You’re dreading it.
❌ You don’t want to make that cold call.
❌ You don’t want to be pushy.
❌ You don’t want to be salesy.
You just want to meet with the customers that already know you and love you.
I get it.
But there’s a simple shift you can make to ensure that:
✅ You don’t dread cold calling.
✅ You don’t come across as pushy.
✅ You don’t act salesy.
Simply ask yourself: “How can I be of service to this prospect? In what way can my product help this person?”
Get clear on that.
Then take a deep breath, and pick up the phone (or walk in the door).
You’re there to be of value, not to push your own agenda. You know that.
The key is to lead with an opening statement that concisely states how your product will help them.
Below I share a formula to help you create your opening statement.
First, here’s a quick excerpt from my book where I recount the short-lived job I had selling knockoff perfumes door-to-door in Italy during my college semester abroad. As you will see, I had zero understanding of how to craft an opening statement, and how to convey the value of my product.
As I walked up the steps to the apartment building, clutching my kit of sample perfumes, my heart pounded in my chest, and my mouth felt dry. I felt the last bit of sunlight warm my back before I stepped into the apartment building lobby. Then the massive door thudded behind me. I looked down the hall at the row of apartment doors that were all shut in obstinate silence.
“Who lives in these apartments?” I thought to myself.
“Will I remember what to say when they open the door? What if they get mad at me for invading their privacy? Why would
they even want these awful perfumes?”
I nervously stepped up to the first door and felt my hand tremble as I knocked. A middle-aged matron in an apron answered the door. I blurted out the line I had rehearsed: “Posso lasciarle questo volantino? Can I give you this brochure?” She looked at me and nodded, appearing baffled by how an American girl could have ended up in her village, knocking on her door, speaking to her in Italian. As she fumbled with the brochure I’d handed her, I gathered the courage to tell her how I had some special perfumes with me. Then I whipped out one of the sample spray bottles. “Posso?” I asked. “May I?”
Can you relate? Have you ever felt guilty of invading another person’s space, even if it wasn’t door-to-door sales?
Now, I’m willing to bet that the product or service you represent is far more valuable than the knockoff perfumes I was selling.
The question is, can you concisely and effectively communicate that value to your prospect?
Here’s a simple formula to help you create your opening statement in cold calls:
1. Even if you represent an extensive product line, think of one specific product that is most relevant to your prospect.
2. Identify a key benefit to that specific product. Ideally this benefit should include a specific number, such as “My product can help reduce bone fractures in your osteoporosis patients by up to 50%.” (Mention a specific data point from the research literature.)
3. Ask if they would be open to learning more about it at a time that suits them best. “Would you be open to learning more about this, at a time when I’m not interrupting your patient schedule?” In this way, you show respect for their busy schedule, and you make it easy to say yes by simply asking if they’re open to learning more (not if they’d like to buy your product, or make any marriage-like commitments). When they say yes, ask what time would work best for them.
Relationships take time to build. You may have to reach out to that prospect multiple times before you get a meeting on the calendar. Be patient, and be consistent in your follow-up. It’s better to follow up consistently with 10 prospects, then it is to reach out sporadically to 100.