In the hospitality industry cold calling is a necessary part of the sales process. Some people have some trouble in this area. They try to come up different techniques. They obsess about when to call, where to call, who to talk to.
As a Business Development Speciality for Greenfield Services, prospecting is what I do for a living. My philosophy about doing business development over the phone is summarized by Occams Razor which states that the simplest answer is most likely correct. Let me explain.
The simplest and probably most important thing that you have to remember when phoning prospects is that they are just people. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or the Administrative Assistant for a company with three employees. They are essentially the same. They expect to be treated with respect, and to be spoken to as if they are the most important person you will speak with (and they are correct). If you can envision that the person you’re talking to is the lead to end all leads, it will come through in every nuance of your voice. Then half the trouble with cold calling is already behind you.
The other half of the trouble, the simple yet deceptively difficult part. You have to sell yourself to the contact. In an initial cold call, you are not really selling a product or a venue. You are selling yourself as that product or venue’s representative. In my experience it doesn’t matter so much what you are trying to sell if the person is already sold on you.
How you can accomplish this is not something you can be trained about, or told how to do it simply because it will vary for every person and sometimes every situation. You will know when you have found it however; as soon as you feel more confident, you will see a marked increase in your results.
So just remember: simplicity is key. Talk to your clients like you would want to be treated if the situations were reversed. You know what works for you when sales people call, use that to sell yourself to your clients. Occam’s Razor says the simplest answer is usually correct; we have all been told to treat people like we expect to be treated, I doubt there is a simpler way to call on a new prospect.