The art and science of selling to cold executive leads

Selling to cold executive leads is a quandary that can confound even the most seasoned execs, but is it an art or a science?  Well, it’s both. 

At Linked Strategies, we specialise in generating executive to executive leads, so we know there are certain things you can apply time and time again in almost any sales situation – the science. We also know that selling to cold leads is different, especially when it comes to executives, and that’s where the art comes in.

Most organizations in the B2B space are built to sell to referred networks they already know. The requirement for them to have great salesmanship – sales artists, let’s call them, is minimal. If you want to really scale your business, you have to move out of that and generate sales from cold outbound leads. That’s where we can help. Check out our blog on reeling in executive leads via email. 

Once you’ve got a prospect on the phone, there are three key concepts you need to master to turn them into a sale.

  1. Master the discovery call 
  2. Providing a business analysis or impact analysis. 
  3. The details of closing the deal. 

Now for the art of selling to cold leads. The mistake most commonly made is that you think you have to share what you do first, then ask the right questions to cold leads. Avoiding doing a demo until you’ve completed your discovery, especially for execs, because that’s respectful of their time.  

You also need to identify as quickly as possible, is there an opportunity here? Is what we do capable of solving a problem the prospect has. Then you need to start thinking – when does this problem need to be solved? Can we do it in the timeframe? Who’s involved in the decision making process? Am I talking to the right person? 

Whatever the answers to those questions, don’t get off that call or meeting without scheduling the next one. 

The big difference with cold leads is establishing trust, credibility and rapport with the prospect, because those things don’t already exist. You have to come across professionally which in turn builds rapport. 

Most sales people come across as tacticians not strategists in the sales process. They want to take orders, not consult or share a demo, not analyse and give advice. Those individuals will never be consistently successful at selling to the cold lead market. If you have a team like that, trying to do outbound strategy, it’s a guaranteed fail, so change it now. 

If you’d like an analysis to see how you could do better on sales calls contact us here. I’m always happy to share advice.