Cold calling with dignity (yours and the prospect's)

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by: John Caddell

I had to do some cold calling today, so naturally I worked from Jeff Thull's script. It's simply the best approach I know to keep the dignity of the customer intact while you're interrupting them with an unsolicited pitch.

And since I hate getting cold calls, when I do my own cold calling I try to keep that in mind. Here's Jeff's 20-second pitch, outlined nicely in his new book Exceptional Selling.

Convey professionalism by identifying yourself and your company straightaway. "I'm John Caddell with Caddell Insight Group." (Don't ask how they are doing today.)

Give the prospect an easy way out, and show respect for his/her intelligence by admitting that you don't know if they need or want what you're pitching (note: you should have done sufficient preparation and qualification to believe they very well might need your solution). "I'm not sure if it's appropriate we should be talking."

Show relevancy by connecting what you do to companies like the prospect's. "We work with companies like yours who are developing breakthrough technology products…"

Connect more deeply by referencing a generic problem they might be facing. "…and occasionally have difficulty getting their sales forces to embrace the new product."

Ask for permission to continue. "Do you have a moment to talk?"

There's lots more to the method, especially if they say, "Yes, I'd like to talk more." But you'll have to read the book for the rest.

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