I’d like to introduce you to a radical new thought.
In the old sales mindset, you’ve probably been trained to focus only on making the sale. You approach your cold calls with the idea of moving things towards a sales event. But think about what this does to your cold calls. Before you even say “hello,” basically then, you have an agenda. You want something.
Well, your prospects can sense this immediately, and they put up their guard. As people, whenever we know that someone wants something from us, we automatically move into a defensive place. You probably do, too, if you’re talking with someone who has an agenda.
Can you see that your sales focus actually destroys the possibility for a genuine, trusting conversation? Because it’s focused on yourself – your desire for a sale – and not on the other person.
Salesmanship vs. Relationship
So it’s time to re-think the way you approach cold calls. When your strategy is to make a sale, then you’re someone who has to be “watched.” You’re not weighing what’s important to the other person. And so to them, you can’t be trusted.
It’s much better to build trusting relationship into your cold calling process. When the other person feels that you’re relating to them from this place, there’s no need to be suspicious and defensive. There can be a pleasant, productive, truthful dialogue about whether what you’re offering makes sense for them.
So, really, it’s about trust and relationship. Why? Because when given the choice, people always prefer to do business with someone they can trust.
Here are two fundamental shifts you’ll need to make if you want to move away from the old “sale-focused” mindset.
1. Release the Need for Control
Whenever you’re trying to control the outcome of your cold call, you’re not allowing the conversation to have a natural rhythm and flow. You’re trying to maneuver things in a certain direction. So you’re not building relationship, you’re trying to build sales. You’re focused on things like getting information, finding the decision maker, scheduling an appointment, or closing the sale.
And all of this sets off “alarms” for the other person. Prospects can sense that this kind of interaction is somewhat of an impersonal, pre-ordained process. They know it really hasn’t much to do with them. So how can you to shift into something more positive? You begin by consciously surrendering to the outcome of your cold call. When you do this, you’re no longer trying to manage things. You can be relaxed and helpful.
This is subtly but powerfully felt by the other person. When they recognize you’re not “pushing” for a certain outcome, there’s an opportunity for mutual exploration, and you can be viewed as someone who’s trustworthy.
2. Focus on the Other Person
When you start your cold calls by talking about your product or service, most people “shut down” right away. You’re talking to someone who doesn’t know you, and you’re trying to get them to step into your world. Instead, try stepping into their world. Think about what matters to them. Put yourself in their shoes.
The best way to do this is to think about what kinds of problems they may be having. For example, let’s say you provide invoice management systems. You might start with something like, “I’m just calling to see if you’d be open to exploring new ways to solve revenue loss from unpaid invoices.”
Now you’ve started your cold calling by focusing on the other person’s issue right away. You’re not talking about yourself. You’re “tuned into” their problems and difficulties. This feels really good to them, and you’ll more likely share an open, trusting conversation.
When you don’t have strategies and “pitches” built into your cold calling agenda, you can be a real person talking to another real person. Now there’s an opportunity explore together in a more trusting way whether what you’re providing is a fit for them. And the difference will astonish you.