Personal Finance

Self-centred pitch is biggest deal breaker in cold calling


Approach prospects with their interest in mind. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Caller: Good morning, Jane/John!

You: Good morning to you.

Caller: I Hope you are well today...My name is (...) and I work for (...). We are a very large team of experts in motor car sales and engineering firm called (...). I was wondering if you would like to take advantage of my seasoned expertise to acquire a gently used motoring machine. I have been with (...) as a successful motor acquisition for well over 12 years now. I specialise in helping you hand-pick the best machine for your lifestyle and driving a pleasure. I also help you select a machine that will ensure you spend the least time and money on fuel and maintenance.

You: Err ahem!

Caller: Hello? Are you still there?

You: Yes, I would... (the caller cuts him off mid-sentence)

Caller: If I could have only 10 minutes of your time to further discuss this next week sometime maybe Monday or Tuesday?

You: ...? ... and ... All right? ... Thank you. “Kttkkk”! (hangs up shaking your head).

End of conversation.

Most of us are generally courteous. There is, however, a brand of salespersons that can test even the calmest of us and you really do not want to be on the receiving end of what you would finally have to say to get this pest of a caller out of your hair.

There is a myriad of off-putting assumptions in nearly every word the caller let out of his mouth but I am going to work with only one of them. I, I and more I. This call is a very good example of a problem looking for a solution. Yes, I don’t just hear you, I am with you on this — you would expect a sales pitch to answer to one or more of your problems and swiftly provide a solution.

That is unfortunately not the everyday experience of today’s prospective customer. This unfortunate approach is simply how many service providers are wired.

When you want to interest anyone in anything, anything at all, you must know that he or she is wired to think: “Benefit, gain, profit, bonus, discount, special offer, increase in whatever way for me.”

Every customer alive is yours for the taking. If, however, you approach him or her with the assumption that your prospect has a problem and come ensuite with a solution, you are at best a seller with an inverted concept of engaging with your market.

This concept makes only YOU, your best target client. Unless you can profitably buy all your own products and services, I suggest you approach with your prospect’s interest in mind.

buying decision

Back to that excessively repeated word. I won’t tell you not to but know that every time the word “I” escapes from your lips, your prospect moves three to five steps further away from taking the buying decision that you are looking for.

Understand that every single person you encounter is inherently vested in his or her own best interests. I realise how selfish this sounds and it is exactly at this point that your high understanding of humanity must come in.

Forget about how selfish others can be. Selfishness as a good trait. Because it is generally depicted negatively, I call it “selfulness”. Oh, forget about Oxford or Miriam Webster. ‘Selfulness’ is a word and I am graciously sharing it with you to use and freely share with others. ‘Selfulness’ is the innately woven desire to satisfy every single need and want in one’s life as a priority.

Others’ needs and wants come later. All right, I want you to relax, breath deep several times and exhale. Slowly. There are no hard and fast rules here. You have no obligation to understand or even appreciate this. If, however, you require to liaise with anyone in the world, this is is a concept you want to incorporate in your winning arsenal. Know that everyone is first interested in themselves, not in you.

So when you approach spitting “I” all over their eardrums, all they hear is; “you don’t know them, you don’t like them, you don’t care about them, you’re not in their corner,” and by the law of attraction, that’s the exact response you are sure to get from them; they don’t want to know you, they don’t like you, they don’t care about you, they are not on your side and are certainly not listening to you.

No one really cares about your name, where you work or if you work, the size of your team, how many years you’ve been at it and how delicately you can position a second-hand car.

Unfair and brutal? Get used to it; people care about themselves first.

Period. If you’re going have even half of anybody’s attention, you must purpose to be in the same space with them — thinking about and addressing them and the matters they are vested in.

This is the only way that you will get them to truly feel that you share their perspective and understand them completely... that you are in alignment with them, that You are vibrating in their very own wavelength.

One more thing — please toss out that dreadful telephone sales script into the bin. It kills your chances before your prospects can wrap their minds around the pronunciation of your name.