Let’s be frank. Cold calls have quite a bad reputation among salespeople.
It’s not hard to see why. The phone rings, and the prospect answers. No sooner than you introduce yourself and your company, they make an excuse (if they’re polite) and hang up. This scenario is all too common for any salesperson who has had to make cold calls.
When working with outbound leads, it would be foolish to let the low success rate of cold calling scare you off this approach. Cold calling can be a very efficient way to generate leads and boost sales—as long as it is executed with finesse.
In this article, we discuss essential tips and techniques that will help you complete cold calls that will lead to business growth.
What Is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is a lead generation and sales method where a company representative initiates contact with a potential customer. Telemarketing is a type of cold call, one that results in a sale. But cold calls can be used for different types of audience outreach. Sometimes, the goal is simply to start a conversation with a warm lead and impart information about your brand’s offerings.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C sales, knowing an effective cold call strategy will be a crucial driver of growth. So it’s time to put aside any hesitations you might feel before picking up the phone and embrace the tactics that will make a vast majority of your cold calls a success.
What Makes Cold Calls a Success?
A bad carpenter blames their tools. Similarly, poor salespeople say cold calls are ineffective. In truth, according to research by sales training company ValueSelling Associates, Inc., around 53% of salespeople give up too easily on a cold call, and nearly half of them (48%) are apprehensive about simply making cold calls in the first place.
Overcome your internal resistance to this method of connecting with future customers. Adopt some of the strategies below, and you will see better results whenever you pick up the phone.
Knowing Your Script
Your cold-calling script is more of a framework than a rigid, step-by-step guide. Going with the flow in a conversation before steering it back to your objective is a fine art.
You risk coming across as forceful or mechanical if you recite a rote script. Instead, prepare a loose script for your cold calls and keep these tips in mind:
It is vital to grab the prospect’s attention right from the get-go. Instead of blandly introducing yourself, open with a leading question that can start a discussion about your brand and its offerings.
Ask Pertinent Questions
The best way to keep the prospect on the line is to keep them talking. Come prepared with a list of questions that will elicit a response from the people you will connect with. And then find ways to relate their answers to your products or services.
Offer Viable Solutions
Don’t rush into a sales pitch as soon as someone answers the phone. Keep the conversation alive by listening to how the prospect responds to your questions and offer solutions based on those answers.
While your ultimate goal may be to sell your product, technical specifications might be lost on your customer. Highlight how they will benefit from your offering instead of getting into too many details.
Knowing Your Audience
For a cold call to be successful, you must build a connection with the prospect. Your potential customer picked up the phone to participate in a conversation, not merely listen to a sales pitch.
To forge that bond, you will need to know your audience on a deep level.
Speak the Customer’s Language
Cold callers need to come across as relatable peers to their prospects. You should sound like someone they would speak to even outside of work.
Bring Up Their Current Pain Points
Demonstrate awareness of what troubles your prospect by describing how you solved similar problems for existing customers.
Time Your Calls
Timing is vital. Nobody wants to take a cold call just as they’re leaving work on a Friday evening. Identify the best times and days of the week for cold calls by tracking performance over time.
Follow Up on Promising Leads
In sales, a “maybe” is not a “no.” If a lead is interested but unable to take action after first contact, call them back after an interval to see if they are ready.
Gaming the Gatekeepers
Not every outbound lead will lead you to a person who makes important decisions for their organization. In fact, it’s much more likely that your call will be answered by a gatekeeper—a person standing between you and the decision-maker. They may be office managers, receptionists, or executive assistants.
Though these gatekeepers may not have the power to make decisions, they can connect you to people who do. Knowing how to win these individuals over to your side is essential.
Being polite costs nothing and will endear you to the gatekeepers. Friendly relations could lead to appointments with decision-makers down the line.
Stay in Touch
Establishing a relationship with gatekeepers is the first step. Check back in regularly to see if you can take the discussion to the next level.
Fill Your Cold Call List with High Value Leads
If you’ve prepared a convincing script, diligently researched your customers and the market, and managed to win over gatekeepers standing between you and decision-makers with buying power, you’re ready to start cold calling.
But where should you begin?
Preparing a list of names and numbers to cold call can be a time-consuming process. Consider opting for the services of a lead generation agency. Companies like LevelUp Leads specialize in providing businesses with high-value leads no matter their industry. For B2B and B2C sales operations, having quality leads ripe for conversion is an absolute must. These experts can gather contacts much faster than you can in-house.
A new era of power-packed sales is calling. Will you answer?