The Olympics can teach small businesses a lot about cold calling?
I regularly come into contact with business people that ask me for cold calling tips. When I chat with them I find that they often unknowingly set themselves up for failure. So, here are my 5 simple telemarketing tips for small businesses to achieve cold calling success with an Olympics theme.
1. Get on the phone!
Typically, one of the most heinous crimes that small businesses commit is not picking up the phone in the first place. Analysis paralysis and day job procrastination are what often keep small businesses from the phone. Sometimes it is fear of failure. Sometimes fear of rejection. Often, they wait for the perfect time including when their lovely website or brochure is finally completed. The key is not to wait. Get on the calls and smile when you dial. Nothing beats action and motivation. That doesn’t mean you should wing it. You need to prepare (see below) but make a positive commitment to make the calls. Olympic analogy: If you aren’t in the stadium you can’t win the gold medal!
2. Understand your target market
The best campaigns fail if you don’t know who to target. You can be the best in your sector but if you call the wrong prospects, you have no chance. So, identify the sector you have the best chance of serving (e.g. based on your credentials, experience, success stories etc) and use this as your base for getting a good list with names, job roles and numbers in the location in which you want to operate. Olympic analogy: If you are the favourite for the gold medal in the rifle shooting at the Olympics as you have the best rifle and are the best shot, don’t fire in the wrong direction at the wrong target as you will definitely not win the gold and end up with nothing!
3. Allocate time for calling and practice
You need to practice calling and fall flat on your face a few times if you are to succeed in getting prime opportunities to grow your business. Make sure you role play with someone if you can. If you can’t, just get going and see what works and what doesn’t. It is widely reported that Eddison once said “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” Whether this quote is true or not is immaterial. The more you practice calling, the better your likely result. Olympic analogy: If you want to reach your goal, you need to put in the miles on the phone
4. Learn effective telemarketing techniques
There is no doubt that good telemarketing techniques and tips play a role in cold calling success. Whether that is getting past the gatekeeper or handling objections effectively, it is important to upgrade your skills so that you know how to handle the blocks when they are in your way. That’s down to techniques. So, either read more of our tips, check out our courses or simply research on the internet for things that you struggle with. Olympic analogy: It makes no sense to crash through the hurdles time after time. A good coach and some lessons in how to quickly leap over hurdles will help you reach your goal much quicker and without bruised knees!
5. Keep going till the finish
No successful businessman or athlete ever achieved without a bit of failure and without lots of practice. So, you have to work at it and keep going. Telemarketing can be described as a marathon not a sprint especially for the larger opportunities. They don’t happen overnight and usually not on the first call. We once identified that a typical quality appointment for one of our clients took between 7 and 12 calls to make when taking into account voicemails (decision-maker and gatekeeper), gatekeeper and decision-maker conversations including requests for calls back and so on. Often this is over many months and even years.
Most small businesses compound the error of not getting on the phone by only making one or two calls then giving up and not following up. This is crucial. Check when would be a good time to follow up with the prospect again and diarise that call. Make good notes from the initial call and refer to these when calling back. Olympic analogy: Every athlete records their performance so they can evaluate how they can improve. They review the past and make sure they keep going until they reach the finishing line. Don’t give up before you reach your telemarketing goals. The next call back could result in a £250k order!!
If you’d like to know more or book a new business development strategy workshop and find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business, by contacting us now on 0845 658 8192 or send us an email.