While there is an obvious difference between reaching out to sales prospects and getting contacted by potential customers, the details in the differences matter quite a bit for your company’s sales.
When you contact sales prospects via cold calling, for example, the responsibility to generate interest in what you have to offer, explain the value of your potential customer relationship, and create opportunity is entirely on you. On the other hand, when someone reaches out to you first, they have most likely already investigated your business and the products or services you offer; they know what they need and are calling because they think you can provide it to them.
Here’s where these differences matter:
1. Preparation – When you cold call a person or business, you have no idea who is going to pick up the other end of that phone, no matter how much your try to prepare and find viable sales opportunities. You may get lucky and speak to a manager who is receptive to and interested in what you are offering, or you may speak with someone who has no decision-making abilities within the company or who simply hangs up on you. This is why cold calling takes far more preparation than when you get contacted by a potential customer. You need to have a plan for multiple scenarios as well as getting through to someone who will listen and be intrigued by what your company offers. Alternately, when someone calls you, the only preparation that is required is that you are able to answer their questions and fully explain the value you can provide them (which shouldn’t be complicated if your business is actually capable of helping them).
2. Delivery – A customer who is already interested in the products or services you offer won’t require a fancy sales pitch. Instead, you can casually answer their questions, give pricing information, set up an appointment to provide further information or assistance, etc. When you reach out to a sales prospect, however, your delivery needs to be carefully planned and executed. In this instance, it is your responsibility to create interest and explain your value, but you also have to be careful not to be overly persistent. It is a matter of finding a balance by being pleasantly persistent; knowing when to not take “no” for an answer and when to move on to the next prospect.
3. Closing the Sale – If you have someone calling you who is already prepared to make a purchase, great! All you have to do is close the sale then and there—Simple! When you contact prospects and sales leads, however, there are many more steps you need to take on the way to closing your sales. Being a strong salesperson requires wearing many hats. Closing a sale means more than just getting on the phone and convincing a potential customer to buy your product or service; it entails research, listening skills, problem-solving abilities, and even near psychic powers to know exactly how to sell to your prospects. You need to know how to approach your target, explain how your business can solve their problem(s), and even preemptively guess any issues, questions, complaints, or hesitations your prospect may have to appropriately deliver answers to them by thoroughly familiarizing yourself with your prospect and their potential issues as well as any background information you may have. THEN you can work on closing your sale.
Researching sales leads, compiling lists, calling prospects, and following up is a lot of work and not everyone is cut out for it or has the time to do it while running their business. Luckily, there are companies like Bidslot that can do it all for you. We arrange meetings between service providers and potential customers, with bid appointments personalized for your company; each one is a potential customer who is already interested in your services. All you have to do is pitch your service or perform your demo, and close the deal!