How to make a successful cold call

The chief executive of global sales consultancy Huthwaite, international sales guru and author of Escaping the Price Driven Sale – How World Class Sellers Create Extraordinary Profit Tom Snyder says successful cold calling is an art.

“Most people today are impossible to reach because they’ve got a whole army of things standing between themselves and having to answer that phone, so you’re likely to get voicemail aren’t you. The tendency of most of us is to leave what I would describe as a verbal resume. We talk about ourselves, we talk about our company and we talk about the reasons to call us back. Our research would say that fails. At least 88% of the time, the customer absolutely is uninterested and doesn’t even listen to the whole message. The key to great prospecting is to pose a question in your prospecting message that you know the answer to and you suspect the customer does not.”

“Think about it this way. If I were to call up… let’s take the business that I’m in. I’m a consultant and I’m a consultant around sales performance. I could call up and I could leave a message that says ‘Amanda my name is Tom Snyder. For the past 33 years I’ve been in the business doing research about what separates the excellent from the average. We have a great understanding here at Huthwaite of how to turn good sales people out. We’d love to talk to you.’ When did you hang up? You hung up at Snyder, right? You didn’t even listen to that message.”

“Now imagine if instead I left a message that says ‘Hi, this is Tom Snyder with Huthwaite. One of the things that we’ve noticed in the marketplace is that companies are frustrated with how to measure the effectiveness of their sales people. I was wondering if that’s an issue with your company.'”

“Boom, just leave it. And then resist the temptation to answer your own question. Just leave the question in the message. You will at the very least be memorable, and our research says that you will get four times as many responses as you would from the previous message.”

Read the complete interview with Tom Snyder.

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