Making First Contact with Potential Customers

Making First Contact with Potential Customers

I am sure that we are all in agreement that it is much easier to talk to an existing client than to speak to a potential client for the first time. That first contact is always the toughest, and it does not change this fact when making first contact with potential customers. 

That first impression is so important, and we don’t want to mess it up. Be perceived as someone that can add value to the customer. Someone that the customer wants to keep close and conclude transactions regularly.

The pressure of creating that particular interest in seconds with the potential customer is so high, and we want to give you some tips on reducing the stress so that you can become more successful with the interaction.

Accept the possibility of rejection in making first contact.

The first question to ask yourself is “what are they rejecting?” Are they rejecting you or your offer? Are they rejecting before you had a chance to tell them what you are selling? If this is the case, they are rejecting cold calling and not you.

Remember: Rejection is not personal. People are not rejecting you. But it is hard to deal with and reality in sales.  

What is the problem you are trying to solve with your product or service? Make sure your potential customer understands why your product or service will change their lives. Make them see themselves using your product. When setting up an appointment, ask to meet THEM, not “can I come and sell to you?”

Discuss the problem you are solving, build credibility and rapport before going in for the kill will get you in front of more potential customers and might reduce your rejections and stress. 

Also, build a relationship and give yourself more than one opportunity to get in front of this customer by using calling cycles as we use it in Accrete.

Prepare before making first contact.

  • Research.

You must deliver calls of value to your potential customers. Don’t waste their time. Establish a pre-call ritual of researching your prospect. Your prospects will open up if you show them you’ve invested time beforehand to understand them and their needs.

Proper research will also enhance your sales strategy and increase the chances of getting in the door and making the sale.

  • Scripting.

Without sounding scripty, prepare a general outline and script your approach. Customise it, before connecting, and tweak according to your strategy if your research on the potential customer shows it to be necessary.  

If your focus for the call is to do a sales pitch from the outset, you reduce your success rate tremendously. It would be best if you got them to commit to a meeting. They have to see the benefit of meeting you and what value the time spent with you will bring. 

Hit the numbers but keep the quality.

To achieve the target or quota at the end of the month, you must know how many potential contacts you need to make each day. Focus on achieving this number of interactions daily without exception and achieve the target at the end of the month.

With the help of our system, you can track your historical performance and get a more accurate prediction of what you must do daily.

However, don’t focus only on the numbers and miss out on successful quality interactions. Don’t just do more, do better with each interaction.

Timing is crucial

The best times for cold calls is in the afternoons on weekdays. Research has shown that Tuesdays to Thursdays between 15:00 and 17:00 provides the salesperson with calls that average out over five minutes in duration.

Keep in mind that your industry might have more successful times for cold calling outside of the researched times above. But on average, the times mentioned above is 80% more successful.

Know what you are aiming for – What’s the Goal.

You must have an expected and defined outcome for each interaction with a potential client, whether it is establishing credibility, making an appointment or closing a deal. 

Your attitude and confidence will increase if you know what you want to achieve and how you are going to do that.

Don’t just walk away.

Don’t be pushy when dealing with customers. You should be building a relationship of trust, and customers take offence when salespeople are too forceful.

On the other hand, don’t just walk away. If you believe your product or service will benefit the customer, it is your responsibility to make them see that over time if they don’t immediately. 

Using calling cycles can increase your success ratio. Download our free cheat sheet and do our coaching session on calling cycles to learn more by clicking here.

Using Voice Notes 

Don’t be afraid to send a voice note. Make sure you use a strong opening statement and create curiosity with the ending. Keep it no longer than 30 seconds. Make an impact, and don’t expect a return call. 

But keep on nurturing your prospect by making use of the calling cycles principle.

We hope that these ideas can assist you in making the job a little easier of making first contact. 

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