Do your cold calling techniques fail? Does the prospect of making a cold call give you the shivers? Make no mistake; cold calling is awfully difficult, and to do it well, takes a special kind of talent… or tricks, as we’ll show you.
Before the call
But first things first. Most people try to do too much over the phone. Remember, the only objective of a cold call is to secure an appointment. Period. Do not expect to close a sale over the phone with a stranger who doesn’t know you from Adam. A face to face meeting allows you the chance to be at your persuasive best, and that’s what you should be gunning for.
Most cold calls are interruptions, usually unwelcome. So it’s no surprise that prospects respond with little enthusiasm to your telephonic spiel. One way of getting around this is to “warm-up” the cold call – usually with a mailer or other form of non-verbal communication. If you manage to come up with a mad or funny gimmick, you’re likely to be remembered when you call. Of course, these sorts of cold calling techniques must fit the circumstances and your budget.
During the call
Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the call itself.
Let’s say you’re on the phone to a prospect. Remember, he’s not expecting your call, and very likely, you’ve interrupted something important. Which cold calling techniques can you use to make sure you grab his attention and gives you that all-important appointment?
- Introduce yourself, crisply but fully. DON’T be flip or cheery over the top – that’s a sure sign you’re trying to sell something and will put most people off.
- Address a need. If it isn’t apparent, as a salesperson it is your duty to create one. In order to do that, you must understand the prospect’s situation – such as his industry or profession, so that you can talk knowledgeably about his area of interest.
- Show respect for time. It’s very important to show that you value people’s time. Say that you only need 10 minutes, and will make it worth their while. You can even suggest that they can ask you to leave should you go beyond the allotted time – unless you’re making a nuisance of yourself, that’s unlikely.
- If you need a longer time to make your pitch, suggest meeting over lunch or dinner. That way, you won’t be eating entirely into the other person’s “work” day. Also, mealtimes create a more relaxed setting for a conversation.
- Take the initiative. It is you who need the meeting to happen, so don’t wait for the other person to give you a time and date. Offer a choice between two days – if both are unsuitable, a third one will be proffered by the prospect.
After the call
Once you have the appointment, make the most of it. Meeting just to get to know each other is a pure waste of time. Your selling process starts with your first appointment, is reinforced in subsequent meetings, and continues well after the sale is made.
The best cold calling techniques focus on you creating a warm relationship with your customer. The best way to do that is to be respectful of their time and show real value to them every time you communicate with them.