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Cold calling based on trigger events

If you knew someone was a prospective buyer of your service or product because of a recent trigger event would you cold call? - by Houston
My name is Craig Elias and I am the creator of Trigger Event Selling.

Here is my take on cold calling and trigger events...

When you cold call someone in an attempt to sell them something, you're interrupting that person's day. The dominant instinct is always going to be for that person to find any reason to get off the phone and get back to what they were doing before you interrupted them.
"Your goal has to be to maintain your poise and get past that first fifteen to thirty seconds of the initial call ... which is always going to be a little bumpy.

“BUT -- the reason you're riding out those first fifteen to thirty seconds is not so you can try to turn the person into a short term prospect on the spot!

"Actually, you're trying to discover if this person has experienced a Trigger Event. If there has been such an event you want to find out what it was and when it happened. The Trigger Event could have taken place quite a while ago, it could have happened only recently, or it could still be on the horizon.

“These Trigger Events typically fall into one of three categories:
1.Bad Experience: The buyer has a bad experience with a product/service, with people, or with a provider. For instance, there may have been a product/service change that creates dissatisfaction.
2.Change / Transition: The buyer has a change or transition in people, places, or priorities. For instance, there may have been a change in the buyer at an account.
3.Awareness: The buyer becomes aware of the need to change for legal, risk-avoidance, or economic reasons. For instance: The person may have a new understanding that buying from someone like you is less risky than continuing to buy the existing solution.

“During the first minute of your call, use the opportunity to understand which of the following three buying modes the buyer is in:

"Status Quo: The buyer is completely happy with what he or she currently has. There has not been a Trigger Event in the recent past, but there may be one on the horizon. You may think this person is a waste of time and may want to move on to the next person on your list. Actually, if this person has money, authority, and influence, this is a great long-term opportunity. A strategy for this type of call is to start the relationship building process. I would also suggest that you check back in on a monthly basis to see if a Trigger Event has recently happened.

"Searching For Alternatives: This person is unhappy with what he or she has, has spoken to several suppliers, and probably already has a favorite. A Trigger Event took place a while ago, and they've already taken action on it. You may think that this is a short-term opportunity ... because the buyer is actively talking to a number of potential suppliers. This is in fact probably a medium term opportunity … because it is highly likely this buyer already has a first choice! Selling to buyers under these conditions typically results in a lower close ratio and a longer sales cycle – exactly the problem that you are experiencing. A strategy for this type of call is to position yourself as the buyer’s number-two choice -- so you get called first if the buyer's current favorite falters. You should check back every other week to see where you stand.

"Window of Dissatisfaction: A Trigger Event has recently taken place and this buyer knows that what they are currently using is no longer sufficient, but has not done anything about it yet. Because they tell you to call back in two months, four months, or six months you make a note to do that and move on to the next person on your list. Wrong answer! This is actually a short term opportunity, because the buyer is not talking to your competition -- yet. When you call back a few months later, even if you call a few weeks early thinking it will give you and edge, it’s very likely they will already be talking to your competition. The strategy for this type of call is to identify the business opportunity and pursue it immediately -- with as much happening on this initial call as possible and future contact taking place in the very near future. You must find a way to push a little bit and learn more about the Trigger Event, then try to set a near-term course of action.

Stay tuned for a great SalesPractice.com interview by Skip Anderson that will explain this and more.
- by Craig Elias
Without question. Cold call or visit as I would cross reference the DNCL first.

Success,

Rory Wilfong - by rwilfong
My point of view on this is going to be a little different.

Just because I may know something that has occured in a company's world, that MIGHT make them SEEM like they would WANT to talk with me, they may NOT be 'open' to talk with me about MY product or service.

They are a suspect. A cold suspect. They will not be expecting your call, nor will they most likely know who you are.

They may not have a budget for your services, or a willingness to invest money on the problem to fix it....no matter WHAT 'trigger event' has happened.

I believe that salespeople too prematurely label 'target companys' as potential buyers/customers much too early and then get disappointed or upset when the prospect doesn't turn into a client.

It's called prospecting for a reason.

The goal is to find a company who has a need for your service and is willing to talk with you. The person talking with you is very influential (the ultimate decision maker is best), has a willingness to admit your product has a need to fill and he is able to 'take the steps necessary to get things done', and will find the investment needed if he sees it makes sense to do so.

You can't label any company, prior to your first call as anything other than a 'potential opportunity'...or suspect.

You can't make this as cut and dry as a 'trigger event' might imply. It is not a flow chart....if this happens, then the next thing that follows is......(etc).

I love when people ask me for a cold call script that is guaranteed to work. You can't develop that. Unless of course, you give the prospect the script as well. Then they will know what to say when you call. - by Paulette Halpern
My response to this is going to be much different than others.

You can't predetermine whether you have a 'prospective buyer' for your product or service before you have your first one on one interaction with them, no matter what YOU feel is an event that occurred that MAY cause them to have a need for your product or service.

Too often salespeople decide, so and so is a good prospect....only to never have that company become a client and then they are confused as to why and some salespeople even blame the prospect.

The goal of the initial call is to see if you can get to the decision making level within the company, uncover whether THEY believe they have some need for your product or service and are willing to talk with you about it further. Only then can you learn whether they are 'willing and able' (have the resources and a willingness to utilize them) to bring your product/service into their company.

Until you are talking on that level, it doesn't matter what 'trigger event' you believe has occurred that 'makes the company' your prospective buyer --- they are still a 'cold suspect'.

You probably won't share that opinion. - by Paulette Halpern
Didn't Tom Hopkins write about three stages like dissatisfied, open to change and satisfied in 'how to master the art of selling"? - by Thomas
Thomas;

I have not read any of Tom's stuff but would be interested in where I can find it so I can read it before reaching out to him and see how he and I could work together.

If you locate this anywhere I would be very grateful if you could forward it to me.

Regards,

Craig - by Craig Elias
I have not read any of Tom's stuff but would be interested in where I can find it so I can read it before reaching out to him and see how he and I could work together.
Tom wrote "How to master the art of selling" back in the late 70's or early 80's. In that book Tom talked about those three phases. - by Thomas
Yes, call that prospect. But first, take some time to think through your message. How are you going to use that triggering event when you speak with the prospect? How will that triggering event influence your prospect? What is its impact on the prospect. Once you've thought everything through and planned your approach... then call your prospect. - by Wendy Weiss
My idea of a trigger is actually very different from what you folks are talking about. I am actually somewhat of an "expert" in this area. I am a sales rep for a company that has technology that allows you to see who is on your website and it also tracks your prospecting emails and tells you who opened them, when they went on the website, what they looked at, how long, etc..
To me this technology should put an end to cold calling........... - by b2brep
My point is this....Why on earth would you want to cold call?

Most business are sitting on hundreds and even thousands of warms calls, they just do not know how to identify them.

If you are a VP of sales would you want your reps cold calling all day or following up with prospects that read your email, went to your website and looked into your products or services??

It's a no brainer for me. - by b2brep
My point is this....Why on earth would you want to cold call?
Why on earth would you want to cold call?

1. Because cold calling is responsible for the production of a great deal of revenue.

2. If I have targeted XYZ company as a company I'd like to do business with, I do some research, perhaps check with my network for any perspective they might be able to provide, and then I pick up the phone and call best person in the company I can find.

That's why I'd want to cold call. - by Skip Anderson
My idea of a trigger is actually very different from what you folks are talking about. I am actually somewhat of an "expert" in this area. I am a sales rep for a company that has technology that allows you to see who is on your website and it also tracks your prospecting emails and tells you who opened them, when they went on the website, what they looked at, how long, etc..
To me this technology should put an end to cold calling...........
If no qualified prospects visit the website or provide contact information such as name, telephone number, email address your technology isn't of much use. - by Seth
Why on earth would you want to cold call?

1. Because cold calling is responsible for the production of a great deal of revenue.

2. If I have targeted XYZ company as a company I'd like to do business with, I do some research, perhaps check with my network for any perspective they might be able to provide, and then I pick up the phone and call best person in the company I can find.

That's why I'd want to cold call.
I agree with this perspective wholeheartedly.

If you learn of a possible opportunity triggered by some event, what is the big deal about picking up the phone?

Over-analysis can be a cop out for what some people refer to as call reluctance. Reach out for crying out loud! - by Ace Coldiron
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