There are many different ways to go about cold calling.  Many people may be making cold calls, but aren’t sure why their results aren’t as good as they hoped.  In this post, we’ll talk about some of the best practices to do increase your conversions and be more effective when cold calling.

Cold Calling at the beach

To fully appreciate the phone sales tips we’re going to share in this post, think of cold calling like a formal dance. When you know the steps to a dance routine, you’re prepared to deliver a stellar performance. If you’re not familiar with the right steps, your performance on the dance floor will certainly be memorable, but it will be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. Just like you wouldn’t attempt to do the Tango without learning the steps first, you shouldn’t engage in cold calling until you’re intimately familiar with cold calling best practices.

How to Cold Call With Success

Whether you’re trying to learn how to cold call for the first time or are just trying to improve your existing skill set, here are six cold calling strategies that can help.

1. Start with an offer.  One really good way to make cold calls is by breaking the ice by starting with an offer instead of a question. Make it something immediately relevant to their current business or priorities. Showing somebody the value to the prospect, free of charge and with no strings attached is a good way to earn some early trust.

If you doubt the value of starting a cold call with an offer, consider the following. When you fish, you typically put bait on your fishing hook before you cast your line. If you’re lucky, the bait will attract the attention of a hungry fish, and you’ll get a bite. When this happens, you can “hook” the fish by pulling your pole in an upward direction.

Similar to how putting bait on your hook dramatically increases your chances of hooking a fish, starting a cold call with a no-strings-attached offer can make it more likely that you’ll catch the attention of the person you’re calling. The key is to make sure your product or service is directly relevant to the person you’re calling — the same way bait can satisfy the hunger of a fish.

2. Have compelling information. The second rule of cold calling is to have compelling data and information.  Everybody has heard the “more revenue, more productivity, more efficiency” pitch, which has simply become white noise to many executives. Calling to say “Can we talk?” does nothing to excite them. People need something they can grasp onto when they answer the phone, something to peak their interest and set you apart.

So, talking about producing “more” of something is meaningless to many executives because it doesn’t provide concrete or quantifiable information. Instead of saying your product or service can help generate more revenue, say, “I work with a business in your industry. When this client started using our products, they experienced a 27 percent increase in revenue, achieving quarterly sales of $350,000 in three months. Would you like to learn how our products can help your company enjoy similar success with an investment of just $10,000?”

When you replace “more” with specific information, it allows your prospects to envision having similar success in their organization, which makes it more likely they’ll remain on the line.

3. Have a proper target. When making cold calls you need to have the right target. Make sure you are calling the prospects, and can get a direct line to somebody who can make a deal. Once you are talking to the right person, give them your pitch, and make your deal.

Salespeople often encounter gatekeepers when they cold call. If you eventually want to talk to a given prospect, it’s vital to work with the relevant gatekeeper to achieve your goal. It’s essential to earn the trust of a gatekeeper and convince them introducing your goods or services to their boss will somehow benefit them. Whether your products or services will make their day-to-day tasks easier or make them look like a superstar for “finding” what you sell, you have to get a gatekeeper to buy into your goods or services to reach your target.

4. Research. Know your stuff! When working in this industry, you need to make sure you know what you are talking about. In an age ruled by technology, there is no reason for a person to not research what it is they are trying to pitch. The more you know your stuff, the more people respect what you have to say.

This industry best practice is so crucial to having success with cold calling, it’s worth repeating: KNOW YOUR STUFF! Research whatever it is you’re selling so you know every detail inside and out. Challenge your coworkers to come up with questions that range from basic to the obscure and practice answering them so you’ll be ready for any question a prospect might ask.

5. Strategize. Strategy is very important when you are making cold calls. In this line of work, it may take a bit of time to find the right person to talk to, but when you do you need to have a proper strategy to keep them on the line. A good way to strategize is to keep records of the general good times to call depending on when your prospects work hours are.  Know the direction you want to call to go, and then execute.

While knowing when to call is part of a successful cold calling strategy, getting every call off to the right start is equally as important. As the caller, it’s your responsibility to set the tone for every call you make. Although you can’t influence what’s happening on the other end of the line, you can control at least the start of the calls you make.

An excellent strategy to help you set the right tone at the beginning of every call is to smile and dial — and keep smiling throughout the call. While your prospects can’t see your smile, they’ll be able to sense your cheeriness because it will come through in your voice. This will make it more likely that your prospects will trust you and listen to what you have to say. Even if someone isn’t interested in what you’re selling, keep smiling as you talk to them to increase the likelihood that they’ll take your calls in the future.

6. Be ok with rejection.  Last but not least, you need to get used to being rejected. Most of the time when calling people, you’re going to get the answer “no” even when using these cold calling best practices. Don’t let that get you down! Get back up and keep going. Cold calling is a business of numbers, and many of the calls you make will either end in being hung up on or people telling you not to bother them so you need to be ready to keep trying.

Believe it or not, rejection isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to cold calling. If you aren’t not rejected often enough, it usually means one of two things. First, you may be on a hot streak thanks to a high-quality, vetted list of sales leads. Alternatively, you may not be doing enough cold calling.

Remember, with every rejection, you’re one call closer to landing an appointment with a prospect who’s genuinely interested in your products or services. So, no matter how much a rejection hurts, it’s crucial for you to put a smile on your face and resume calling your prospects.

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