In the past, a cold call was the first step is the sales process. Sales agents would blindly dial every number from the list to find somebody who is interested in their product or service. The outcome was very much determined by the theory of probability. There must have been at least one person out of 100 who would agree to meet. The agents did get appointments this way, but it was too time-consuming.
This is highly impractical even for a modern call center equipped with some super efficient blended call center software, where agents don’t have to dial each number manually.
Cold calling done right
Many people have reportedly given up on cold calling, but this marketing approach is not dead. Outbound calls can be very effective if treated as the second step to the sales process. Contemporary cold calling is about capturing the leads. People are more likely to speak with you if they acknowledged that they might be interested or if they at least have heard of you before. In this post, we’ll discuss seven cold calling techniques that really work.
1. Prepare in advance
Before you reach out to people, determine who you are going to call and when. You should know all that in 24 hours before actually starting to call. The routine is very important in this matter, so dedicate the exact amount of time that you’ll be spending on cold calls every day and follow your schedule. This way, you will create all the necessary conditions for a productive work and there will be no need to think about the right time for calling on the very day when it is supposed to happen.
2. Research each prospect before calling
As dull as it may sound, you really need to spend some time preparing. Again. Do your homework on the company you’re going to call and the person you’re trying to reach. Look them up in LinkedIn, go through their official website, Google the latest news about them, and learn more about their competitors. You’ll be able to use this information for your benefit once you face the first objection or hear a shade of hesitation from the prospect.
3. Build Rapport before you start pitching
Building rapport is essential during each sale. Try to develop a personal connection with the prospect. You can find points of contact as you do research or you can do it directly during the call as you talk. In any case, the person on the other side should feel that you are on the same wavelength. Once they trust you, it becomes much easier for them to buy something from you.
4. Don’t rush into selling
Make sure that you and your prospect are both ready for this. He who asks questions stays in control, so ask as many questions as possible. Learn more about the business needs of your prospect and then use this intelligence to structure your pitch. Always remember that people don’t really care about you or your product/service. They only care about the value that it can bring to them.
5. Stand up and smile
There is a very close connection between the posture and emotions. For example, if you hunch over the table, you sound exactly like the person hunched over the table — dull and uninspired. Luckily, the posture can beat insecurity and discouragement. Get up and smile when making a call. This will make you feel more energized. If you are especially insecure or anxious, practice at home. Although it may sound silly, rehearse your script in front of the mirror. Think of each call as a theatrical performance; if you know your part well, there isn’t much that can go wrong during the show.
6. Reflect on your progress
Measuring and analyzing your progress is essential as it will not only keep you more organized but also will give you a sense of accomplishment. Listen to your successful calls to know your strong points and analyze unsuccessful ones to spot the weaknesses and then go back to technique #5. Reflecting is a great opportunity to celebrate your achievements and analyze your failures.
7. If you have referrals, use them
The response rate to the voicemail is so low that many agents simply don’t bother leaving messages and move on to the next call. While this may be the right thing to do, there are some cases when it’s best to go an extra mile. Therefore, if you did research your prospect and found a common connection, you have to use it for leverage. It’s highly likely that you’ll get a callback if you mention a referral in the voice message by name.
These cold calling techniques are very easy, but they can increase your sales dramatically. Use them to boost your effectiveness.