When a prospect tells you, 'I am not interested', what they really are telling you is you were not interesting enough! Want to improve your prospecting results? Then use a better cold call headline!
Why is Your Cold Call Headline So Important
When people read the newspaper, it is very rare they read every line of every article. There are just too many articles and too little time! In reality, people only have enough time to scan the paper, reading only the articles where the headline has caught their interest.
Similarly, it is rare for prospects to meet with every sales representative who calls. There are just far too many sales representatives and too little time! In reality, prospects will only invest their valuable time to meet those sales representatives whose headline of their prospecting approach has caught their interest.
So without an attention-getting cold call headline, you don’t get through the door. And as all salespeople know, you can’t make the sale if you don’t get through the door.
Salespeople and the Dreaded 'WHATEVER'
(Section written by Robert J. Weese) According to Marist Poll Results, the most annoying saying in the English language is 'whatever'. At first I dismissed the trivial nature of the finding with my own thoughts of 'who cares'. Then I realized the reason this has become so prevalent can be seen as a warning to salespeople & marketing departments everywhere.
So why is 'whatever' so important? The reason is quite simple. Today every North American man, woman, teen and child who has a computer, smart phone, land line, TV and radio is constantly bombarded with messages promising better skin, happier life, better health, faster speeds, more profit and the list goes on and on. Our reaction to all these messages becomes one of indifference regardless of their importance or bearing on our lives.
You Need to Break Through the Noise
(Section written by Robert J. Weese) According to research done by Media Matters, in the 1970's a typical adult had the potential to receive over 600 ads on a daily basis. With the exponential increase in the use of technology that figure has exploded to over 3,000 ad exposures daily from all forms of media. Even if this average is off by 50% you and I could still receive over a half a million ads each year.
Why is this important for salespeople? The reason is quite simple.
How to Create a Unique Value Proposition That Helps You Find New Business Faster
When you are approaching a new customer whether it's by phone, email, advertising or in person your message has to some how break-through the noise and clutter of all the other messages and move from 'whatever' to 'tell me more'. When you review your sales ready messages you need to determine without personal bias whether your target market is thinking “whatever” or are they prepared to say tell me more.
What Makes a Cold Call Headline Effective
As Bob said, your headline must answer the question 'What's in it for me?' If you only state what product or service you sell, you will not answer this question. However, if you also say why your product should be purchased or the benefits of using it, you will. That’s a headline that will make your prospects instantly think, “Tell me more!”
For example, 'My name is Sam Sales Rep, and I sell advertising for the Daily Press' is not a headline that would generate much interest. In fact, you lost this opportunity by the time you said, 'I sell…'! A better headline that generates interest would be 'My name is Sam Sales Rep with the Daily Press. We have been able to help many businesses like yours acquire new customers and increase sales through the effective use of print advertising.' What business owner is not interested in finding new customers and increasing sales? Now you have my attention!
Businesses exist to make a profit. Once they make a profit, they want to make more. The only way to do that is to either increase revenues or decrease expenses. Any headline that references this is sure to answer the question 'What's in it for me?' and will generate interest.
How to Create Your Cold Call Headline
For ideas on the best cold call headline, ask your sales manager. You can also ask other sales representatives within your company on what headlines have worked for them. However, if anyone tells you, 'Hi, how are you today' is their best headline, walk away! You are the victim of the latest office practical joke! In fact, there are 5 good reasons why you should NEVER use “How are you today?” when cold calling.
To find out how to create a headline that makes your prospects want to know more about you, check out this video, How to Create Your Best Elevator Sales Pitch.
You can also review your company's advertising and brochures to see what headlines your marketing department believes are effective. For more ideas, pay close attention to what advertisements and headlines grab your interest.
The best headlines evolve over time as experience teaches what works best. Monitor your successes and adjust as necessary. An effective headline can take some time to create, but it is time well invested.
What About the Best Opening Greeting Before Your Cold Call Headline?
According to Jack Vincent, the best opening line is '[Insert referrer's name here] told me to call you.' It’s hard to argue that, since referrals are considered one of the absolute best lead sources. (Check out this video if you would like a sure fire method on how to ask and receive referrals.)
However some salespeople would say, myself included, that a call to referred lead is actually a warm call, not a cold call. The opening greeting that I use is, “Hi, I hope you can help me today.” THe reason I think it is the best is because, in 30 plus years in b2b sales, I have never had anyone say, “No, I don’t want to help you.”
For more information on how this opening greeting is just the start to a proven cold calling approach that will open more prospect doors, check out my eBook, Action Plan for Sales Success.
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.