­pelling reason.

The suc­cess­ful com­pelling rea­son has four requirements:

  1. it needs to be short,
  2. it needs to be clearly worded,
  3. it needs to be valu­able, and
  4. it needs to be pre­sented early.

The most effec­tive sales train­ing for phone reps helps them develop com­pelling rea­sons and con­nect the ben­e­fits of the product/service to some­thing the prospect needs or val­ues.

Once your prospect has “bought” your com­pelling rea­son, you have earned the right to pro­ceed with your next sale: your organization’s prod­uct or service.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Seth Brickner
Seth Brickner is a Developer and Facilitator with Impact Learning Systems International. In addition to training and development, his background includes education, technical support and customer service. When not traveling or in front of a computer monitor, Seth can be found running, cooking, playing guitar, reading, convincing himself he can sing, or enjoying the hiking trails of Colorado.


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