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Posted: May 31, 2013

Buyer, buyer, pants on fire

Don't waste your energy on the disinterested

Sam Dobbins

All sales representatives and new business development specialists have made discovery cold calls to a company to introduce themselves and their services to the appropriate executive decision-maker. And many times, the decision-maker will answer the telephone and respond with, “Send me information. I'll get back to you.”

After a few days of not hearing back from the decision-maker, you follow up with additional calls, only to find out that there's really no interest in purchasing your products/services.  This process is a waste of time, resources and energy you could be using to engage with a real potential sales prospect.  You are prospecting for gold (sales). Don’t waste your energy digging in the wrong place.

There are a few tell-tale signs if the prospect is going to purchase or string you along with harmless lies. Use these five tips to identify real potential sales opportunities:

First – Understand that a decision-maker defines a potential sales opportunity, issues a preliminary budget, a time-frame to purchase and an urgency to make a purchase.

Second – Identify the appropriate executive decision-maker  and know that he/she is different from a decision-influencer and an information-gatherer.

Third – Identify a real interest in purchasing by asking questions that begin with what, why, which, where, why, who and how.  This will allow you to collect key market intelligence.

Fourth – Know that the key is to engage with the appropriate decision-maker over the telephone  and that there is no substitute – not an email message, not a voicemail message and not a direct-mail message.

Fifth – Do not mistake curiosity for interest or interest for a commitment.

Please keep in mind while prospecting for new business over the telephone that for every 100 conversations with the appropriate decision-maker these are the metrics.

-     90 “ No Interests “

-     9   “ Maybe’s”

-     1   “ Yes, I am interested”

Disqualify the non-interested as quickly as possible.  Also know that 80 percent of all new business is achieved by making follow-up calls, so be sure to do it.

Instead of using the cold call to sell, market, promote and brand your product/ services, use the discovery cold call to collect market intelligence with the intent to qualify the decision-maker.

Also know that decision-makers who are not interested in switching from their current product/ service are going to say whatever they can to get off the phone, and they might try to get information from a sales rep that confirms their current vendor/product/serve. Don't mistake a “tire-kicker” for a real buyer.

Sam Dobbins is the founder and president of the Cold Call King Sales Training Company, formed in 2004.  He is an active member of Business Marketing Association-Denver. Learn more at www.coldcallking.com. Reach Sam at sam@coldcallking.com or (303) 954-8553.

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