How to Cold Call Successfully – Yes, Really!
28th February, 2018
Cold calling is not a dying art. It may be a tough skill to master but it’s integral to the sponsorship sales process. Here are four pointers to help you cold call successfully.
One of the largest sponsorship deals in the UK started with a phone call. The Millennium Dome, London’s well-known landmark, cold-called O2 out of the blue to pitch them the idea of sponsorship. It was clearly a good pitch as it’s now known as The O2 Arena.
If we’ve learned anything from endless PPI sales calls though, cold calls done badly can be disastrous, irritating the client and resulting in a blocked number. That’s why it’s such an important skill to learn – particularly if you’re looking for sponsorship.
Even sponsorship sales experts armed with a well-valued platform and a professional and concise sponsorship proposal will need to reach decision makers and interest them quickly. The best way to do this is on the phone for an initial sales pitch to wet their appetite.
If you want to conquer the art of cold calling and ensure you come away with the main aim of the conversation – a face-to-face meeting – here are four key dos and don’ts to consider.
DON’T make it all about you
The most obvious mistake sponsorship sales people make is being too focused on ‘me’. They explain too much about their platform, how amazing their event is and how there is nothing else like it in the market.
Instead, the best approach is to give the quickest, most concise elevator pitch possible and then make the entire conversation about the brand. How can you achieve their objectives? How will the platform solve their business problem? Why should they give you money compared to all the other sponsorship platforms out there?
DO ask questions
There are sales people who neglect one of the most important elements to any form of sponsorship pitch, they don’t ask enough questions.
Your ideal initial call should be short, only a few minutes long, but during that time you – as the sponsorship sales person – should talk far less than the brand. It’s important to understand as much about the brand and their objectives as possible.
A smart sponsorship expert can then turn any objections into positives, pulling across their various assets which can solve real business problems. The more the brand talks, the better the call.
DON’T use the same pitch for every call
It’s vital to ensure you aren’t going out with a blanket proposition to all potential sponsors. If you get the decision maker on the phone and simply pitch ‘brand awareness’ or ‘hospitality opportunities’ you’re going to get nowhere.
Researching each brand prior to the call allows you to tailor the conversation in your favour. Speak about their current clients, key markets, target audiences, how you can provide unique content creation and product integration. This gives you more credibility as it shows you’ve spent time understanding why your platform is beneficial to that brand as a business.
DO set a clear objective
Going into a sponsorship sales call with the objective to send across a proposal and potentially speak in the future is not productive. If you have the decision maker on the phone and they’re engaged in what you’re saying, then the key objective is to get face-to-face time with them.
That’s when you can develop a relationship, create rapport, influence their decision and spend more time understanding how you can solve their objectives.