Most of us dread making cold calls. And why not? We
all know what it's like to be on the receiving end of
unexpected, unwanted, and intrusive "telemarketing"
calls". Surely, we don't want to be perceived as they
are. Yet from time to time we need to pick up the
phone and stir up some business. This is particularly
true in the current tepid economic climate, when
referrals are slowing to a trickle, and our phones aren't
ringing off the hook.
To make your calls less cold, try sending a
written "approach" letter or email. As the name implies,
this written correspondence becomes your initial
contact with your prospective client. The benefits of
this are (1) you won't feel as if you are intruding (the
recipient can read it whenever he or she wants), (2)
you don't have to deal with customer indifference or
with objections - yet (3) you increase the odds of
making a great first impression. Writing allows you take
your time and convey the exact message you want,
without stumbling and tripping over your words.
So how do we construct such a letter or email? First,
you must have some idea of your target customers'
needs, problems, hopes, aspirations, goals, or dreams.
What are they looking for in their businesses or their
lives that they don't have but want, and which you can
provide? What is your unique selling proposition - how
are you best qualified to give them what they want.
And third, what objections and other resistance you
can expect when they read your letter. Once you have
a good fix on these items, you can begin composing
your letter. Start with an ATTENTION-grabbing
opening (or subject line, if it's an email). Then, since
your goal is to stimulate INTEREST, present the
benefits of your offering. Then turn that interest
into DESIRE by using power words such
as "Save", "Proven", "Results", and "Reliable". If there
are any objections you're sure most customers will
raise, consider addressing them pre-emptively in your
letter. Lastly, include a call to ACTION, or indicate that
you will follow up in a day/3 days/next week.
Write a letter. Send an email. Do something to warm up
your prospect so that on your follow up call, you are
not a total stranger. He or she will know of you,
perhaps something about you, and even something
about your company. Let me know how this works for
you - and with your permission I'll spotlight your
creation in a future issue of The Sales Solution. And if
you need help crafting an effective letter or email, let
me know - I have just the person to help you. Because
that person has helped me too!