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May 16, 2009

The Number 1 Reason for Cold Call Success

I remember when I was just starting to get into sales that I read a heck of a lot about my "unique value proposition". Something that would wow every client and something I had to get out there within the first 30 seconds of every cold call.

What garbage!

First of all there is very little that is really new under the sun. Everything has been done, and there are others who can do what you do. They may do it differently, with a slightly different slant, but overall it is nearly impossible to be truly unique.

So thats out.

Second of all, you do not have one value proposition you have many. It really depends who you are talking to, who you represent, and what you are selling.

Sometimes I am the local vendor

Other times I am representing a company that is 4,000 strong in Australia and 40,000 strong globally.

Yet other times I am representing an organization that is so flexible it can turn on a dime.

Or I am representing a company with unparalleled technology for this specific application.

If the person you have called on a cold call is willing to give you a fair hearing, then the number 1 reason for your success or failure will be determined by how well you can tune into their immediate thinking, and how well you can second guess who they want to do business with and what they might see as valuable in a partner.

Homework helps, experience helps more, but the key super-power you are going to need in this area is that of perception and understanding the market, because you probably won't have the time to establish a link and glean their requirements from early conversations.

Don't ask leading questions. Don't immediately jab out with crazy value promises. And do not, under any circumstances, start asking questions first.

Hi, I'm (Insert your name) I am the (insert your title) I would like the opportunity to introduce my company to you if thats not inappropriate". Stop, wait... they say okay, then state your case.

You win, you get a meeting, you lose, you get to try again with a different prospect. Great fun stuff...

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