Like salespeople, most speakers do not like to
cold call prospects, as the following conversation illustrates.
Caller: “Hi, I’m Pat Speeker with Productive
Presentations. I deliver keynote speeches and
breakout sessions on motivation and peak performance. Do you hire speakers for meetings?”
Prospect: “We’re all set for this year.”
This is an example of an ineffective cold call. It
was unsuccessful because the caller did not know
anything about the prospect or organization,
nor did he hint at any possible value he could
provide. Understandably, the potential client
blew him off. Ouch!
Although the mantras “Cold calling does
not work” and “Cold calling is dead” ring true,
calling is alive and well. And it really works.
Many successful people make cold calls.
In a perfect world, it would be easy to make
calls based on endless inquiries and referrals. But,
in the real world, not everyone has the budget,
time or network of contacts to make that happen
consistently. So, what’s a speaker to do?
To transform cold calls into “smart” calls, you
need to gather key information about prospects,
organizations and situations and integrate the
data into a solid sales process. When you tailor
your calls to the customer, you can enter into a
sales cycle with a decision maker within minutes.
A smart call incorporates four key areas,
which are explained below:
• Intelligence gathering
• Finding information
• Social engineering
• Grabbing attention
• Intelligence Gathering
“Intelligence” gathering is mining relevant
information about your prospect. Define the
data you want and divide it into three categories:
factual, situational and personal.
HOW TO FIND INFORMATION
Surfing the Internet is the best way to find information about potential clients. Check out Take
the Cold Out of Cold Calling, the best-selling
book by Sam Richter, who is an internationally recognized expert on sales, marketing and
leadership. His book explains how to use the
Internet to gather more information than you
ever imagined. Check out free resources at www.