If you hate cold calling, you’re part of the majority who hates dialing the same customer eight times. Here are 15 cold calling tips to help you do it better.
Marketing strategies come and go, except for one. That “one” is, of course, cold calling and it’s as beneficial now as it was 50 years ago.
That said, cold calling isn’t easy. And if you’re not a social person, it might be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do. Nonetheless, if you want to build a reliable and consistent customer base, you’ve got to do it.
Need a little help with cold calling? You’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 tips for you to utilize.
1. Draw Up an Outline
First and foremost, unless you’re the most charming and most knowledgeable-of-your-subject individual that there is, you need to draw up an outline. This outline should serve as a general guideline for the conversation that you’ll have on each call. It will help focus the conversation and will prevent you from making any catastrophic gaffes.
A cold call outline should focus more on establishing a relationship than on making a sale. In fact, it shouldn’t involve the question of a sale at all. The primary purpose of the cold call is to score a more formal meeting in the future.
Keep it short, keep it casual, and focus it on the lead. Making an offer this early on in the business relationship rarely turns out well; it’s anxiety-inducing and maybe even a little intimidating.
2. Practice Your Pitch Out Loud
You’ve drawn up an outline. It seems solid enough. Now it’s time to call the first number on your list of prospects — or is it?
In truth, no. Before you make any calls, you need to practice your pitch out loud. Doing so will not only help prevent you from flubbing lines, but it will also provide you with an opportunity to spot poor portions of your outline.
If you’ve got guts enough to listen to yourself speaking, you might even consider recording yourself on your phone. This would offer yet another perspective, allowing you to nail down your pitch in as thorough a manner as possible.
3. Research Your Leads
Due to the repetitive nature of cold calling, it can be a little difficult to see leads as actual businesses with actual needs. At some point, they just look like more names on a list. But you can’t slip into this mindset; you have to treat your leads as individual and unique entities.
A good way to do this is by researching each lead before making the call. Gather as much information on your leads as you possibly can. Scour their respective websites for info on their history, their services, their suppliers, their partners, and otherwise.
The more you understand about your leads, the more you can tailor your calls to them. This not only enables you to establish a meaningful conversation with each lead, but it also shows the lead that you’re willing to put the effort in. And if the lead is impressed with your knowledge and work ethic, he or she will take you much more seriously.
4. Empty the Room
Cold calling requires focus. The modern world is a difficult one to focus on. As such, when undergoing a cold calling marathon, you’re advised to empty your room of all potential distractions.
This includes everything from computers to TVs to books and more. You might even want to consider putting the blinds up, as there’s plenty in the outside world that can distract you as well.
To get good at this, you need to find a zone. You’re not going to find that zone if you can’t keep your mind on a straight path.
5. Invest in Quality Leads
Perhaps the biggest challenge of cold calling is finding appropriate leads. Having a list of relevant leads is hugely beneficial, as it prevents you from having to make random calls to random numbers. Finding a lead that you know is interested in your product or service gives you a much better chance at closing the deal.
For this reason, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to invest in leads. And yes, by “invest,” we mean “pay for.” Sure, it could set you back a bit in the initial phases of your business but could also go on to pay dividends down the road.
There are all sorts of lead generation sites online. These sites generally cater to specific industries, for instance, HVAC or web development.
The key is to find one that caters to your industry, but that also has a solid reputation. That said, you could very well stumble across a diamond in the rough, like this alternative for leads for lawyers.
Join industry-related online forums and ask around. Someone is sure to have a good recommendation for you.
6. Get Comfortable With Rejection
As was noted above, cold calling is an activity rife with rejection. The vast majority of people you call will turn you down; some might even get angry with you for disturbing them. But you can’t let this detract you; you need to remember that this is vital to the success of your business.
As such, you need to do everything you can to get comfortable with rejection. Don’t take it personally. For all you know, you could be the 5th person a prospective client rejected that day.
Go into the call with a balanced mindset. Exude confidence when making your pitch, but be mentally and emotionally prepared for rebuffing.
Related: What To Do When Someone Ignores You
7. Relax the Environment
Calling strangers and interrupting their days doesn’t exactly scream relaxing. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn your cold calling sessions into torturous strangleholds. In fact, you should be doing everything you can to promote the opposite, that opposite being calm and relaxation.
Light some incense; play instrumental music softly in the background; turn down the lights to a nice dim, if possible. Do everything you can to relax your environment. The last thing you want is to sound tense while making your calls.
And think positively. Sure, the majority of the people you call won’t be interested in what you’re selling. But eventually, somebody will be, and that somebody could very well end up leading to a sale.
8. Take Advantage of Human Psychology
As human beings, we tend to be attracted to things that others are attracted to. This is the basis of essentially every fad that has ever existed. It’s one of those deep-rooted psychological foibles that we’ll probably never shake.
You, as a cold caller, need to take advantage of this. How can you do so? By demonstrating social proof.
For instance, let’s say you’ve already provided your service to a client and it has benefitted that client in a substantial way. It would be wise of you to bring this up to your leads during cold calls, as it would show them that they’re missing out on something that could benefit them as well.
This takes prospective clients out of the “guinea pig” position and puts them into the “educated consumer” position. They’re no longer taking a shot in the dark at an unknown service. They’re instead considering utilizing a service that has proven valuable in the past.
9. Show No Hesitance
One of the mistakes that novice cold callers make is showing hesitance once they get someone on the line. For instance, they might ask something to the effect of, “are you busy right now?” or state something to the effect of “I don’t know if this is a good time”.
Statements such as these tend to lower the caller’s value in the lead’s eyes. This is so for two reasons: it shows a lack of confidence, and it wastes time — and nobody likes wasting time on the phone with someone they’ve never met.
Go in strong and act like you’re supposed to be there. Cut to the chase, make your pitch, and let the prospect decide on the rest.
10. Call at the Right Times
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when making cold calls is the time at which you’re making them. Put simply, some times reap much better results than do others.
An InsightSquared study showed that Tuesdays were the best days to make cold calls, followed by Mondays and Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays showed lower “connect” rates, indicating that it was more difficult to get someone on the phone as the weekend closed in.
As far as time-of-day went, any time between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM was ideal. That said, decision-makers tend to have more time available during the afternoons. As such, you should focus in on between 1:30 and 4:00 PM.
Note, weekend cold calls are not advised. In fact, some individuals will get very upset if bothered on the weekends.
Simplify the Cold Calling Process With These 10 Tips
Cold calling is a numbers game. Whether you’re good at it or not, you’re going to get rejected a lot. But if you utilize these 10 tips, you’re sure to make the sales you’re looking to make.
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