It’s been over 2 months since my original blog on cold calling and it’s place in todays evolving market. The debate is still continuing and it’s fascinating to watch. I thought I would respond to many of the emails and LinkedIn comments by summarising in my upcoming 6 part blog series.
In the true essence of the meaning of the word, cold calling is definitely not dead – whether it’s contacting a candidate or a client for the first time, it’s an essential activity. Cold calling enables success, chiefly because it is strongly focused on initiative and taking action.
However, after training thousands of recruiters over the last 5 years, for me, there has to be a further distinction between types of cold calls:
Low quality cold call: no planning, no research, no compelling reason for the contact – other than leading with a sales pitch and seeing if the client has any jobs to work on. Whatever your thoughts are about cold calling – one fact is undeniable: of all the options, this type of sales call is BY FAR the lowest conversion rate sales call.
A great cold call: is the art of approaching someone, professionally, openly and meaningfully, with a view to starting the process of understanding more about their business and identify where value can be added. Great cold calling, performed properly and not as merely an indiscriminate ‘numbers game’ – is a fundamental and highly transferable capability, in all areas of a Recruiters job.
There is no denying that recruitment is an activity based job. To quote a participant in the survey ‘’It’s a numbers game. 100 calls = 10 touches = 1 net new customer’’.
Working on a 1% conversion ratio will significantly increase the calls needed to be made to achieve a consistent billing consultant. When you work with low conversion ratios, you will often find consultants that reach their KPI figures but not their financial targets.
When a great cold call is planned and executed, recruiters should spend the majority of your time in front of people who may be able to say “yes”. If they’re making low quality cold calls, the majority of your time is wasted on people saying “no.”
So how can you improve your cold calls?
- Consultants need to check their mindset: Successful cold calling – including the effectiveness of methods and techniques – essentially relies on a recruiters own attitude towards cold calling. Viewed negatively or passively, cold calling is merely a numbers game, where in the Recruiters mind the call is no different to a junk-mail leaflet. Somebody might respond! This is the way that some people view cold calling and it’s no wonder for them that this part of the job is a painful grind.
On the other hand…
Viewed positively and creatively , cold-calling is empowering and potent. Like so many other aspects of business, management, and especially selling, cold-calling is how you see it, and whatever you want to make it. If you expect the worse, you may find you’ll get it.
- Secondly, consultants need to work on their approach: Recruiters are often looking for instant gratification by way of a job or visit when they first make contact with a client and agreed that’s a great outcome for a call but if they sell too quickly they can often blow their chances of that happening on this call, if at all.
Cold calling in some way will fundamentally always be a part recruiters job, for this reason alone learn to master your art. Be a connector! Focus on creating connections and forming a link between you and your target audience. Take the time to create a feasible business reason to call your clients – its critical to create trust and rapport. Whether it’s on the phone, face to face or on-line the rules for successful selling are to engage first, sell second.
In this 6 part series I will share sales call improvement strategies, including:
- Exploring your ‘recruiter type’ and how that impacts on your sales physcology.
- Understanding the critical activity numbers that will support your sales success.
- The proven alternatives to cold calling that will give you a greater return on investment of your most valuable asset – your time.
- Client centric sales techniques that will significantly reduce the objections that you are faced with daily.
- Language and behaviours that will kill any sales call, no matter how qualified the prospect is!
- A problem-solving framework that lets you act intuitively and humanely in situations that could otherwise turn into awkward selling moments.
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