Tips for Making Cold Calls Easier
Most of us can agree that out of all the tasks we have to do in our business, cold calling ranks at the bottom of the list for enjoyment, especially if you are introverted like me. The thought of having to pick up the phone and dial a number to speak to a complete stranger can send a salesperson into panic mode. Fears of rejection or getting flustered with what you want to say hang like a black cloud over the anticipated call. Luckily, there are tips and techniques that one can follow to make the process go more smoothly, and with a little practice, even the most introverted salesperson can make a successful sales cold call.
Research your prospects
In order to make a successful cold call, it is best to do a bit of background research on the person you aim to be speaking with. The more information you have about the prospect, the smoother the interaction will be. Create a list of prospects who fit with your target market and buyers personas. If you haven’t determined who your target market is and created at least one buyer persona, you need to stop reading here and develop these first. This step is absolutely critical because you need to know the types of businesses or consumers who need your products or services.
Now that you have your prospect list, you need to do some research. For example, Google the company you’ll be calling and try to determine the right person to speak with. Depending on what your product or service is, this person and their role at the company will vary. Make notes for talking points on how you have helped similar companies in the past. If you cannot locate the appropriate person right away, the person you’re talking to might have a company directory with all the information you need, such as email addresses or phone numbers. Also, pro-tip, if the person has an unfamiliar-to-you name, find out how to pronounce it before you call. There’s nothing like getting off on the wrong foot by mispronouncing their name. If there is no information on the individual, you will have to be prepared to speak with whoever might be answering the phones.
If I find an email address as well, I draft an email prior to calling and I explain my intentions for calling. However, since your email is unsolicited, there is a good chance that they will not have read it by the time you call. This can work to your advantage, however, because the next step is to call. This call acts as a follow up to an email that you sent earlier and they’ll know right away that you follow through on things.
“Hi, I’m following up with you to make sure you received my email yesterday.”
If they have seen and read your email, they already know why you are calling and they won’t be completely caught off-guard. If they haven’t seen it, then this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself.
When you have all the necessary information and have sent the warming-up email, you should create a script to follow, so you can talk about all the points you intend to make.
Tips to follow for cold calling
- Introduce yourself and the company you represent. Be articulate and don’t rush. Take time to also show and pay attention to what the other person is saying.
- Establish a rapport with the prospect. It isn’t all about doing a hard sell. Be authentic and personable. People like to do business with people they can trust and feel comfortable talking to.
- Introduce them to your company and why you are calling them and how you have helped similar companies.
- I always like to ask about scheduling a meeting to discuss their needs further. Suggest a day and time. If you leave it open, they might not call you back. Instead, offer something such as, “How about next Wednesday at 2 pm at your office?”
- The hardest part of this process for individuals like me, namely introverts, is rejection. However, to be in business and in sales, you are necessarily going to face a lot of rejection. You can handle this in two ways. You can take it personally and let it bother you until the end of days, or you can take it as a learning opportunity. You can also ask the person if it would be alright to contact them in a few months to see if anything has changed. You can ask if they can be added to your email list, so you can stay top-of-mind with any new specials you might have. Maybe the reason why you were rejected was that they had other projects scheduled and what you are offering wasn’t in the current budget but they might be open to working with you in a few months.
Depending on your industry and your target audience, your cold calling script will vary. The important thing to remember is to truly listen to the needs of the prospect when making the initial call. Be friendly and respectful. Being pleasant, honest, patient, and attentive will go a long way to future interactions with them.
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