“Cold Calling is something pretty critical, and something you can’t be afraid to do if you are dealing with customers. You have to do it to understand what your customer wants.” – David Friedberg – Founder, Weatherbill
Cold calling is easy, said no one ever!
Prospecting and appointment setting via a cold call are the most challenging aspects of lead generation. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Some of the biggest sales deals start with a cold call. Take a look at the Apple story and you will know what at we are talking about. At the same time, we need to note that almost all cold calls, unless you are very lucky, at some point or the other, are met with an ‘objection’. Since a cold call is more like an unsolicited request, an objection is one of the most natural responses that a prospect offers. Accepting that objections are a normal part of the process is the first step to achieving positive results. The good news is that on a cold call there are only a finite number of objections that you will encounter and the best way to scale the objection wall is to learn to ‘handle it’ and not try to overcome it. In this blog, we take a look at some of the most common objections that professionals face during cold calls and how to handle them.
Objection – “I’m not interested”
The first thing that cold callers experience is the ‘I’m not interested’ statement. Generally, the response is reflexive since this is the easiest way that the prospect can get off the phone. To manipulate this objection you will need to ask if they are focused on something else and through the conversation communicate the quantifiable benefits that your services can offer. So instead of saying, ‘with our service/product you will get this’ you can say “I understand that you are not interested but many companies I speak to are not aware that they can improve the efficiency of ________ (problem that your product solves) by X%.”
Objection – “Send me some information”
Instead of letting this statement be the dead end of the conversation, you can ask them what in the entire breadth of your conversation with them has caught their attention. Once that is done, you need to enquire if there is any specific information they would require, the clients priority areas, and the challenges that they are facing and how they are managing them so that you can send across send customized information. You should also ask the prospect, “assuming that you like the information, when you should I connect with you again?“
Objection – “There is no budget”
Yes, money is almost always an omnipresent constraint. When such is the case, you need to enquire about what the prospect would be the pain points, challenges or issues that they would like to change if money was not an issue. Having identified this, you can enquire if they would be interested in talking if they got a solution that provided immediate and measurable ROI with major cost savings and associated benefits? Asking “have you identified the possible costs of not taking action to address these problems?” or “What if money was not a constraint, how would you address the problem you are facing?” can get the conversation rolling.
Objection – “This is not a priority”
This could be an excuse, but it could also be true. As a lead generation professional you need to find out what the priority areas of the prospect are, what tops the priority list and what challenges they might be facing. Now, what if you could offer them a compelling solution to address those challenges? Depending on the nature of the challenge, you can offer a solution or cost benefit that can give them a competitive advantage. You will be surprised at how much information you can get by simply asking “What does your priority list look alike and what agenda tops it presently?” or “What are your major frustrations in this area of work?”
Objection – “I already have a vendor”
In the buyer universe, nothing is constant. Prospects switch vendors regularly. In all probabilities, they could be thinking about making a switch when you call. It’s just that they are not saying it. Not yet, at least. When faced with this push back you need to ask what made them choose the particular vendor, what is it that they like about their service and what they would they like to change and exactly how do they consume the existing vendors’ services. A simple question that asks, “What’s that one thing which you want your vendor to do better?” will help you gain a better idea about the competitors offer and help you provide a better solution.
In order to handle objections well, you need to first make the customer feel that you relate to their problem, offer information to bridge the gap, and finally get their commitment by asking them close-ended questions that have a positive answer. When you want an appointment to take the conversation further, suggest two times and dates. Asking, “does Tuesday, 10.00AM suit you or would Friday 11.00AM be a better time” in the near future will, in most cases get you an appointment. While as lead generation professionals we do need to stick to a script, in order to be effective, we need to have the capability to process normal reactions and responses and have the ability to steer the conversation in the direction that we want it to go.