by Ken Smith, Sandler Sales Institute
What makes a cold call cold?
While a company you’re calling may fit the “profile” of a company that can benefit from your product or service, you don’t have specific knowledge of that prospect’s problems, challenges, or initiatives … and you know little about its key players.
Without such information, your call isn’t just cold at the beginning, but it will likely leave your prospect cold at the end.
With so much information literally at your fingertips (a few keystrokes and mouse clicks away), making cold calls is unnecessary and unacceptable.
Using the Internet, you can access industry associations’ sites and download a wealth of information about issues and challenges faced by companies in that industry.
Using advanced search techniques and search tools on Google, you can access association membership lists, industry reports and news articles. You can learn about new companies, industry “up and comers,” and companies going through transitions.
Of course, you can gain a wealth of information from your target prospects’ web sites: the products and services they provide, the names of key personnel, white papers they have published, press releases, and much more. And, using sites like Zoominfo.com, you can find out more about the company executives you uncovered.
There’s no excuse for not knowing something about the prospects you plan to call. Learn as much as you can about them. It will help you better understand their world, ask relevant questions, be more credible, and warm up those cold calls.