Cold Calling can be intimidating for anyone, but getting through the “gatekeeper,” so to speak, is paramount to closing the deal, making the first few seconds of the conversation the most pivotal. Unfortunately, some people are just quickly angered by unsolicited telemarketing – from privacy reasons to simply having a bad day. They’re only human, so it’s understandable, but it can still be tricky to navigate the conversation and keep from falling into emotional pitfalls. To prevent this, it’s important for a sales team to be trained and prepared to make the responses driven by human empathy, especially considering the current economic state of our world.
To this end, marketing sensei and CEO of 7th Level Jeremy Miner, provides a few suggestions on the matter of getting through those first key moments of the sales call, using his signature NEPQ (Neuro-Emotional Persuasion Questions) sales framework.
Preparation is key
With all the robotic spam calls that people get on a daily basis, salespeople can no longer afford to be antisocial and monotonous. Some people will hang up before even saying hello, so you HAVE to display real human emotion, and fast.
Having genuine empathy helps for sure, but you need to have a quick response time as well, which can only be achieved through training and practice. Think of it as a public speaking exercise: take the time to understand how you’re coming across by speaking into a mirror or practicing on a friend.
Make a recording (using your phone’s recording tool) of a sales call, and another of a regular conversation, then compare them side by side. Take note of your delivery and tone. Ideally, it should sound natural, as if you were having an actual chat with a friend or family member. If it sounds scripted or overly excited, you may not even get past the first sentence of a Cold Call.
Once you’re confident with your delivery, it’s time to prepare the “Problem Statement.” List the top 3 problems that your product or service solves, then think about a number of ways to present this information to the prospect. Think about the most common problems, ones that keep prospects awake all night and irritated all day.
Remember your goal
At this point, it’s time to make the call. Relax and be confident in yourself and your preparation. And always remind yourself that you aren’t making a sales pitch to a big-wig executive – you’re starting a real conversation with a real person to determine how you can help them using your product or service.
Take the time to figure out what their problem is and how the lack of your product is impacting their day-to-day life. Don’t get cornered into the need for long-winded explanation – create curiosity and build engagement that keeps the conversation moving forward.
Work with human behavior, rather than against it
Now you’re facing the gatekeeper. Where do you start? Miner recommends a stance of unsureness, disarming the prospect. By saying something along the lines of “I was wondering if you could possibly help me out for a moment,” you are appealing to their better nature, opening them up to empathy or, at the very least, curiosity.
Then move on to the part where you explain that they’re helping you to help them. The prospect will usually respond along the lines of “Who is this again?” or “What’s this all about?”. Oh I Apologize, I didn’t mean to offend you, in doing so, you appeal once more to the prospect’s human nature, motivating them to pick up the conversation for you. Only after these steps do you begin to tell them how what you do helps other people/companies.
By using a human-centric approach, the NEPQ framework takes the tension out of Cold Calling across every industry, including technology/data analytics sales, as well as medical device sales, legal services, financial services, and more. In doing so, productivity and general morale are efficiently promoted, in addition to changing the way telemarketing is thought of as a whole, returning it to the table once more as a liable form of marketing.