When making cold calls, hitting the phones and having high activity levels is important. But that is not the only thing that is important or the only factor that can lead to success. In addition to working hard and smiling and dialing, there are very simple techniques that can be implemented to improve sales effectiveness. One cold calling technique is to name drop other people in the organization.
Why Name Dropping is Important
When making cold calls, the person that is on the other end of the phone will typically start out having their guard up at a medium level. As soon as the call begins, they will subconsciously be assessing who you are and trying to determine if you are friend or you are foe. A friend is someone they know, someone that works for the company, or someone that works with the company in some way or another. A foe would be someone that is more of a stranger and someone that is on the outside trying to get in. If the person on the phone senses that you are a sales person or trying to sell something, they will label you as a foe and their guard will go from a medium level to a high level and this will decrease your chances of a successful cold call.
What is Name Dropping
To avoid having the people we cold call put their guard up, we can use a cold calling technique of name dropping. This is where we mention someone else in the organization by name to present the image that we are already on the inside and that we are part of the team.
How to Name Drop
The way to effectively name drop is to simply mention the other people you have worked with, have spoken with, or have meetings scheduled with during your introduction on a cold call. For example: "Hello Ms. Gonzales, this Henry Johnson with XYZ Corp. I work a lot with Tina Smith in accounting.”
But the most common scenario, or when this can actually come in the most handy, is when you have not spoken or met with anybody yet. When this is the case, you can simply say that you are planning to meet with the person that you name drop. The great thing about this cold calling technique is that you can do this even when you have never spoken to the person that you name drop as the statement of “planning to meet” could just be your intentions and not a confirmation of your schedule.
How Name Dropping Helps
This cold calling technique can help in two different ways. First, the use of the name drop will bring the person's guard down by giving them a perception that you are a friend and not a foe. But secondly, if you name drop someone higher in the organization than the person you are talking to, it will motivate them to be more cooperative and helpful as they would not want and negative light shined on them.
Source: Jake Atwood, President at Ovation Sales Group & BuzzBuilder Pro