Cold calling is a phrase that will strike fear into a lot of the people reading this post. As with everything, practice makes the job a lot easier, and successful calls will boost your confidence in ways that you can’t imagine at this point if you’ve never experienced it before.
Cold calling will be beneficial for many of you running a service based business, particularly those selling to other businesses (B2B sales).
We’re going to go through the key aspects of generating business through cold calling.
What do You Want To Achieve With the Call?
As with any well-executed marketing move, a good plan is in order. First of all, you need to decide what you want from the calls based on what your business offers. Are you trying to sell a service or booking there and then? Or do you want to try and get a 10-minute call or meet scheduled with them another time? Or is it to get Defining your goals is imperative to building the right call strategy.
Build a List of Prospects.
Once you know what you’re aiming for, you’ll need to identify your cold calling targets and build a list that you can use later on. Start by looking in places such as your local newspaper, Google, Yellow Pages, and other directory sites.
You should also do a little research on all the people you contact, find something you can talk about to do with them or their business will help you show them that it’s not just a random sales call and that you have done some research. It helps get across that you have a solution for their problem, not just a solution for anyone you can keep on the phone.
What Should You Say on a Cold Call?
Opening Script and Objection Handling:
Your next step is to prepare what you’re going to say. You’ll find a general script will help you get the call going to the point where it’s a general chat. Having your opening “pitch” and a few objection replies lined up should be all you’ll need for the majority of calls.
Objection handling is a huge part of phone sales. If you have this covered then you’ll find out it can often be the difference between a sale or no sale.
A big key to cold calling is to get them talking as much as you can. You’ll find out everything you need to make a sale when you get them comfortable talking. You can use objections to instigate this.
Prospect: I already use someone for that
You: Okay, that’s fair enough can you tell me what makes them your preferred choice?
After they reply, you can explain what makes you different/better than their preferred choice, if not, you can learn from it for your next call.
Another common objection you will undoubtedly get is “I’m not interested”. To which it is a good idea to respond with “Can I just clarify is that just right now or are you not interested at all in improving *insert your services here*?”
You know your business best, get thinking about how you can use objections to your advantage because that’s the general approach. Be clever without being too pushy.
You may want to tweak it as you go but don’t give up too quickly on your script. It may just be a lack of confidence and delivery holding you back in the beginning, something that will get better after a dozen calls or so.
Progressing the Call:
It’s important to remember that the idea is to bring the conversation round to a general chat as best as you can. The more you get them talking, the better. The more you can learn about them and their needs, the better. Ask questions, and relate to them if you can. This is where your research on them will come in handy.
You will find with calls where you get the customer to open up and start answering questions will give you all the information you need. You simply need to pay attention to what they are telling you, and find where your products or offering applies to them – Don’t jump in and try to sell these points to the prospect when you think of them! Remember it, and save it for later on in the call, or a follow-up call if it seems appropriate.
When Should You Call?
Call times will vary depending on who you’re trying to reach. Most of the time, you’ll likely to be trying to reach a manager. If you get through to a receptionist, you may hit a brick wall as most will have been told to just reject sales calls and not allow them any further. You’re more likely to get a manager on the phone around the last hour of opening in a lot of places, so keep this in mind when doing your initial research.
You should also plan to do your calls in sessions. Every time you start making cold calls, it can take a couple to ‘get back into it’ so to speak.
Schedule your time to make cold calls and look forward to it, get yourself excited and pumped for it, because that’s what it takes to get something back out of this type of marketing. Your mood carries in your voice, and it’s hard to make sales and connections with people if you’re downbeat.
General Tips Summed up
- Smile: In relation to the last point, your smile will help convey an upbeat attitude.
- Annunciate: pronounce words properly.
- Make sure that your telephone manner is good.
- Be professional, you are representing your business!
- Ask questions, learn all you need to make a sale.
- Make the customer feel important!
Don’t get disheartened by hang-ups and swearing, you’ll hear some shocking things cold calling, but it’s a little less likely to happen with business to business calling, as you’ll be speaking to people representing their own businesses or their managers. Just take a deep breath and move onto the next!