Cold Calling – Dead or Just Different?
In a recent sales track on high impact first sales calls, a point was made over the importance of understanding prospect/buyer behavior. In most scenarios, buying is an emotional decision; an emotional decision that buyers try to rationalize by logic. The vast majority of decisions are not swayed by conscious, logical marketing efforts; distinguishing things like price, features, or services. Rather the decision to buy is based on perception and the emotional differentiation you and/or your company bring to the table.
For Staffing Professionals it’s very important, especially on a sales call, to strive to make emotional differentiation and focus less on logical differentiation. Nowadays, logical differentiation is becoming more and more difficult. Setting your staffing agency apart based on your candidate pool and/or service, price, and geography, is becoming tough, especially in a world of technology, internet research, and a changing buyer persona.
How is this related to cold calling, you may ask?
Cold calling, from the standpoint of making numerous calls to try and sell your services that day, is certainly a thing of the past. While making calls to develop relationships, mention your services, and eventually create new business is the ever-evolving “new cold call”. Selling a service such as staffing is not an easy feat due to the fact that candidates (people) have so many variables. Therefore, using emotional differentiation during these calls is key. Here are some areas to focus on:
Do Your Research
You need to know who you are calling and why. This is an introductory call and you will not likely make a sale your first time around. If you have a candidate with excellent skills target organizations that would match. Always, try to reach the decision maker, but remember to be polite and informative to individuals along the way. You never know the gatekeeper might have more influence than you may think. Check out the company’s website, search for the person’s profile on LinkedIn or Twitter. Here you may be able to find clues on what motivates that company or individual, or you may find you have an interest in common to break the ice.
Try and offer value to your prospect without selling your service, or price. Let the prospect know what you offer and where you can provide help without being pushy, but remind them that the holiday season is coming up and their employees are taking time off That is where your staffing agency may be able to fill in with a great candidate. Try a less aggressive approach by offering a valuable, selection process or white paper to guide them through the hiring process. Reduce the perceived risk of using your service. Instead of hiring someone for seasonal work and having to do a layoff, remind the prospect that your organization will help reduce their turnover and handle unemployment claims.
Don’t Waste Time
Don’t waste the prospect’s time, but make small talk where you can. Find a way to relate to them while explaining what you have to offer. Ask open-ended questions and practice handling objectives. If they are happy with their current service, ask them what they like. If they don’t use staffing services ask them how they hire their employees now. Have they used a service in the past and weren’t satisfied? Explain how your service is different. Find out what their pain points are and be sure to document a connection you made or something you learned about them. This will give you a good opener for the next time you reach out to the prospect. Those who get to the prospect first are remembered 25% more than the rest.
Transference is no secret, people buy from people, and once you establish a relationship with a prospect, you are 3 times more likely to make them your customer. Be persistent, confident, and friendly. Establish and commit to some emotional differentiation. What’s the worst that could happen?
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