Best Cold Calling Tips and Techniques to Boost Sales
Cold calling has long been a staple of many industries. It’s a classic sales technique that continues to bring businesses success in generating conversions. But with the booming growth of technology brought on by the 21st century, many companies are losing faith in the cold call process. Some have even gone so far as to proclaim it “dead.”
That idea is far from the truth. Sales calls are still an effective way to reach more consumers or businesses and bring in new interest. However, any company that wants to make more successful cold calls on a day-to-day basis needs to modernize and upgrade their practices. Those that do will be more able to keep up with the wants and needs of consumers.
If you’re looking to boost your sales, this guide will take you through some of the best cold calling tips so that you can start seeing stronger results from your team.
How to Close a Sale on a Cold Call
Naturally, if you want to make more sales from your cold calls, you have to be closing by the end of each one, right? Wrong.
Here’s the trick — boosting sales isn’t always about closing. Sure, it’s the last step of the process, but when you’re reaching out cold, your focus should be anywhere but the close. Instead, your sales reps should always have the next step for each customer in mind. This mindset change is the first method for success.
When your reps are conducting a call, the aim should be to ensure a second interaction, such as scheduling a follow-up call or in-person meeting or asking the prospect to review a set of materials by a specific time. Regardless of what the next step is, reps need to gain a solid commitment by setting a particular date and time. Establishing relationships is what will help drive sales.
If your sales team members go about their calls as though they’re trying to end with a close every time, they’re more likely to drive the consumer away. Prospects will perceive a sales pitch in the first call as pushy and feel as though your reps aren’t looking out for their best interests. Alternately, if your reps express that they want to see if your solution would be a good fit, they can gain the customer’s trust and respect.
Cold calls are best used as tools for further engagement. While considering them as such is one of the best techniques you can use, there are multiple effective cold calling techniques to increase sales.
Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work
There’s no one correct way to improve your sales team’s cold call practices. Instead, your company can use multiple methods to secure more customer commitments and land more sales. If you want reps to take their technique to the next level, remember that the following tips will help them succeed before, during and after calls.
1. Research Leads
Preparing before making any call is essential to success. Without proper research and notes at the ready, your agents will be forced to wing calls, make assumptions and potentially get details about the prospect’s company wrong. A customer can tell when the sales rep is underprepared, and it reflects poorly on your business.
Before even touching the phone, your agents should know everything of relevant and timely importance about their point of contact, including their name, how to pronounce it correctly, the company name, the prospect’s position within the company and details about what they do. All this data should be in the caller’s introduction alone.
Thorough research will also help your agents ask better questions. If customers have to entertain questions that could have quickly been answered in a five-minute Google search, they’ll know the representative doesn’t particularly care about their company’s needs. But if a caller is well-prepared, the prospect will be able to see that your agents are motivated to help them.
2. Write a Thorough Script (and Use It Correctly)
Every cold caller should have a script to reference, and it should be entirely written out well before they go for the phone. However, scripts can also be dangerous, as reps will be tempted to read them as they are. If these callers are too set on sticking to what’s written, they’ll be less likely to listen to the customer and might miss a few golden opportunities.
Formatting the script as a general outline is the best way to go. Your scripts should include an introduction, acknowledgment of the prospect’s needs, discussion questions to guide the direction of the cold call and the end goal. Use thorough research to personalize the introductory part and form questions that are relevant to the customer’s position and company.
While having an outline is helpful, sticking to it may not always be the best idea. Listening to the customer is one of the best things your agents can do. If the individual receiving the call asks a question or poses a concern, ditch the script for the moment and answer them genuinely. The customer knows what they need, so let them redirect, but be sure you stay on the path to your end goal.
3. Pay Attention to Nonverbals
From the moment you speak the first word of your introduction, the customer will start making judgments about you, even subconsciously. Every detail about the way your reps deliver their sentences will sway the prospect either toward or against committing to a second interaction. Your team should consistently pay close attention to controlling tone, speed, volume and pitch:
- Tone: When agents are on a call, their tone should be casual and confident. Informality will help draw the customer into a discussion rather than them feeling alienated or like they’re speaking to a robot. However, it still needs to remain professional. Ultimately, your reps should be initiating a conversation and acting as though they’re speaking peer-to-peer.
- Speed: Most people who are using a pre-scripted outline and have practiced it are prone to rushing through it — especially if they have a lot to say in a short time. Even though your reps know what they’re saying, talking too fast can have the prospect struggling to keep up. Staying calm and collected and paying attention to the speed of your sentences is crucial to the client’s ability to understand.