Is there an ideal opening line to use when you cold call potential clients?
There is a really easy answer to this question. No.
This being the case, not knowing what you call cold calling gives me cause to ponder.
Cold calling usually refers to the first telephone call made to a prospective customer. These days it can also refer to calling face-to-face for the first time without an appointment at commercial premises or households.
Cold calling is also known as canvassing, prospecting, and in the case of consumer door-to-door selling as ‘door knocking’.
Good cold calling – performed properly and not as an indiscriminate ‘numbers game’ – is a fundamental and highly transferable skill whose basic principles are found in the behaviours of all great entrepreneurs and leaders.
In essence, cold calling is the art of approaching someone, professionally, openly and meaningfully with a sensible proposition.
There are basically eight steps to cold calling – all of which have major subsets:
- Preparation: self, environment, knowledge and what you represent.
- Introduction – key phrases explaining and positioning yourself and your purpose (different for every business and sometimes for every client).
- Questioning – help, facilitate and enable rather than assume, sell or push.
- Objectivity – the mark of an advisor – do not sell.
- Listen and interpret – do not sell.
- Inform and educate – do not sell.
- Involve and co-ordinate – do not sell.
- Keep in touch – keep notes and keep informed – keep ultimate ownership (by now you will probably be selling).
There are numerous books available for you to study and learn from or you can attend specific sales training which will enable you to define your offer and get selling!
But one magic opening line or question? There’s no such thing.