Cold calling is tough.
As we have touched on in our other blogs there is always rejection to contend with, hence having the right mindset, routines and doing the preparation required is vital.
When it’s tough regardless of who you are talking to, it makes sense to talk to the people who are most likely to make the sale. A common mistake is to think the higher up the management chain, the harder it will be to make the sale.
This is wrong. There are two key reasons why.
The person you are talking to may be more experienced, thus harder to get a yes from. However, getting a yes from someone who does not have the authority to purchase what you are selling to their company is of no use. You need to talk to the person who can make the final decision, even if it’s the more intimidating cold call.
Also, if you are talking to the relevant manager about a solution for their department, they may be more defensive and evasive about the issues and their departments room for improvement (as what you are selling is almost always a solution). The executives, particularly the CEO are under the most pressure to produce the final results. They will have the most pain over targets not being met. They will be the bluntest with you about the issues the company department of interest has (which you may be able to solve). Finally, they will be more open to the solutions you propose because it’s not ‘their department’ and improving the departments performance is what matters to them, not their ego.
In this sense, ten cold calls to CEOs could be worth more than a hundred to mid-tier managers. Even with the extra time an effort needed to prepare and deliver to a CEO, it will still be far more efficient to call them.
Depending on your industry and product the person you should contact may be the procurement manager, the relevant executive or the CEO. Their experience will make them a more difficult and intimidating contact. You will also be calling less people per day, so you will need to increase your hit rate. Hence, it is even more important that you to do your research and preparation so that you have the best chance of making a good first impression, continuing through sales process and eventually making the sale.
It also pays dividends to develop the right mindset. Research has found that 80% of sales performance can be attributed to mindset. Having the right attitude to the call you about to make, believing that it will lead to a good outcome is vital. To read more on mindset, check out our post on the topic here.
So, in summary, it’s not the number of calls you make, but the number of quality calls. Quality calls begin with calling the right person. So, if you want to sell more, start calling more of the people who have the authority to close your sale.