Cold calling is one of the least popular sales techniques still used today. It is seen as intrusive, unwelcome, and a nuisance on the part of the recipient. As such, the person doing the calling can get frustrated and see the entire thing as futile. People understandably want privacy whether at home or at the office; a cold call can seem like an intrusion or a waste of time.
Don’t equate ‘cold call’ with ‘awful experience’
Cold calling used to be just about volume. Entire teams had a list of numbers to call and they would just run down it, calling all of the phone numbers so they can compile a list of leads to pass to the sales team. This is made more complicated by initiatives by communications commissions to give people the option to block unwanted cold calls.
While the numbers game still holds true to an extent, it is nowhere near as grueling as it used to be. There are tools these days that can help teams develop more streamlined ways of handling and transferring leads. Furthermore, if you stick to your list of numbers, you are less likely to contact a person who will react negatively to a prospecting salesperson. Here are a few things to remember when preparing for this exercise
Get your mindset straight
When you are calling, it is easy to fall into a pessimistic frame of mind. After all, the person you are contacting does not know you and has no idea how your company can benefit them.
Before you even dial the first number, keep in mind that you are looking to make a business connection; you are not asking for a handout. Be attentive to the person’s needs and confidently state how your company can respond to them. Then, you will have a more positive experience.
If you’re scared of what the person at the other end of the line might think, then you are not prepared to make a cold call. When you feel like what you have to say is irrelevant, your emotions will come across to your contact. Listen to your gut; if a connection feels wrong, or if you feel like it will go nowhere, you’re probably right.
Know what you want
Be clear with your own goals and be ready to state them upfront should your contact ask about them. This is not a discovery call; you should not be dialing numbers to hear what people have to say about your industry. Know exactly why you’re calling.
Do you want to set up a pitch meeting, are you introducing your business to an investor, or do you want to sell over the call? When you have a clear picture of what you want, you won’t be scrambling for what to say. In addition, you’re more likely to pay attention to the other person.
Be an active listener
Do not equate selling with talking; more often than not, the best sellers listen more than they talk. How else are you going to know what your prospective client or customer wants? Have a conversation with the other person; you’re not delivering a speech or a presentation.
If you’re anxious about going off-topic, you can prepare a rough outline. When you have bullet points, you have room to flow into spontaneous topics while retaining enough of a structure to reel your partner back to the things you really want to discuss.
Do your homework
When cold calling, you don’t have to go in cold; know who your prospects are. Look at their company information online, read as much as you can on them, and familiarize yourself with the company history. This will help you gain a general picture of their successes and their problems. When you do this, you can help them join the dots and see how your product or service is the answer to their issues. Researching your prospects will help you position yourself properly.
Nearly everything that makes a cold call successful boils down to good communication skills. Even with advancements like e-mail marketing, social media campaigns, and the like, cold calling has its benefits, especially in a world saturated with digital messages.
If you need help generating leads for your startup, contact our US-based experts at WhoKnows. We are the first AI-powered business network, and we help you find prospects and grow your pipeline with quality leads!