Almost every business has to deal with a good amount of phone calls. It is a fact that a considerable portion of those calls are sales opportunities, many of which should come from cold calls.
Cold calling involves using business telephone systems to reach out to potential customers who have not explicitly shown interest in your product or service. It is a process with its fair share of frustrations, because an agent or marketer makes outbound unsolicited calls hoping to close a deal.
Delivering a sales pitch to people with little or no information on what you are offering is hard. Yet, it can reward you greatly if you do it professionally. Below you will find 8 useful ways to improve your cold calling.
1. Lay Down Your Goals
Some say, “Go with the flow.” But that’s not a real strategy. If you look forward to meaningful results, you need to put in extra time and effort. Take your time, write what you intend to achieve with cold calling. Next, come up with a draft on how to best go about it.
Cold calling aims at persuading the prospect to take some action. You need to have a CTA properly defined. Share it with the whole team, to ensure uniformity and clarity of purpose. Right from the moment a prospect picks up the phone, they will have a clue about you for future business.
2. Use a Cold Calling Script
As mentioned above, message uniformity is very important. However, there is the risk of your team sounding like robots. A cold calling script should only serve as a guideline and not a rigid template. Stay dynamic, listen to your prospect, and adjust the conversation accordingly while sticking to the script.
To come up with an effective script, you need to create and memorize a catchy introduction. A value proposition follows next, and some rhetorical questions can help start a conversation. Naturally, the prospect might counter and you need to be fact-ready to address any concerns. Lastly, practice as much as you can until you sound really convincing.
3. Invest In a High-Value Prospect List
Going for general lists is easy on face value but provides little to no value on time spent. Reaching out to too many prospects could also have you marked as spam. To cut down on this and other negatives, invest in an ideal customer profile. That will aid in coming up with a precise list, which assures better responses.
To minimize the time spent doing things manually you can use one of the many B2C prospecting tools available. They are available at a subscription, and with automated processes, they save time. Key in your ideal customer profile and they work their magic.
4. Research On Best Calling Times
Time of call dictates your campaign success to a great extent. Depending on your target prospects, some times of the day might be favorable. For instance, there are certain hours that would have you speak to a “gatekeeper”. Dig for information on when to reach your prospect directly and schedule a call then. Respect is paramount throughout the process.
Also, you might not want to contact your A-list prospects early into the process. Save the best for last. With some actual practice on other prospects, your confidence levels will rise. You will also have internalized most of the information you would want to convey.
5. Create a Relaxed Ambience
It is in relaxed states that most people feel free to open up. Cultivate a relaxing feeling for your prospect and they will most likely listen attentively. The longer they listen, the higher the likelihood that you will make a sale at some point. Do not rush your prospect and you stand to reap big.
To achieve a relaxed state, you need to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. What value proposition are you offering. The better you understand this, the more relaxed you will be. In that relaxed state you explain things convincingly and get your prospect to relax as you do so.
6. Rope Your Prospect In
Your primary goal should be to get your proposition into the prospect’s buying process. Getting them into your effective sales funnel might cause them a conflict since they might not feel in control. After you have them in a relaxed state, it is time to get them imagining. Remember, you do not have to close at the first call. Most of the time, patience pays. Get the idea into the prospect’s head alongside your value proposition.
Let your prospect have some say in the next steps. Schedule a follow up call if you have to. Provide some room for feedback as well, to have them feel in control. Discuss on feedback given and agreed follow-up steps for as long as you can. Prospects that feel heard are most likely to commit if not make a purchase.
7. Leave That Voicemail
Due to the high volume of calls people receive daily they often leave phones on voicemail. Should you come across such a prospect, compose and leave a brief, personalized voicemail. The game changes a bit, as your main aim now is having them call you back. You can automate this process by using voicemail drops.
Clarity determines the length of your voicemail. Thus, you need to decide on what you would like your prospect to know. Stick with one thing as you could leave follow up voicemails if so needed. It would be wise to have a custom template for voicemail messages. Keep them short, and maintain an energetic, friendly voice. Call the prospect by name where possible and avoid trying to sell on voicemails.
8. Normalize Rejection
It’s almost impossible to find a team or individual that closes every single call they make. Rejection is real, and the sooner you are used to it, the better. One of the best ways to conquer fear of rejection is to turn the tides. If someone says no, turn it into a learning session by asking, “why not?” It not only gives closure but provides some useful feedback.
Just as teams practice positive calls, you can set up negative ones too. Have colleagues answer calls in negative ways. It gets you accustomed and better prepared when that low moment comes. You can even compare notes on the worst responses people receive. Make fun out of them, and you will be better equipped to handle negativity.
Even with the constant rise of new ways of doing business, cold calling still remains a crucial strategy for business growth. If people out there don’t hear about what you’re offering, they can’t make a purchase from you. If you really want to do that you’ll need to use every marketing channel possible, including an outbound calling program.
The human interaction during the call also makes prospects warm up to an idea. At the back of their minds, they will know it’s a pitch. Yet, the personalized conversation makes them feel a sense of belonging.