- Title: “Heat Up Your Cold Calls: How to Make Prospects Listen, Respond, and Buy”
- Author: George R. Walther
- Publisher: Dearborn Trade Publishing, Illinois
- Copyright: 2005
- No. of Pages: 186
- No. of Chapters: 17
RATING (5 IS A MUST READ – 1 IS LOW INTEREST IN READING)
Maintains Attention: 4
Applicability of Information: 4
As a student of effective sales and sales processes, Walther’s “Heat Up Your Cold Calls” is a very hands on and application oriented book. Walther writes in a clear, concise and practical manner. If you are looking for a book that will provide you with concrete strategies and sound advice regarding cold calling then this book is a must read.
Walther’s “Heat Up Your Cold Calls” is focused specifically on the process of cold calling with the sole purpose of producing results. Cold calling is not one of our favorite topics but for many businesses it is a fundamental source of revenue generation. Walther offers more than simply how to cold call, he offers a tremendous amount of insight and advice into the legal realm associated with cold calling. Walther shares ideas on the “latest tactics to keep you legal and profitable in a do-not-call world”.
Walther’s “Heat Up Your Cold Calls” is one of the more helpful books I have read regarding effective cold calling strategies and tips. Believe it or not he actually brought to a place of seeing cold calling as an effective strategy for growing our sales. His strategies and ideas are simple and to the point. Although it may take time and practice to become proficient at cold calling, Walther offers wonderful solutions to help anyone feel more comfortable with cold calling and ultimately to see results.
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS
Walther’s “Heat Up Your Cold Calls” discusses numerous strategies and concepts of effective cold calling. Walther has broken his book into five parts:
- Getting Ahead in a Do Not Call World
- Preheat Your Prospects
- Ready, Set, Dial!
- Get Past Those Hang-Ups
- Where Do We Go from Here?
GETTING AHEAD IN A DO NOT CALL WORLD
In the first part Walther challenges the notion of cold calling. He suggests that we should never make another cold call. But for those who dislike or even hate cold calling don’t think that you are off the hook. What he suggests is to make telephone calls that are pre-heated. We should spend time up front getting to know who we are calling and why we are calling them.
One of the major concepts of this part is that we should be seeking relationships not sales. Walther discusses the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. He states that “Efficiency is doing the things right” and “Effectiveness is doing the right things”.
Finally, Walther discusses the new laws that have arisen that protect people from receiving the annoying telephone calls from sales people like us. He discusses how developing and maintaining relationships can prevent us from violating those laws and ultimately fostering long term relationship where people look forward to hearing from us.
PREHEAT YOUR PROSPECTS
In this section Walther helps us find ways to preheat calls so that we never have to make another cold call. He shares how preheating prospects increases the likelihood that our prospects turn into customers. One of the strategies that Walther shares is taking advantage of various opportunities for speaking engagements. These opportunities “position you as a qualified expert in your field.” Another one is writing and publishing articles in publications so the business community sees you as knowledgeable.
One of the key strategies shared to preheat our calls is what Walther refers to as the relationship ladder: perceived affinity groups, formal memberships, implied referrals, and named referrals. He discusses each of these rungs on the ladder in detail as a mechanism to increase the success of our calls.
Finally, Walther discusses how utilizing email, the internet, and “old-fashioned” forms of communication can prepare prospects for us to call them. He suggests that these types of communication and manners in which to get to know your prospect prior to ever calling them will greatly increase the likelihood that the prospect will receive your call and ultimately become a customer.
READY, SET, DIAL!
Walther states, “Among the wide range of technological resources at your disposal, your telephone is still your most important tool.” During this section of his book, he discusses how to get prepared to make telephone calls so that you increase your chances of success. He starts by discussing how your desk and office are set up in order to minimize distractions so that you are solely focused on the prospect you are calling. Planning ahead for your calls is also critical. Walther suggests that we organize our thoughts and write down our goals for each telephone call we are going to make to a prospect.
Walther also discusses the frustration of voicemail. It seems we are all faced with leaving messages that seem to never get returned. He offers help in this area so that we are proactive in our voicemails in order that the prospect will return our calls. One of the strategies he shares is to develop a series of voicemail messages that focus on something a bit different each time. We need to track our voicemail messages so that we optimize the opportunity for success.
Walther focuses specifically on how to handle objections. He challenges us to embrace objections and see them as opportunities to help prospects move forward in the relationship building process. This is a critical mind set change for many of us.
GET PAST THOSE HANG-UPS
“In this section, we’ll salvage some of the common situations that may be getting you down – prospects who don’t want to meet with you; sales approaches that just aren’t working; prospects who flat-out won’t buy; and systems that make you work too hard for too little results.”
Walther discusses specific strategies for getting appointments with prospects. As part of this discussion he shares the Consult-Personalize-Recommend model of persuading prospects to establish a positive relationship with you. The main focus always remains on what the customer needs and desires. Walther says we need to “understand that when customers aren’t buying, your most productive course of action is to reexamine how you’re selling.”
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
“You don’t just read a book and wait for magic to happen. Implementing the strategies and tactics we’ve covered together takes a lot of work and time. You’ll need to stay on track and continually work toward heating up your cold calls and making prospects listen, respond, and buy from you.”
Walther concludes his book with a challenge and specific strategies to help the reader solidify what they have just read. He encourages the reader to simply do more than read his book, but to apply the concepts, principles and strategies that he shares.
CALL TO ACTION
The following three strategies are recommended to enhance the effectiveness of your cold calling efforts:
- Develop a mind set that sees sales as a relationship building process, not simply selling.
- Do your homework on prospects. Research the prospects web site and company. Understand who they are their field of business.
- Be creative and methodical when leaving voicemail messages. Have a sequence of messages and track which ones you have left.