I think everyone has lost the plot when it comes to sales. Today we are all so worried about coming across too “salesy”… we have forgotten how to cold call to get fantastic results. Yes, no one likes to be “sold to”, everyone wants an opportunity “to buy.” But, this has now been taken way too far. I can have a conversation with someone on the phone for three minutes and I still have no idea, why have they called me? Keeping to the edges of a conversation is not a great way to engage a prospect. Getting to the core, the reason for the call is the sure way to find middle ground quickly. Sometimes, it is refreshing when someone just tells you why they have called up front. No guesswork.
For example, a real estate sales agent makes calls to residents in his local area and says, “Hi, my name is John, I am a property specialist in your area. I have sold number six in your street. Do you know the price that it sold for?” At least, then you have a starting point for the conversation, rather than… not getting to the point quickly and losing the interest of the listener.
Every person we meet today we expect in some way that they are trying to sell us something. We all are a walking and talking advertisement for ourselves. Regardless of what you may think, anyone who deals with people is in sales. That must make up nearly the entire population. We are all programmed in our head to think, ”I wonder what this stranger wants… so why not just say it.”
Often it is how you say it rather than what you actually say that makes the maximum impact. Fewer words are always better. By not beating around the bush, being very clear in your delivery you win your potential customer over and over again. Don’t be ashamed to say, “I would really like your business, what do I have to do to win it?” I want someone who really wants my business and is prepared to work really hard to get it and keep it. Your job is to provoke desire in your prospects by effectively communicating what you do. If they understand quickly how you can help them and make them feel comfortable, getting to Yes is very simple! It has been proven that education-based selling is the most effective method of convincing your buyer. It requires an upfront investment of your time but it should be worth it in most cases. Nevertheless, your offer will always need to be superior to your competitors.
So how do we move forward on this concept of straight talking and no more soft-selling. It requires the following:
- Get very clear in your own mind WHY you are calling someone?
- How can you deliver the message in the least amount of words and still sound authentic?
- What is the desired outcome of the call?
- If they are not a right fit, politely say thank you and move on. Your time is as valuable as is that of the person you are speaking with.
- Document any next steps and make sure you do it when you said you would.
How do you Cold Call to get fantastic results NOW? As Josh Kaufman so rightly says in his best-selling book, the personal MBA, “In order to earn the attention of a prospect, you must divert their attention from what they’re already doing, that’s not an easy task.” Begin your conversation in a way that breaks their pre-occupation and earns their attention. Sprinkle elements of surprise which peaks curiosity – the normal response will be, “Please tell me more, that sounds interesting.” Everyone wants to learn something new. As the late Stephen R. Covey said, we each want to “Live, Love and Learn.”
Finally, I think selling has become a lot more personal, people are looking for career improvement and personal development – anything that you can offer that makes them look and feel better professionally or personally. Life is so short, everyone is just striving to do their best in the shortest time possible. Just go for it, “Say what you mean and mean what you say” and hopefully, the response will surprise you.
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ABOUT ODILE FALUDI, Starting Customer Conversations Specialist
Odile Faludi has worked in the not-for-profit, real estate, and the management consultancy space for the last thirteen years. She has a proven track record of opening doors of C-suite level executives in the top 200 companies in Australia. With her fearless but friendly approach, she successfully facilitated a small team of management consultancy experts to secure a million dollar plus deal with a large Australian financial organisation. Her initial entry point was a cold call. Odile has repeated this success formula since then for other clients.
Odile is a passionate freelance writer and a business development consultant. She is trained in “Crucial Conversations” through VitalSmarts. They have helped 300 of the Fortune 500 realise significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviours.
Odile runs workshops in Australia, teaching Business Development Managers, Start-up Entrepreneurs, and Sales teams how to initiate client conversations. The aim is to widen their business net. Request a course outline.
Program available via SKYPE.
Visit www.odilefaludi.com.au to reserve your spot in Odile’s public workshops or organise your own private in-house session at
or call +61 425 250 677 to learn how to Cold Call
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Head of Network Development at Ray White
I recently engaged Odile to spend a day training my team. Odile made sure to spend time both face to face and over the phone with me getting the content for the day to match our requirements. The feedback from the day was great and I would highly recommend Odile. Thanks for your help!!