When making sales telephone calls, we can improve our results by keeping our eye on the ultimate goal. If we are making true cold calls, it is sometimes best to have the primary goal of appointment making. It can be easy to lose sight of that goal by getting side tracked by trying to go beyond that to selling something or even try to gather information.
Those goals are great, and if you are a true sales person, having difficulty with not getting lured in by the “trying to sell something” temptation is understandable. But due to the amount of time to work with, a cold call is not the right place to try to accomplish a tremendous amount. As a result, we can improve results by keeping our focus on the main goal of moving the prospect to an appointment or conversation where we have more time to work with and are able to accomplish large goals.
What is the First Conversation?
The first conversation is the stage of the sales cycle where the sales person and the prospect have a first official conversation. This could get confused with the cold call as that is the first time that the caller and prospect are talking but it is not an official conversation until the prospect officially agrees to talk in more detail.
In an ideal scenario, the sales person will connect with a prospect on a cold call and at that point communicate why they are calling and why it may makes sense to talk in more detail. Once the prospect agrees to talk more, the sales cycle progresses to the first conversation.
In some instances it may be best to schedule the first conversation for another day where the prospect can be more ready and available for the discussion, both from a mental and schedule standpoint possibly by formally blocking out time on their calendar. Although, there are some instances when performing sales telephone calls where the prospect is available and interested in talking more at the actual time of the cold call and the first conversation takes place at the same time (technically right after) as the cold call. It will depend on the product or service being sold as to whether it is best to schedule the first conversation at another date or try to execute it right away.
Cold Call vs. First Conversation
It may be confusing what the difference is between a cold call and a first conversation and where one leaves off for the other. A cold call when performing sales telephone calls should be designed to only be between two to five minutes. During that time, there should be a laser focus on communicating business value, qualifying the prospect, identifying pain, and building some interest.
You really should skim the surface in those areas and once you complete what you need to do in each area, it is time to transition to closing to secure the first conversation. One of the reasons a transition is needed is that you likely have eaten up most of the time that is available for a cold sales telephone calls. As a result, you now need to get permission from the prospect to continue.
You can get this permission by checking in with the prospect and identifying if they are available and interested to continue. Based on the product you sell and the vibe from the prospect, you can then determine if it is best to execute the first conversation right then or try to schedule for another day.