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  • Just wondering.

    Have any of you sales types found a good guide to cold call selling? Don't need graphs and chart -- just some good common sense ideas.

  • #2
    Sales* is a difficult occupation.
    People who have never done it will never understand that, but it's true. Sales is also the best paid occupation. (Wall Street ain't medical training)
    Unfortunately, the super-size pay only goes to certain, special individuals.
    The difficulty is mostly psychological. If you can take a ratio of 200+ "beat downs" in exchange for one profitable triumph -- you may be on your way.
    To succeed, plan to:
    -deal with discouragement (ALL sales people must do this)
    -refuse to give up
    -learn to be organized.
    work smart= good; work hard=good; work smart+hard=wealthy
    -perpetually improve your knowledge & skills

    The first two items on the above list are huge mountains for most people. Conquer them & expect excellent pay.

    * sales as defined here meaning: Business-to-business, cold-call selling. NOT lemonade stands, etc.


    • #3
      Beertap, ditto on what you said!

      From someone who receives 10-15 cold calls per week, I can add:

      #1. Make sure you use resources like (which costs) and Google (which doesnt!) to get a good idea of who/where you are calling. You can then use this information in a lead in conversation with your prospect.

      #2. Know your own products inside and out! It's annoying to talk to someone in sales and as soon as you (the prospect) ask 2 or 3 technical questions, the sales person responds with an "uh..uhm..lemme get back to you on that". You don't have to know how to write code, but you should know if your software will work on a Mac or Linux.

      #3. Make sure your prospects would be an ideal fit for whatever you are selling. Set reasonable expectations for your products/services, avoid puffery. Remember, most B2B based companies usually see 75-90% of their revenue from existing customers. Start your relationship off with a prospect based on honesty, integrity and value and your company will grow with its customers.

      #4. Respect your prospects time, get to the point of what you are selling. Lead-in conversations are fine, but it shouldn't take more than 3-4 questions in the first conversation with a prospect to determine if its a person/business that will be worth both their money and your efforts to pursue the lead.

      Finally, like Beertap said, deal with discouragement. However, if you are resourceful enough and use information that is easily (or freely) available to you, you can strategize your cold calling so you aren't wasting so much time calling places that aren't a good fit. At the same, be willing to take some risks too, sometimes that call you think might be a 1 in a million chance of turning into something, may actually be that one in the million possibilities. So don't be afraid to try new things as well.

      Godspeed and good luck!