Tuesday, February 23, 2010

9 Tips for Successful Cold Calling

Cold calling is one of the most widely used marketing tools. However, it also remains one of the most feared methods, due to its painstaking nature and hostile, vague replies. The basic principle behind cold calling is, 'If you want business, you go for it.' If used effectively, cold calling will help you to achieve the desired response. It can be easily defined as the first step in turning prospects into customers. Follow these useful tips to pitch successfully to your clients or customers:

Tip 1: Make a Specific Caller List

Browse through various telephone directories to obtain the telephone numbers. You can also use the local library to create a detailed list of contacts. Keep track of your calls to avoid calling the same caller twice.

Tip 2: Make a Conversation, Not a Sale

Try to make a conversation with the prospect instead of selling your product. Begin with a short greeting or introduction, and make the receiver feel comfortable. Write down a polite opening statement like, "Sir/Madam, is this the right time to talk to you?" and use it to get the permission of the customer. Do keep the purpose of the call in mind and do not stray away from it. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 'best time to call.' Call during the work hours, when you are fresh and motivated.

Tip 3: Prepare a Detailed Script

A bound script will prevent you from wandering away from the topic. It will also act as a teleprompter if you forget your lines. However, the conversation should not appear staged. Maintain a free low of words, and add your spontaneous inputs whenever necessary. Maintain a polite phone manner throughout the conversation.

Tip 4: Covey the Purpose

Without wasting time, come to the purpose of the call. Briefly explain about the reason for the call and the nature of your firm and service. Allow the customer to offer his opinion in between. Do not interrupt the customer at any point of time.

Tip 5: Highlight the Benefits

Explain to the customer how he can benefit from the particular service. Include topics such as special discounts or incentives in the beginning of the conversation. This helps to keep the interest of the receiver intact.

Tip 6: Understand the Customer

Understand the customer while communicating with him. Find out information concerning occupational details during the course of the call. This will help you to gauge whether the particular customer can afford your service or not.

Tip 7: Fix an Appointment

Set up an appointment with the customer if he is interested in your product or service. Fix a time and place depending upon the customer's convenience.

Tip 8: The Follow-up

Sales goals are realised only after persistent meetings and calls. Maintain a regular contact with the customer.

Tip 9: Seek for References

If the particular contact is not interested in your service, then politely ask him to divulge contact details of friends or family members who might be actually interested.

Practice is the key to effective cold calling technique. Practice on a regular basis to master the art of cold calling.

Source: http://wahm.com/articles/9-tips-for-successful-cold-calling.html

Logos and Company Identity: Why it is Necessary

Logos and Company Identity: Why it is Necessary

Building a company identity through the use of graphic design (logos, business cards, website design, etc.) is an extremely important part of having a successful business. There are several reasons why having a logo and company identity are so important: it gives your business a sense of legitimacy, it makes your product recognizable and memorable, and it provides insight as to what your company is and what it stands for.

How Logos Contribute to Legitimacy

Having graphics for your company, specifically a logo, helps to make consumers believe that your company is established and stable. A company which makes a financial investment in a logo is a serious company, out to succeed. It is tangible proof of a dedication to the business, suggesting that the business will endure.

Customers can be comfortable supporting a company when they believe that they will be able to form a lasting association with that company. They will know that they have something to fall back on if there's a problem with anything, which is reassuring and will help to develop trust and consumer confidence.

How Logos Make You Memorable

Having a logo gives customers a visual representation to associate with your business. It makes any products branded with the logo instantly recognizable as yours, and provides added potential for word of mouth to spread. People will be able to remember your product and identify it.

For an example of how logos and the entire process of branding make a significant difference in how products are perceived, consider designer clothing. Some people will drop between $200 and $300 on a pair of designer jeans, but would never look twice at a less expensive pair of equal quality and design which did not have a brand name associated with it.

How Logos Provide Insight

Consider the strong and straightforward Nike "Swoosh," or the sleek and modern Apple design. Successful logos give a consumer an idea of what to expect from a company. A customer should be drawn in by your graphics and should be curious about the company which those grpahics represent. Make a list of the attributes you want to be associated with your company, and think of a design (or hire somebody else to) which accurately represents those traits.

Creating Consistency With Graphics

Logos are possibly the most important part of graphic design and are what will be what people focus on most, but this does not mean you should pay less attention to other aspects of graphic design associated with your company. Having your own colors and a general overall feel which are kept constant throughout the logo, website and print advertisements will give your business consistency and a polished appeal. A talented designer can help design company graphics, which are meant to be consistently representative of you and your business.

Creating a company identity and supporting it with your choice of graphic design will help you reach out to more customers and build a more successful business.

Source: http://wahm.com/articles/logos-and-company-identity-why-it-is-necessary.html
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