The term Cold Calling refers to the first contact (either face-to- face or through telephone) made to a prospective customer made without any prior appointment or context. Hence it is one of the more challenging avenues of beginning a sales process. However with some of the telephone cold calling tips mentioned below, it can be turned to an effective and meaningful way of bringing new customers.
Before we discuss about some cold calling tips and techniques, we need to look at some of the universal truths about cold calling. These tips generally apply whether you are cold calling for a new enterprise software or a club membership:
Cold Calling Tips – What Cold Calling is Not
- First remember that for all practical purposes, it is nearly impossible to sell your product/service during your first cold call itself. Imagine a stranger calling you during your busy schedule, and offering you a credit card. Will you buy something depending on what the caller says? Probably not. Research also indicates the same. According to AllBusiness.com “Eighty percent of new sales are made after the fifth contact, yet the majority of sales people give up after the second call“. So you need to freeze on the exact objective of your sales cold call – it can be anything like getting an appointment, offering a product demo, or getting further references.
- Though it can be an enterprise selling to enterprise (a B2B sales call), remember it is always a human calling a human. So just picking up the phone and dialing numbers from your database won’t help. You may be able to contact a lot of persons but the conversion rate of your cold calling will be low. Remember the phrase “Know your customer”? Well, first try to research about the prospective customer before actually cold calling them. You should do your research on topics such as “Have they announced any new products lately”, “Who else do they buy from?”,”Who are their clients?” etc.
- Accept the hard fact that no one is interested in you or in what you are selling during the cold call. Your customers are interested in only one thing – how can they benefit from you. So simply put, focus on how your product/service either helps them to increase their revenues or control their costs. One important point here is that though you may be selling something which is classified as a ‘cost center’, try to tie it up from a revenue angle. So if you are selling an e-mail solution, you might want to communicate that with your solution“employee productivity will go up by XX%”. Be quantitative where ever you can citing numbers to back up your claims.
- More than anything else, practice and try to improve with every cold call you make. How can you do that? Well one way would be to record your sales call and play it back to yourself. You will be able to listen to yourself as a third party which will give you important insights on what things you should improve upon in your cold calling. There are many ways through which you can record your phone call. We at Recordator.com provide a seamless way of recording phone calls without using any additional hardware or software. Remember, your customers are out there – but you have to let them know about you first.
Now that we have covered some general cold calling tips, let us get into the specifics. We will assume that you have already figured out the exact objective of your cold call and have done adequate research on your prospective customer.
Cold Calling Tips – Making each Call Count
1) The first 20-30 seconds are the most important in your cold call. So prepare an opening statement for the cold call. Start with a professional greeting like “Good morning” rather than a “Hi/Hello” and introduce yourself immediately. A sample opening statement for your cold call may look like “Good morning ! This is Adam from Amazing technologies and I got to know that you are expanding your branch network (take advantage of your research on the customer). We specialize in providing network connectivity solutions to growing enterprises”
2) The customer was not expecting your call and may say something that she is busy. Start off by showing respect to their time concerns by saying something like “I do understand that you must be very busy, but I will be absolutely brief”.
3) Now you can demonstrate an example, like how you helped ABC Inc ensure that their network was safe and scalable while they increased their branch network without incurring any Cap-ex. And that you would like to explore whether the same can be done for this customer. Make it a point to include your USP here(in our case it was the zero Cap-ex).
4) Now try to start a dialog where you try to understand their needs and whether you can offer something which has value for them. Focus on having a conversation and try to listen genuinely. Don’t just push aggressively.
5) If your final objective is getting a face-to-face appointment from this cold call, ask something like “Can we meet on the 21st of July, Wednesday at your convenience” rather than saying something like “can we meet sometime?”
One final cold calling tip – Don’t read or stick to a script ever. Instead, make it a point to practice. That’s probably the only way to be successful not only in cold calling but in life as well! And yes, you can use Recordator.com to record your sales call to improve your conversion ratio.