We’re all in favor of preparing for a cold call, rather than just picking up the phone and “winging it.” Research can give you a clear competitive edge.
But watch out! There are two drawbacks to be concerned about:
1. It’s easy to go overboard, spending more time on pre-call research and planning than you do actually making calls. That wastes time and can become a form of procrastination.
2. You may become too rigid. Detailed scripting, a specific sequence of questions, or an over-rehearsed conversation can rob you of flexibility. Once you get past your opener, too much structure is not a good thing.
Best bet: Balance pre-call activity to fit the situation. Issues to consider:
- The value of the deal. When the sale is a big one, invest more time.
- The complexity involved. A simple sale, with one decision maker and a short cycle, should involve some homework, but not that much.
- Who you are calling. When you are reaching out to purchasing agents, you’ll research different issues than if you’re making calls to the C-suite.
In any event, do your online research or read those trade journals in the evening or over lunch, so it doesn’t interfere with your calling time.
Source: A posting by Jim Domanski. For more, visit www.teleconceptsconsulting.com
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