Do You Turn Cold Calls Into One-Call Closes?
By Marilyn Dooley
So, when was the last time you made a cold call and turned it into a one-call
I asked myself that question the other day and, well, … if truth were told, the answer was not what it should be. Nor did the answer reflect what I thought my capabilities are. How about you? When is the last time you made a cold call? When is the last time you turned that cold call into a one-call close?
If you are in sales, or as I like to say, you “sing for your supper,” I hope you answered in the affirmative. If you didn’t, you need to discover the reasons why not.
a regional sales manager for a well-known CLEC. I work with direct sales
representatives as well as agents. I guide them, mentor them, go out on calls
with them and recruit new agents. I love the product and the company.
Truthfully, it’s a joy to sell. Everyone needs local dial tone. Everyone needs
to save money. Everyone needs reliability.
So, why doesn’t everyone buy? And, why doesn’t everyone buy the first time I walk through the door? Or better stated, why don’t at least some prospects buy the first time I walk through the door?
I’m pretty good at cold calls. They always result in sales, eventually. But, until recently, I couldn’t remember the last time I made a one-call close.
One of my agents recently gave me a reality check. This individual, whom I believe is a champion in this arena, on a good day can sell several accounts slam, bam. I called her to get some pointers. Her bottom line was that it is all a state of mind!
Remembering that I came out of the long-distance trenches, I took methods I used for that worn-out, commodity-driven market with me to the fresh CLEC business. It was like closing deals with methods that are as outdated as the slide rule.
When you sell dial tone, people want to talk to you. They are interested in what you have to say and sell. If they understand your sense of urgency, you don’t have a moment to waste–perhaps one-call closes are possible. Perhaps they’ll buy today, not tomorrow. What an interesting concept–one I had to put to the test.
The next day I conducted a training seminar for some new agents. Afterward, I told my master dealer we were going on some cold calls. This dealer is a master distributor. Honestly, it had been a long while since he made a cold call; his last one-call close probably came when he sold dialers along with the deal.
Nevertheless, armed with my newly enlightened state of mind, we were off.
I chose a suburb a little off the beaten path. I didn’t go into an office complex. Rather, I chose to go down a major highway that had plenty of aging strip centers, used car lots, insurance agencies, etc.
I told my dealer we were out to write business. We didn’t have the time to make follow-up call after follow-up call. In other words, we’d better write the business today. I was prepared. My portfolio contained sales aids and order forms. I was dressed as a well-healed professional. Most important, I made a concerted effort to make my body language convey my sense of urgency.
Guess what? It worked!
After four hours, I closed two accounts and made several contacts that I’m sure will result in sales. We also sold long distance to the two accounts that closed. (Go figure!)
My dealer was blown away, and I have a whole new perspective.
Let’s recap what I believe are the highlights of high-powered cold calling.
These methods work.
The key is your state of mind and your level of expectation. Now, get in the field and put it to the test.
Oh, one more thing, have fun!
Dooley is regional sales manager for AccessOne/Omnicall, Inc. (www.omnicall.net).
She has written and published numerous articles concerning sales techniques and
agent marketing. She can be reached at email@example.com.