Five cold calling sales strategies that turn tough times to your advantage

by on February 2, 2010 · 1 Comment POSTED IN: Selling Essentials Info Center

Cold calling sales tactics need to be more value focused than ever

The Fed and most economists are saying that the market has turned and begun a slow recovery. Business does seem to be picking up steam. That’s great news, and an excellent opportunity for sales pros who seize the moment to make those long-delayed cold calling sales – especially if your competition has spent the last few months “hunkered down” to ride out the economic storm.
This is a great time to carve yourself a bigger slice of the business pie. Here are five strategies you can use:

  1. Stay true to your pricing with post-recession cold calling sales
    Buyers in the last U.S. recession paid 12% more for products than they paid for the same products in robust economic times. So don’t fall for the idea that in tough times, buyers care only about price. They care a lot more about the value you deliver. Economic contractions don’t last forever, and tough times always are followed by a period of economic expansion. Don’t set a precedent as a discounter that you’ll soon regret. Now more than ever, it is important to help the buyer see your offering as an investment, not an expense.
  2. Target smaller firms with your cold calling sales
    Smaller companies are faster on their feet. They typically fare better than larger companies in a slow economy, because they are bolder and quicker to act. They have surprising buying potential and frequency.
    In contrast, larger accounts will likely take more time to decide. Buying cycles in large companies generally increase by 40% or more when things slow down, because (1) they figure they have less margin for error and (2) buyers are even more risk averse than usual, since they don’t want to make a career-ending mistake.
  3. Focus on your best sales opportunities
    It is the quality of your leads that counts the most now. Resist chasing low-probability prospects. Research says you have a 1 in 14 chance of selling something to a new prospect. The odds of your selling more to a current customer are 1 in 2, and your second-best odds of booking business – 1 in 4 – are to former customers.
  4. Emphasize ‘can’t miss’ products or services with your cold calling sales
    In slower times and tight markets, buyers want to purchase a “sure thing.” When times are tough, buyers make decisions that they see as safe. Help buyers see you, your company and your offering as the no-risk option.
  5. Remain flexible
    Buyers today place a high value on suppliers being flexible with them. Some options to consider with your cold calling sales tactics: Lease vs. purchase approaches, extended payment terms or customized delivery schedules.
  6. Key point: Buyers don’t so much want a cheaper price as they do lower operating costs. Cost containment and cash flow top buyers’ lists of concerns.

And work those calls
In tough times, salespeople often assume nobody’s buying and cut cold calling sales calls to prospects by 30% or more. Instead, boost your calls by 35% and you will be in front of buyers at nearly twice the rate of your competitors – at just the right time.

Based on material by Walt Slaughter at

1 Comment on This Post

  1. September 30, 2011 - 8:27 am

    True. Any company can make use of cold-calling/telemarketing in any given time, be it during the peak season or recession. The five tips mentioned above are downright practical for cold-callers. And I bet those seem to be effective, particularly in difficult times. Thanks for this great post.

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