Remember the numbers game? Well, that is the same thought behind sending out sales letters. The hope is that with every hundred or so letters, a few sales will result.
If you donít know how to make a call from scratch and build trust, it seems to make sense to rely on a letter, brochure, or e-mail to do the job. But once you learn how to cold call the right way - with the new mindset - youíll realize that sales letters really arenít any help at all.
Here are four reasons to consider making cold calls without referring to a sales letter:
1. You get pegged as a traditional salesperson right away
When you start your cold call by referring to a sales letter, youíre following a traditional sale and marketing technique. This indicates to potential clients that youíre a traditional salesperson.
Do you really want to be associated with something that brings up painful memories of sales pressure? Better to break out of that negative salesperson stereotype entirely, and offer something new.
2. People just donít read sales letters all that much
The hope is that potential clients have seen your sales letter before you call. From among all the other letters that arrived on their desk that day, you hope theyíve read yours (which is unlikely), and remembered it (even more unlikely).
The idea is that when you call, they already know what the call is about.
However almost no one reads sales letters. If they do, they remember them only vaguely.
3. Cold calling conversations are harder to initiate
Most people take it for granted that it makes sense to send out a letter before cold calling. They think this gives them something to start speaking about. They can say, "I sent you a letter, did you get that?"
Nevertheless, when you call, these are the reactions you typically get:
ē What letter/e-mail?
ē What was it about?
ē Sorry - I donít remember seeing it. What are you selling?
You may as well not have sent out the letter at all. Saying, "Hi, Iím just calling to see if you got my letter?" does nothing to move the conversation forward or to generate two-way dialogue. Youíre still at square one.
4. A sales letter makes you talk about yourself first
When you start your cold call by explaining what a sales letter was about, youíre talking about yourself, your product, and your company.
This is exactly what weíre trying to avoid in the new cold calling mindset. We want to talk about how to solve their problems first, not about what weíre selling.
Isnít it true that sales letters, brochures, and e-mails focus entirely on your company and your product or service, rather than on solving a particular clientís specific, individual problems? Itís essentially just an advertisement that youíre referring to. Moreover, youíve lost the opportunity to be seen by your potential client now as a problem solver.
Youíre just another salesperson whoís only interested in making a sale.
So what do we do?
Suppose your marketing manager sent out several letters or e-mails and you need to follow up. How would you open that conversation? By simply making your cold call without mentioning the letter. Just because your company sent out the letters or e-mails doesnít mean you have to refer to them. In most cases, the letters are only going to hurt you, not help you.
Basically, if you have to follow up on a sales letter, then treat the cold call as usual and donít refer to the letter at all. Youíll find that you wonít be tagged with the "telemarketer" stigma, and you avoid being pulled into the numbers game. At the end of the day, youíll feel much more satisfied with your cold calling approach. Youíll be able to continue moving forward, firmly anchored in the new cold calling mindset.