11 (Pretty Essential) Cold Calling Tips!
Every salesperson at the start of their career has dreaded the idea of going on a cold call. The thought of speaking to an unknown person can be frightful, especially for young SDRs and BDRs.
Sales professionals report that calling existing customers is the most effective prospecting strategy. (RAIN Group, 2018)
Cold calling is here to stay and irrespective of the fact that you like it or you don’t, it remains an established fact that communication and the personalized human approach cannot be completely replaced by a machine.
People do business with people and that’s why cold calling should be an important aspect of your sales cadence.
Treat it as a challenge!
No two cold calls are the same. This makes it more exciting albeit challenging to ensure a better success rate from every call, treat it like different project!
Here are a few things that have worked in my favor:
1 – Immerse yourself into researching about your target customers.
Imagine yourself fighting a war without intel and armory. Would you fight blind?
Yes, that’s exactly what a cold call without researching your potential target looks like. It’s bound to go haywire if you do not have sufficient information. A well-researched salesperson can answer any question that springs up on the call, this sets him apart from the pack. This is where it’s crucial for sales to not only know everything there is to know about the product they are pitching, but also enough about the potential target to carry forward to conversation that can lead to closure.
2 – A calling script can be a lifesaver (Till you nail your pitch!)
A salesperson should be able to deliver his pitch anytime (Even when you are half asleep!).
It takes time to nail your pitch. It’s always advisable to have your sales script on a piece of paper (I’m old school) or on your screen and handy while having a conversation.
It’s better not to fumble on your calls. Once, you master your pitch, the cold call will be a smooth sail.
3 – Find the perfect time of the day; Try your own mix
As per research, your prospects are mostly susceptible to pick up the phone early morning ,post lunch or before calling it a day. Then there are stats which prove 10 am is the perfect time to cold call a prospect because it’s usually just an hour before lunch.
Wednesday’s (Hump Days) and Thursdays are supposed to be ideal days to call a prospect according to norms.
I’ve personally had conversations with people on Thursdays and Fridays and had successful email replies on Tuesdays (yes, I know it’s surprising.)
Try your own mix and match of day and time that work for you. One size does not fit all.
4 – Practice maketh a salesperson perfect!
Rome wasn’t built in a day- No one has ever closed a deal or setup an appointment on their first ever cold call. You might not even close deals for months.
Practice and persistence is the key to sales. You would eventually get better with every cold call. It’s just a matter of picking up the phone and dialing.
5 – Positivity and optimism
Rejection leads to dejection.
It’s human behavior to feel let down when things go awry or they don’t go according to your plan.
Having a positive and optimistic approach to overcome the negativity will help you reach your goals much quicker. Remember, you should always compensate for your losses- a lost deal or a bad call is an opportunity to get a new appointment or close a new deal!
6 – Lend me your ears!
The fear of jumping on to a cold call can make you do crazy things. (Hit me up if you want to share some of your experiences, I have goofed up several times myself!)
Salespeople are perceived to be pushy and aggressive. The sole reason for this is their lack of ability to listen. The sudden adrenaline rush to complete your pitch can make you seem desperate.
Communication is always a two way street- if you say something, you should have the ability and courtesy to lend an ear as well. Listening to your prospects would also help you to provide better solutions.
7 – Storytelling
It could be argued that this aspect would eventually be important once you have setup an appointment. But, there are few occasions (although rare) where you would get more than 5 minutes on a cold call.
The storytelling attribute of a salesperson is a powerful weapon. We have all been raised listening to stories and relate to incidents in the same way.
8 – Always be closing
We have constantly stressed on the fact that communication is important. But, sometimes it’s possible that you might forget your purpose in the flow.
It’s important to always be closing on a sales call. What’s your ultimate goal- Are you looking to setup an appointment? Are you looking to close a deal? Do you want to meet your prospect in person over lunch?
The agenda needs to be imbibed and should always be executed at the end of a call for a follow through or closure.
9 – Leave an effective voicemail
Some would argue that leaving a voicemail is a waste of one’s time. Ultimately, it’s one of the ways to reach out to your prospects.
You would only be able to connect with a maximum of 5 people out of the 100 calls you make in a day.
It wouldn’t hurt to leave a few effective voicemails at some point later in your sales follow-up cycle.
10 – Ask open ended questions
It’s a difficult task getting a person on a phone call and engaging them. Try keeping them engaged on the call by asking open ended questions.
Although, it seems courteous to ask them if it’s a good time. 90% of the times you would have prospect have you call them back later. Then there is a high possibility of them never picking up the call again.
Make every call count.
11- Sales Tools and Blogs to Up your cold calling game
There is a sea of knowledge out there in today’s world. It’s no different for sales.
You have great blogs,articles and resources on company websites like- HubSpot, Drift,Outreach, Gong.io etc.
The world is smaller now and there is easy access to online resources like videos, books and quotes, all from renowned salespeople.
I personally follow Josh Braun, Grant Cardone and Brandon Bornancin.(Let me know who you follow).
At the end, every sales person is fighting their own battle.
The end goal is to figure out what works and continue implementing the same into your cadence.
Are you ready?