Home > Cold Calling > I'm new and I want to become good. Any advice?

I'm new and I want to become good. Any advice?


I recently took a job making cold calls to private citizens to try and convince them to attend a free presentation on personal finances. The only reason I took this job was because I saw it as a great challenge and an opportunity for me to grow as a person. I've gotten the idea that working in sales go hand in hand with developing a positive attitude and improving interpersonal skills. So far my co-workers as well as the posts I've read on this forum confirm that belief, so things are great in that regard.

I'd like to improve my general cold calling skills. What are some steps I can take? Any books to recommend? I've read a lot of popular success literature, some books about NLP as well as the book Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion. However, I haven't read anything specific to cold calling or even sales, really.

I'd also love to get some feedback on my script. This script was given to me by my boss and he's advised me to stick pretty close by it. I'm not very comfortable with it though and it doesn't seem to have what I've seen termed as a General Benefit Statement. This is a literal translation from Swedish so the flow will be a bit off, just so you know;

"Hi! My name is Unmedicated [using only first name] and I'm calling from mycompany. Is this xxx I'm speaking to?

So glad I managed to reach you! We're working together with the banks of our country and right now we're informing about upcoming changes to pensions and savings. This will be arranged in a meeting at (our address), if you know where that is?

[waiting for them to say yes]

Great. And right now we're arranging this meeting free of charge, so I was wondering if you'd prefer an appointment before lunch or in the afternoon?"

Most people never let me get to this point. I feel that the script does an insufficient job of getting them interested in our offer. What could be changed about the script to make people more interested?

Many thanks to anyone taking the time to read and respond! - by Unmedicated
Let's look at the first words out of your mouth right after the scripted salutation part:
"We're working together with the banks of our country..."
What does that mean? Exactly what work have you done so far with the banks of your country? Specifically. - by Gary A Boye
It's terribly vague, and honestly I don't have a lot of insight into that part of the business. I feel like it would be easier to convince people if I really knew what we did well and believed in it. However, even the top performer in my office tells me he doesn't know the specifics of the business in detail.

To answer your question, the specific work we're doing together with the banks is that we recommend various services and investment opportunities provided by different banks. Because we're unaffiliated with any of them, we can offer a more unbiased opinion than our potential clients could get by going to their banks directly. We earn our money through provision paid by the banks for directing business to them.

But the part about currently working together with the banks makes it sound like a huge co-operative effort, which I don't think it is. I don't feel too sincere when I'm saying it. - by Unmedicated
But the part about currently working together with the banks makes it sound like a huge co-operative effort, which I don't think it is. I don't feel too sincere when I'm saying it.
Unmedicated, we get hundreds of posts from anonymous new members working for anonymous companies that ask for help on the "script" they are using. This is particularly true in the threads on "cold calling."

Obviously it would be impossible for an advanced member here to create a script for you or your company because we know even less about your services than what you described as being your knowledge. If the brain trust in your company really cared about a proper strategy, they would have paid someone to create one.

You're on the right track when you revealed: "But the part about currently working together with the banks makes it sound like a huge co-operative effort, which I don't think it is. I don't feel too sincere when I'm saying it."

Selling is a thinking person's game, and you are demonstrating that with those words. You started this thread with this: "I'm new and I want to become good. Any advice?"

I'll take those words at face value and give you some advice which will propel your career in sales if you decide you want to continue in it. This particular advice pertains to your situation, but it's based on two understandings that embrace all of selling and the mastery that can be achieved.

First, PREPAREDNESS is THE most important SKILL in selling. If the company you're working for understood that, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Second, RIGHT MINDEDNESS, is THE most important TRAIT among the authentic sales achievers in the world.

It's obvious to you, of course, that those two concepts go far beyond the arena of sales.

You began this thread with a question. I'll give you the most important question you, or anybody, can ever ask about their sales work. It's this:
Am I the right person selling the right product for the right reasons?
I get the impression that you are on the road to asking that question. Good luck! - by Gary A Boye
Gary, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out and I understand your point about anonymous new posters asking about their scripts. As always, in my opinion, it is not the particulars but the underlying principles which are important, which is why I'm very thankful that you answered my post in the way that you did!

You've forced me to confront the somewhat uncomfortable reality that I am not really interested in finance. I took this job because the pickings were slim but also in particular because I wanted to learn how to sell. I realize now that it might not be quite so simple.

If I am not the right person selling the right product for the right reasons, then I'll either have to strive to become that person, or I should look for other opportunities elsewhere to make a living. You've given me a lot to ponder. - by Unmedicated
I hope no-one minds me cutting in on this thread.

I think that this is a fantastic statement.

Are you the right person selling the right product for the right reasons.

Although I have a "salesman" job title. All I want to do is help people as I believe my companies service does that. I always have done but I clearly don't sell enough or have the right things to say at the right time e.g 1st contact with decision makers.

I do love the energy market tho. Have done all my working career. It's my selling skills that are the issue and it's down to me to overcome this fast - by joeybside
To both Joey and unmedicated,
"Rome was not built in a day". The people worth listening to on this site have spent years becoming good sales people. And not wasted years. Years of paying attention and trying things and wanting to be better.

It seems you both yearn to be better and that's a great start.

Great points from Gary about PREPAREDNESS and RIGHT MINDEDNESS.

Can I add, "you have two ears and one mouth, use them in that ratio". Too many sales people are so concerned about what they have to say that they forget to listen. You'll go a lot further in sales by being interested (listening) rather than trying to be interesting (flash talking).

I am presuming that both of you work with other sales people. I would also assume there would be good and not-so-good sales people among them. Find out what the best sales people are doing and learn how to do it. Find out what the others are doing and do not do it.

Unmedicated, if you choose to leave your job that's OK but that does not excuse you from doing your best to improve NOW. Remember what Gary said about right mindedness. You will do far better looking for a new job from a place of strength. - by Greg Woodley
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