More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: March 04, 2014

Easy steps to sales success

Use high-probability tele-prospecting

Sam Dobbins

High probability telephone prospecting involves making the kind of sales calls that result in your increased intelligence about suspects and prospects.  This intelligence, accumulated through discovery cold calls, will eliminate wasted time calling on inappropriate contacts, and free you up to gather deeper knowledge of those who currently do or will want the products and services you have to offer.

Are you looking to increase your prospect-to-sales ratios? Let's roll up our sleeves and get started.

Sort your contact names

To increase your probability of success, start with sorting your contact names into manageable lists. Basically, there are two types of potential sales opportunities:

  • Suspect Sales Opportunity. This is an opportunity where the decision maker has expressed curiosity but not a true interest or commitment to purchase your new product/ service.
  • Prospect Sales Opportunity. In this situation, a decision maker has expressed an interest and commitment to purchasing a new product/ service.  The time frame, budget, critical business issues, executive sponsorship, and agreement to talk with the product specialist or sales representative have all surfaced. This is where you truly want to start your discovery sales process.

Once you have identified a prospective sales opportunity, then try to break it down into one of two sub-groups: 

  • Immediate Prospect – This is the prospect with an immediate need for resolution, a budget, and a commitment to do so. 
  • Future Prospect—While still ready for instant contact from the sales representatives, this prospect may be placed more comfortably in an efficient prospect retention program, and nurtured through a more long-term relationship sale.

Diligently gather your market intelligence

Did you know that sales representatives do not close new sales deals? Information does.  By thoughtfully gathering intelligence about your prospects, you increase your chances of closing a sales that much quicker.

Stop trying to sell, market, brand or promote on your cold calls. The smart telephone prospector begins qualifying by asking discovery questions. Here are some you may employ the next time you're prospecting:

  1. How pleased are you with your current solution (or product, or service)?
  2. What is the name of your solution?
  3. How long have you been using this?
  4. How many colleagues at your company are using this product/service?
  5. When was the last upgrade your company invested in?
  6. What critical business issues are you experiencing with your current solution?
  7. How likely are you to consider switching for a new product/service to meet your needs better?
  8. Who is involved in making a decision to evaluate and purchase new products and services—besides you, of course?
  9. What other solutions have interested you?
  10. What is your time frame for implementing a new solution?
  11. What is your budget?
  12. When is a good time to consult with one of our product specialist or sales representatives for a complimentary and fuller review of your needs?

Use intelligence, not sales pitches, to sell better and more. By showing your interest in both your prospects and their needs, you will only increase the probability of identifying more potential sales opportunities over the telephone.

Sam Dobbins is the founder and president of the Cold Call King, LLC., 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.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video