I’d like to introduce you to a radical new thought. In the old sales mindset, you’ve probably been trained to focus only on making the sale. You approach your cold calls with the idea of moving things towards a sales event.
But think about what this does to your cold calls. Before you even say "hello," you have an agenda. You want something. Your prospects can sense this immediately, and they put up their guard. As people, whenever we know that someone wants something from us, we automatically move into a defensive place. You probably do too if you’re talking with someone who has an agenda.
Can you see that your sales focus actually destroys the possibility for a genuine, trusting conversation? It is focused on yourself and your desire for a sale and not on the other person.
Salesmanship vs Relationship
It is time to re-think the way you approach cold calls. When your strategy is to make a sale, then you’re someone who has to be "watched." You’re not weighing what’s important to the other person. And so to them, you can’t be trusted.
It’s much better to build a trusting relationship into your cold calling process. When people feel you’re relating to them, there’s no need to be suspicious and defensive. There can be a pleasant, productive, truthful dialogue about whether what you’re offering makes sense for them.
So, it’s really about trust and relationship. Why? Because when given the choice, people always prefer to do business with someone they trust.
Here are two fundamental shifts you’ll need to make if you want to move away from the old "sale-focused" mindset.
1. Release the Need for Control
Whenever you’re trying to control the outcome of your cold call, you’re not allowing the conversation to have a natural rhythm and flow. You’re trying to maneuver things in a certain direction.
You’re not building a relationship; you’re trying to build a sale. You’re focused on things like getting information, finding the decision maker, scheduling an appointment, or closing the sale.
All of this sets off "alarms" for people. Prospects can sense that this kind of interaction is somewhat of an impersonal, pre-ordained process. They know it really hasn’t much to do with them.
So how can you shift into something more positive? Begin by consciously surrendering to the outcome of your cold call. When you do this, you’re no longer trying to manage things. You can be relaxed and helpful.
This is subtly but powerfully felt by people. When they recognize you’re not "pushing" for a certain outcome, there’s an opportunity for mutual exploration, and you can be viewed as someone who is trustworthy.
2. Focus on the Other Person
When you start your cold calls by talking about your product or service, most people "shut down" right away.
You’re talking to someone who doesn’t know you, and you’re trying to get them to step into your world. Instead, try stepping into their world. Think about what matters to them. Put yourself in their shoes.
The best way to do this is to think about what kinds of problems they may be having. For example, let’s say you provide invoice management systems. You might start with something like, "I’m just calling to see if you’d be open to exploring new ways to solve revenue loss from unpaid invoices."
Now you’ve started your cold call by focusing on the other person’s issue right away. You’re not talking about yourself. You’re "tuned into" their problems and difficulties. This feels really good to the individual, and you’ll more likely share an open, trusting conversation.
When you don’t have strategies and "pitches" built into your cold calling agenda, you can be a real person talking to another real person. Now there’s an opportunity to explore together in a more trusting way whether what you’re providing is a fit for them. The difference will astonish you.