Cold Acquisition Is a Process
By Marie-Claire van Poelje, Driven Sales and Support
Really busy, but also in need of new clients…
Does that look familiar? One of the ways to find new clients is by phone acquisition. Who has the guts (and the energy) to just pick up the phone and make “cold calls” to offer their products or services? Cold acquisition is a process. Some of the keys to success are: perseverance, a good elevator pitch, planning, and keeping in mind who your prospects are and why you want to do business with them!
How do I do it?
I have done several phone acquisition assignments for clients of Driven Sales and Support. The first step in this is making an adequate list of potential clients. Together with the client, you must determine which branches to approach and whether their location is important.
Additionally, it is vital to know the right contact (decision maker) to talk to. I practice my elevator pitch before I pick up the phone, so I am optimally prepared to call the prospect. In my experience, it’s often not possible to speak to the decision maker right away. The phone is usually answered by the “gatekeepers”: receptionists, operators, secretaries, personal assistants etc. They play an important role in contacting the right person. After all, they are the ones to decide whether the phone call is of interest to their manager, the decision maker. That’s why it’s important to treat the gatekeepers with respect!
Then, after you’re put through to the right contact, the first minute of your conversation is key. Experience shows that this is when they decide whether or not to continue the conversation. One way to start is by opening with a current issue in the branch. Another possible opening is mentioning an item in the news the prospect is confronted with. If the conversation goes well and the prospect recognizes the problem, you can propose to make an appointment to talk further.
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