Inbound marketing may be today’s biggest trend, but despite what others people may tell you, cold calling is not obsolete. The truth is that when a sales team uses it correctly; it is still one of the most effective methods for creating new leads, establishing high-value sales opportunities for your business, and developing your network. It is part of inside sales.
If there is an issue with cold calling, it’s the fact that it is a difficult skill to master. These 13 tips can help you to better incorporate cold calling into your company’s outbound marketing strategy.
Prepare for rejection when cold calling
To be blunt, the chance of making a sale from 1 cold call is very low. You need to be able to handle rejection while also starting out each call with the mindset that this could be the one who says yes. Think of cold calling as a sales approach which rewards persistence, you need to learn to shake off rejection.
Know whom you are calling
Do your homework to learn about the target customer. To have the best chance at success, you must not only be certain your contact is in a position to buy from you, but you also need to know why the person should want to buy from you. The more you know about the person, and his company’s needs, the better you can change your sales pitch to address real needs.
Have a plan before cold calling
The one surefire way to fail in cold calling is not having a clear-cut plan beforehand. Invest the time to create a goal for each call and use what you know about the lead to come up with personalized points you want to cover before dialling. You will also need to know how you want to end the call whether the customer seems interested or not in what you were selling. Don’t just say goodbye. Instead, provide an actionable next step your prospect can take.
Combine cold calling with other contact methods
To increase effectiveness, don’t only cold call prospects, include other communication methods to follow up with a target customer. Sending an email before and after speaking with a prospect is a great way to introduce your company’s product or service. Connect with them on LinkedIn and send them an update through messaging services. You need to reach people where they feel comfortable communicating.
Focus before dialing a prospect
Many top-performing cold callers have a small ritual which helps them to get into the proper mindset prior to making a sales call. Every person has his or her own particular way to psych themself up; whether it is listening to an inspiring song or spending a few moments deep breathing. Some people find that standing in a power pose or even smiling helps them overcome cold calling jitters. The key is to find something that helps you to concentrate and feel more confident.
Plan for the best time to cold call
Don’t waste your time trying to reach a prospect who is too busy to take your call. When you research your prospect, try to find out when they arrive at work, when they leave work, and any reoccurring meetings throughout the day. Schedule a call to coincide when the lead is just getting into the office or late afternoon when the day’s projects are just wrapping up.
Avoid robot voice
Once someone picks up the phone, they are trying to figure out as quickly as possible if this is a sales call. ‘Robot voice’ is an easy giveaway that will get you hung up on before you can finish your sentence. Avoid monotone, overly scripted speech, instead, call this person with the same tone that you would call your friend.
Open with a smile on your face, a little chuckle and have a good time.
Your words matter
Be careful with not just how you say something, but also what you say. You need to be selective about the points you discuss, while also paying attention to the exact words you will use to talk about them. Opt for inclusive language in a sales call since it immediately helps to create an attitude of cooperation with your prospect. For example, instead of stating you wish to “talk to” a potential customer about a topic can imply a forthcoming lecture, it is far better to say you wish to “discuss” a business solution. This suggests a two-way conversation. You will also want to ensure that your tone of voice shows friendliness and affability and never shows desperation or frustration.
Pay attention to what your lead is saying
Don’t become so wrapped up in trying to sell to your prospect you forget to listen to what they are saying. Not taking the time to listen is an easy way to miss key information that your prospect reveals to you. Although your objective for a particular call may be to sell, you should never pass up the chance to gain more details about the lead or their company.
Place your lead at ease
No one wants to hear an aggressive sales pitch from someone cold calling, so don’t give the potential customer a good reason to hang up. Instead, try to relax the potential customer with a friendly conversation. The more comfortable the prospect feels with you, the more receptive they will be towards listening to you.
Establish a personal relationship with the person on the other end of the phone
Before you start your pitch, try to build a meaningful connection with the lead. You want to come across as someone who is sympathetic to the prospect’s needs and as a resource capable of providing a value proposition to their business. This is especially true if you are pitching a high-ticket product or service. In this case, hold off on selling until you created a solid foundation first.
Use social proof to your advantage
A rapid way to build trust with a potential customer during a cold call is to show how your company has helped similar businesses become even more successful. Don’t shy away from name-dropping, especially if the company is a direct competitor.
Avoid overloading your lead with too much information
You already spent the time creating a plan for your call, so use it. Avoid presenting too much information too quickly. It is a much better approach to focus on one or two main points for the initial call and to use a follow-up email to delve into more details. Present information in organized short chunks, similar to bullet points, and remember to give your prospect time to ask questions.
Use open-ended questions during a cold call
Once you pitch your product; you want to keep the prospect talking by asking open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking, “Does our product seem like something which might benefit your company?”, ask, “How could our product benefit your bottom line?”
Give cold calling a chance, and you may find it is a great tool for generating leads for your company.