When we say winter, we think cold temperatures and snow. In Dallas, that usually also includes cold and ice.
In sales, nothing says winter like cold calling. Maybe the term cold call came from the frigid responses sales people get. Or, possibly the chill that goes down their spine waiting for someone to answer the phone.
Making a cold call isn't easy. If it were easy, then all insurance agents would do it.
We had a saying when I was in the Marine Corps, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." If your weakness is cold calling, here are five practical suggestions to make it less painful.
- Know why you are calling.
The purpose of cold calling is to open dialogue and establish interest. Most good insurance agents are wired to sell. During the cold call we aren’t trying to close. We’re trying to connect.
- Ask great questions.
Our questions should help the potential client (and us) see their situation clearer.
- Be biased but remain objective.
Remember people love to buy. They just don't want to be sold anything. As a trusted advisor, it's important to remain objective. Doing so will help your prospect understand that your purpose is to help them.
- Listen and listen more.
As a consultant, the more we listen the greater our ability to understand their needs. By listening we keep the focus were it should be, on them.
- Stay connected.
Keep in touch, and take good notes. They may be a long term lead. So, it's important to keep good notes and follow up when they may be in a better position to make a change. The prospect will appreciate our periodic quick calls to check up on them as well.
If you ask 10 insurance agents what's the most difficult call to make, nine of them will say the cold call. (The 10th didn’t answer because she was closing a sale.)
But, think of cold calls like treasure hunting and commit to improving your process. You will then have cold calls that seem, well, less frigid.
About the Author
As Vice President of Sales, Don Hobdy Jr. is responsible for ITC's revenue growth through product sales and strategic partnerships. While he doesn't promote any one sales philosophy to his team, he does incorporate a range of techniques from Sandler to Challenger in his methodology. Don, a licensed P&C agent, travels the country speaking to agents on digital marketing and agency efficiency as well as teaching continuing education classes. When he's not on the road, he enjoys firing up his smoker to cook amazing bar-b-que, watching his Dallas Cowboys, writing, and taking his three kids to amusement parks around the country.More Content by Don Hobdy Jr.