Making intelligent new business calls

by jason_h

In my role at Alchemis, one of my primary objectives is to get my clients in front of the people who will potentially do business with them.

One of the key differentiating factors between the many “sales calls” that will be rejected as a “waste of time”, and the rare “interesting call with an agency worth meeting with”, is the ability of the person who is calling to have an intelligent conversation – i.e. a conversation that focuses on something that is relevant, that makes good business sense, and that demonstrates how you can help them.

There’s no big secret:

  • be clear about why you are calling and what you want to get out of the conversation
  • be curious
  • ask relevant questions (get the prospect to open-up and focus on relevant issues)
  • listen
  • listen
  • listen
  • resist the urge to tell the prospect everything about what you do and why you are the best thing since sliced bread
  • listen
  • listen
  • listen
  • make sure you understand what the prospect is telling you
  • let them know how you can help

Although you don’t need to be an “expert” in everything you are talking about (other people are there to sort out any technical details after all), it’s important to know what’s happening in the market/sector that you are targeting, understand the issues that prospects are faced with and be able to demonstrate how your client can help with their priorities and challenges.

Which is why it takes a person with “a particular set of skills” (to paraphrase Liam Neeson) to make the kind of calls that will stand out.

Nobody wants to receive a call which is scripted and goes over a list of services offered; that’s just “another bloody cold call” and can do more harm than good.

Any agency that wants to seriously stand out and win new business needs sales people who can think on their feet and engage prospects in an intelligent fashion and on a personal level.

Winning new business is not rocket science; it’s hard work, but it should be fun and interesting with the right attitude!