If you’re in sales, you need to read “Redefining the Elevator Pitch” before you pick up the phone to make yet another cold call. You’ll quickly realize that there is a better way to approach those people who haven’t yet expressed an interest in your service or product. And then your next step? Refine your approach using the advice below.  

Your first step: Review your current approach 

First, think about how you currently approach your cold calls. Consider the following: 

  • What do you currently say to prospects? 
  • How effective has your approach been in getting them interested in talking to you further? 
  • Do you try to keep a prospect talking using typical telemarketer “tricks” only to find yourself wasting your time in the end? 
  • Do you quickly get off the phone or out of the conversation if the prospect doesn’t seem interested vs. trying to spend more time getting them to buy? 

Be honest in your feedback to yourself, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Your goal is to improve, and that makes the discomfort worthwhile.  

Your second step: Refine your approach 

After you’ve objectively considered your existing approach, look for way to improve. Here’s an exercise for you to try: 

  • Before you even pick up the phone, do some prep work. Identify one or two business capabilities that your product or solution has helped customers solve in the top three industries where your products and solutions sell.  
  • For each one, write an interest generating statement, using this formula: 
  • “Typically our customers find that X problem is causing them Y pain. We’ve been able to help them solve this problem by providing Z solution capabilities. This has resulted in (list benefits, ROI, measurable outcomes, etc.) for our other customers.”   
  • End the interest generating statement with the following question: “Are any of these issues for you?” 
  • Once you’re on the phone with a prospect, use the appropriate interest-generating statement. Then ask for permission to speak with them further about how your products or solutions can help them.  
  • End the call with a clear action or next step that is designed to lead to additional discussion. For example, request a follow-up meeting or phone call and schedule it on the spot.  
  • Follow up the call with an email confirming the conversation and the action item/next step, plus any information you promised them. Send the email within 24 hours of the phone call. 

After a few weeks of trying this refined approach to your cold calling, do another review and consider how it is working for you. Do you see increased interest by prospects to learn more? Are you more quickly getting off calls and on to other business if the prospect isn’t interested? Are you seeing more prospects in the sales funnel? The answers to all these questions should be yes. If not, refine your approach yet again using this advice.  

Because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. And you don’t have time for that.