Cold calling is a business technique in which a salesperson makes contact with prospective individuals or companies who are yet to show interest in the service or products on sale. The current world is very competitive, and to get business, you have to go for it, and cold calling is the solution. Cold calling is somehow an aggressive and very effective sales tactic. Here are some key strategies to make a successful cold calling experience:
1. Avoid Selling on Your First Call
The mistake most starters make is trying to “bring it home” on their first call. On your first call, you should never attempt to sell; instead, create the chance to make the sale. Focus majorly on information gathering. Unless what you are selling is inexpensive and requires very little thought, you better stick to interviewing the prospective individual by asking questions. Strive to build a relationship by striking an amicable conversation.
Try not to be very aggressive, as some people perceive this as threatening and a sure turn-off. During the discussion, note down the vital details and inform them you will come back to them. The purpose of this first cold call is to secure an appointment for the ultimate pitch.
2. Get Information About the Markets and Prospects Before Calling
It would be best if you had the right target audience while making the calls. It is prudent to consider market research data before cold calling. Market research data helps you scale down and narrow your scope to the most potential individuals, businesses (in the case of b2b cold calling, regions, and other demographics that might embrace the service or product you are selling. Research as much as you can about the individuals or company in advance before making the cold call. This background information will put you a step ahead during the conversation to talk about their business and particular needs.
3. Prepare an Opening Statement Well in Advance
You do not want to make a cold call and fumble on whether you should introduce yourself, your company, or your client. To avoid such mistakes that might give the person you’re calling the chance to hang up, it is wise to organize your thoughts beforehand. This does not necessarily mean that you read your statement over the phone, instead ponder it and use it as a basic framework to kick start all of your conversations.
Your opening statement should contain a greeting and an introduction, a reference point to why you are calling them, the benefits of your products or services, and a smooth transition to dialogue. For the rest of the conversation, you should prepare a script highlighting your products and services’ benefits and be prepared to answer any questions from your prospect. They will become curious about a product or service they didn’t interact with.
An example of an opening statement might sound like this:
“Good afternoon, Mr. Howard. This is John Smith with AceTurfs. I read from your company’s social media pages that you plan to develop a sports complex for kids. We specialize in installing artificial turf and synthetic grass on a variety of platforms. I would wish to ask a couple of questions to determine whether one of our services and products might meet your needs.”
4. Ask for an Appointment on a Specific Date During the Call
Instead of giving your prospect the option of choosing the date, they feel open for an appointment, go ahead and ask for a specific date and time. This step ensures they commit on their first call and increases your chances of making a sale when you meet. Speaking of time, you should probably consider cold calling early morning or late afternoon on Thursdays or Wednesdays as statistics show these periods to be the best times to reach decision-makers.
In current times, scheduling an appointment might be a bit of a hurdle. Still, suppose you make sure you meet them outdoor or at any open setting such as coffee shops or bakeries. In that case, you can be sure that your guest will show up and will feel safer to be seated 6 feet apart and in an outdoorsy setting before you make a reservation or plan anything to ask about your client’s preferences.
Bottom line, be persistent and never give up as you might make a successful sale after several cold calls. Besides being stubborn, you need to practice over and over again to get better at it. The more you practice, the more effective you become, and eventually, the more sales you will make. Your prospective clients are just out there, so get your call list and scripts and make your first cold call very convincing.