Cold-Calling: The Most Important Tip and a few more...
Cold-calling. When people hear that phrase, it’s hard for them not to think about rejection!
Many Inside Sales and Sales Executives, who have been cold-calling, believe it forces a person to come out of their comfort zone, and that they often struggle to be successful.
Let alone a first time co-founder trying his hand in cold-calling to land his first business deal.
Usually 10-15 seconds, is all it takes for your prospects to judge if they would continue on the call any longer, and hence, it is essential to make a good first impression.
There has been a lot of study on cold-calling and the process has been there for a while now.
Hence, there is a lot of content/write up/blogs on what to do and what to avoid. People keep reading about these but never put it in practice.
Here is the most important tip: Try picking up that phone and make that call.
Self-Motivation is a key skill in cold-calling. Most of the inside sales people would agree.
And, now that you have mustered the courage, here are some more tips to increase your chances for success when cold-calling:
It is important to be energetic and friendly. No one wants to receive a call where it sounds like you have made the same call over and over again. Treat each call as if it is the first call of the day. Remember, excitement is infectious!
Clients don’t want someone who just reads the same script and sounds robotic. You can have a script, but don’t memorize it. Use the script as a guide to lead your conversation. Be genuinely interested in learning about their problems. Be Genuine.
Time of Day
What time you reach out to your clients is very important. Depending on the clientele, timings can vary. Test a couple of different times and days to see what works best and align yourselves to the day/time when you are getting the most connects and conversations. Learn. Adapt. Repeat.
If a client has started speaking and is telling you his problems, do a favour - shut up! Listening is a skill that needs to be developed but most of us ignore it. Asking open ended questions would help you probe more on the problem and the underlying pain thereby preparing you to articulate your solution better in future calls. Do Listen.
Don’t sell on your first call! A mistake that many new sales executives make and sometimes even the most experienced ones, is to sell on the first call without understanding what the problem is. Focus on information gathering. Unless you are selling something which is inexpensive, always take time to understand the problem, take notes and offer to call back (if you are under-prepared).
The Focus has to be on building relationship and coming across as friendly, genial and non-threatening.
Remember, building relationship on phone takes more effort than when you meet someone in person.
Cold-calling is not easy, and there are going to be some people who are not interested. Don’t take it personally!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Cold-calling can be intimidating and can be a lot to handle, so take it one call at a time. Along the way, make adjustments to the time of day you make your calls and your indicator script, depending on how your calls are going.
Motivate yourself, keep pushing and know that the next cold call you make could lead to a new client or even a sale.
The author is a Business Development veteran with over 14 years’ experience in cold calling.
Apart from Inside Sales consulting, he trains new teams on cold-calling techniques.
This is the first blog in the cold calling series from LeadMarked.
Book a free consultation session with him today!