Cold Calling Pro Tip: Do Not Sell The Customer, Serve The Customer

It's not just salespeople. We all have to "cold call" once in a while.

In business and in life, you can't afford to sit around waiting for the phone to ring when you need something. At one point or another, you're gonna need to pick up the phone and call someone to get something from them. Whether it's money, or a favor, or a stick of butter.

And for a lot of people, the idea of calling someone out of the blue to ask for something - even a stick of butter! - makes them too anxious to even pick up the receiver.

There are countless cold calling tips out there, but I think there's only one that everyone should know:

Instead of calling to ask for something, call to OFFER something and continue to ask yourself How Else can you help this person?

No better example is the story Man in the Desert  which The Container Store teaches to everyone of its employees. 

As copied from The Container Store:


Imagine a man lost in the desert. He’s been wandering for weeks. He stumbles across an oasis, where he’s offered a glass of water because surely he must be thirsty. But if you stop to think about what he’s experienced and what his needs really are, you know that he needs more than just water. He needs food, a comfortable place to sleep, a phone to call his wife and family, maybe a pair of shoes and a hat to screen the sun’s rays.
When a customer comes to our store looking for shoe storage, for example, we equate her to a “Man in a Desert,” in desperate need of a complete solution. We start asking questions about what her needs are. “How many shoes do you have?” “If shoes are a big problem for you, how does the rest of the closet function?” By anticipating her needs, we know that she needs an organization plan — a complete solution — for her entire closet.
Most retailers are pleased with helping her find a shoe rack — that glass of water — but not at The Container Store. We don’t just stop with the obvious. Providing our customers with a complete solution through our Man in the Desert selling philosophy has been key to achieving one of our main goals of having our customers dancing in their organized closet, pantry, home office, etc., because they are so delighted and thrilled with the complete solution we provided them.


I love this story so much because it focuses on SERVING the customer rather than selling to the custom. It is easy to sell water to a man who has been walking aimlessly in extreme heat, but it takes empathy and real thought to put yourself in that man's shoes and come up with additional ways you can help him. 

Successful cold callers can quickly identify the person's wants and needs, but the GREAT cold callers go deeper and continue to formulate a complete solution, not just a quick or one-time-solution. 

So the next time you are making a cold call, don't panic, you got this! Identify how you can serve the customer and provide multiple solutions to their pain points.  



Quote of the Day: "If you don't second-guess yourself, you are not trying to get better.” – Don Mattingly 

Song of the Day: "Stop This Train" by John Mayer

*My latest book; "Living on Purpose: Stories about Faith, Fortune and Fitness that will lead you to an Extraordinary Life", is available for order - Click here*

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