If you’re new to cold calling, I’m pretty sure that you’ve already come across self-help or confidence-boosting articles that will equip you for the task. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. There’s nothing like a pep talk before you go out into the field for the big game.
So, now, you have some notes and memorized the script. You can almost see the words floating right in front of your eyes. You breathe deeply as you listen to the ringing and wait for the person on the other line. When that person picks up, you start shooting out the information you’ve rehearsed like the terminator on a rail gun. In 5 seconds, you get cut off by the customer saying he’s not interested and hangs up.
Don’t worry, lot of salespeople make the same huge mistake. When making calls, often times they tend to mix up cold calls with a sales calls, which is completely different.
What are Cold Calls?
The purpose of cold calls is to break the ice so you can set an appointment for a sales call. You warm up to each other and probe for snippets of information that will be helpful for the sales call. Examples of helpful information are his issues with the service provider or what he aims to achieve in the process. These are useful bits of information that can be dug up with small talk and some good questions.
Now, I’ll be sharing five tips that could help your effectiveness and efficiency in making cold calls.
Tips for Cold Calls
1. Not everyone on your list is a worthy customer.
Before jumping into a call, it always pays to know more about who you’re calling. This will give you an idea about who they are and their company. There are instances when you thought you struck gold with an interested party only to find out later that his small one-man business can’t afford your services. In that case, you just wasted each other’s time with a dead end deal.
2. Don’t spend too much time researching.
This may seem contradictory to the first tip, but there is a big difference between having an idea and conducting a case study. Only research essential information and details that the customer already provided. Don’t dig too deep. You might spend 10-15 minutes researching only to realize you could easily ask about it a minute into the call. But the worst thing? You spent more time researching than being on the phone with the prospect.
3. Get in touch with the person in charge
It’s always important to speak with the person in charge. If he’s not in the office, ask for the best number to reach him, like his mobile.In case that’s not allowed, ask for the best time to reach him at the office and call him then. If that doesn’t work, just drop it for now and get on to your next prospect.
4. Keep it brief and simple
Don’t shower your prospect with information he does not need. He doesn’t need every single detail about your company’s services. Remember the purpose of the cold calls is to warm thing up and schedule a longer sales call. Find a general issue that your target market all share and bring it up. Work on that then throw in the solution that your company can provide. Emphasize how it will add value to his business. Once value is established, breaking out the price later on will come as a lesser challenge.
5. Set the Appointment
When setting the appointment, make sure to ask the prospect when is it most convenient to discuss matters further. It is essential to have him set a schedule wherein his only focus will be for your call. Preferably before or after office hours and never during his lunch break. It won’t be effective talking to someone who is in a hurry to have lunch or go back to work.
Off days like Saturday are also considerable if he sets that schedule for it. It’s highly likely that he’s very interested in your proposal since he’s willing to spare a weekend for you. Never book an appointment more than two days after the initial call. This ensures you that the spark from the initial call is still there and makes it easier to pick up from where you left off.
So there you go, my two cents on cold calls. This is no cure-all or miracle recipe but it’s bound to help one way or another so I suggest you keep an eye out for what works for you coz you never know, it could be one piece of advice that could help someone close a sale and turn their lives around. Let’s help change the world cold calls, one hang up or voicemail at a time.