Calling a potential customer for the first time
All I'm saying is: “Hello”.
On the phone.
Immediately my sister knows how I am doing at this moment.
I don't even need to try to fool her.
My joyful spirit is pouring out.
Or my fake, trying to show a polished, forced smile.
She listens to my 'Hello' and knows.
As if she'd look straight into my heart.
Your experience may be similar to mine, in which case you'll be in good company.
Approach on an equal level
That's what my father told me.
To be taken seriously you need to talk confidently.
Easier said than done.
No doubt, it can happen that the side of the supplier can be experienced as lower status.
And lower position.
Because - oh yes, I want to sell them something. Knitwear from India.
And that’s the thing that worried me as I tried to convince my introverted self to start increasing my authority.
I’m an introvert and am the happiest behind the scenes, talking to my existing customers, making offers, developing new knitwear styles that make my buyers money.
But how do I contact new apparel buyers?
I never saw myself as an authority, but soon realized that if I wanted to scale my business, I had to become one
Because I knew that scaling my business, increasing our orders, is all about getting in front of my ideal customers.
It’s about stepping into authority as someone who gets results.
It’s about getting those dream customers to work with me.
And it scared me.
However, I knew my potential customer should understand straight from my voice that I'm approaching them on an equal level.
You don’t just say “Hi, I’m an authority” and you are. You don’t just say “You can trust me” and buyers do.
Trust and authority are earned.
With many things. How you show up is one of them.
I knew that fear and rejection were freaking me out
And causing me to not pick up the phone at all. I became a killer procrastinator.
So it only made sense to work on my mindset.
I know you are expecting me to tell you about how I increased my income in commissions. And I did. I got lucky with steady growth since starting to approach new buyers consistently. 20% increase in income each year.
That's despite being an introvert.
But I ended up with so much more. As soon as I got into the groove of talking with more and more buyers, I gained the one thing I’d been missing for so long.
My favorite 7 tips for picking up the phone and calling a potential apparel importer
1. Think transformation
To prepare me mentally I started to think about the positive things we do.
Which made me more self-assured about it.
The transformation I achieve for my existing customers. The success my company brings for them. All the solutions we provide.
I knew I have the solution that our customers need.
At least some of them.
Who can benefit from working with me?
According to my in-depth research likely the buyer I'm about to call.
I visualize our most important solutions. How we helped succeed our other happy customers.
And all the side benefits we bring our buyers. When you think about it - things pop up.
I got into the habit to imagine that this new potential customer will become a long-term business partner in a few months.
With that energy, I called.
2. Focus on it
I don't know about you, but my desk is full. So is my to-do list.
When there are people in the room it can get tough to concentrate on only one task.
Shut the door. I did my best to keep all other things aside, physically.
Focus only on the customer that I'm about to talk to.
3. Don't fake it
Fake it until you make it.
Trying to work on my acting skills was not an option.
That did not happen.
My prospects are unlikely to buy whatever I'm offering if they don’t trust me.
People have clear senses to figure out who is faking and who is real. And luckily you deal with smart, intelligent people where most of them are skilled and knowledgeable. Most buyers I feel are packed with excellent social skills.
I had to come with what I've got.
I am enough.
4. Feel welcomed
I started to visualize with my inner eye that this potential customer is awaiting my call.
Imposter syndrome had nowhere to go but out when I was able to talk without wondering if I was an intruder.
My call is not only awaited - it is highly welcome.
No wait, they're already running to fill in the orders for me. I imagined this buyer is desperate and eager to start the business with me.
5. Mirror the buyer
I’m not the only one who found that when you speak, you concentrate on this person, and with that, you mirror your buyers' mental state.
Then there's no time to think about yourself. And how you sound. Insecurities go out of the window.
Ultimately, it was important that I had done my preparations before.
Talking about what I knew showed me I know more than I gave myself credit for.
The real purpose behind me standing up for calls is to have my energy flowing.
For important calls, it's a habit to stand, not sit.
My lungs breathe more air, and my feet are grounded. They support a stable stand. My voice sounds wider.
O.k. I admit: I wear high heels. Yes, bad habit, I know.
Occasionally, when I get a bit scared, I'd get into a storm...
before picking up the phone I put off my shoes to get a 'grounded' feeling.
Like a strong healthy oak tree with widespread roots - that can survive any kind of strong wind.♥
We shine when we're flirting.
And let me ask you, is flirting with someone in a bar so much different than approaching a new buyer?
Don't get me wrong, but I guess it isn't...
- Take it light, easy, and playful
- Fascinate and excite
- Get interested and curious what the other end of the phone likes to tell you
- Listen more than tell
- Feel relaxed, it can get further and leads to whatever - but it's not sure
All of that will help you to open doors.
And if you do, those sales just might come.
Love to hear your thoughts on it.
If you feel like it, leave a comment.
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