1. Calling unprepared
Long before you even pick up the phone (and I’m talking a least a couple of days…..ideally more) think hard about whom the target market is and who are the target job titles. Your time is spent wisely undertaking this research well ahead of time. Make a point before you call, to get under the skin of whom your target market is….immerse yourself into their job function & what it means to be doing their type of work.
2. Calling without a name to ask for on switchboard
Make sure you spend time on LinkedIn before you call. One of the most time consuming tasks we undertake here at Gungho Marketing is researching the most up to date list of names & job titles. Avoid buying lists in, you’ll build a much better list if you make it yourself from scratch (home-baked is always best!) Switchboard operators will soon smell a rat if you are calling for the Senior VP who left the organisation 5 years ago!
3. Assuming that the person you are speaking to is the right person
Never assume that the person you’re talking to is the right one. Always, always check that they are the person that ‘deals with x’ or ‘handling y’. It’s a perfect opportunity to subtly ask them if they are indeed the ‘right’ person, and they will soon put you right if they are not!
4. Failing to build rapport
A call without rapport is a call not worth making. Rapport is based on such a multitude of senses and actions – from energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, tone, to confidence and control. Without it, you will soon be dead in the water.
5. Trying to sell right then & there
Let’s avoid at all costs trying to sell to our prospects. Who wants to hear a pitch about how marvellous your company is, and what wonderful products or services you have? Instead, let’s open up a two-way discussion – engage with the prospect to explore how they do things today, what they might want to change and what challenges they have. You will soon find that they want to have a conversation with you and curious to know more about what you have to offer.