Marketing is tough. Cold calling is tougher still.
If you’re making cold calls, you’ve got a grand total of 2.7 seconds before you lose the recipient. He may be polite and wait until you pause for a breath before he cuts you off. Or he may click you into oblivion in mid-sentence. Either way you’re outta there, and you’re not getting back in.
That’s a measly 2 seconds to make a first—and maybe last—impression. The success of your marketing effort depends on it.
What’s a marketer to do? Here are a few ideas to help you survive that brutal 2 seconds:
- Be sharp in your presentation. Make your opening line provocative, arresting. Don’t waste words. Be crisp. No verbal fumbling. Remember, everybody is in a hurry these days. Respect your recipient’s time.
- Prepare your presentation in advance but don’t sound canned. Sound sincere, spontaneous, genuine. Have a script in your head—not in front of your eyes.
- Use the recipient’s name. People are egotists. They love to hear their name spoken—it’s music to their ears. And maybe they’ll give you a few extra milliseconds of airtime to have your say.
- Conversely, if you can’t pronounce the person’s name, don’t try it. You’ll embarrass yourself and irritate your listener.
- Be flexible. Remember the old joke abut the telemarketer who got stopped in mid-stream and had to start over again? It’s true—and it isn’t funny. Be prepared to venture off the beaten path if the caller wants to go there.
- Open with humor. If your recipient is smiling or chuckling, the 2.7 seconds can easily extend. You don’t have to be Rodney Dangerfield. Be your better self.
- Don’t drone on and on endlessly. Ever! Go back and reread point #1.
- Thank the recipient for his time when you close. Remember the manners your Momma taught you.