Warming up to cold calling: Ace tips
By A R | 25 Feb 2019 | Recent, Technology, backup, Business, Popular,
Okay so I see a lot of literature out there that says that cold calling is dead. Clearly, this is not the case. Cold calling will always remain a valid part of the game. Before moving ahead, lets clearly define cold calling.
*source - merriam webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cold%20call)
In other words if you calling a prospect without previous contact, the first contact call is what is termed as a cold call. Cold calling is -
- As old school as Old Spice cologne.
- High skill cap activity, like high tier light tank driving in World Of Tanks.
Allow me to explain.
The cold calling tool has been in play ever since the dawn of commerce, sales people have always reached out “cold, uninitiated” prospects for conducting business. With the advent of the telephone, humanity (well those in the sales profession) transitioned to reaching out to prospects on the telephone and so dawned the age of cold calling. Newer technologies like email and social media have tried their fair share to kill the Cold caller, but it has and will prevail. Anyone who says that cold calls don't work doesn't know how to make it work.
Now here are a few tips which will help you develop your cold calling skills and make an impressive and memorable first contact with your prospective customer.
Have a script
A massive, MASSIVE misconception that script means that you have to speak word for word, like a mechanical robot. The objective of the script is to give structure to the conversation. There is absolutely no need to rattle it like a parrot, all you have to do is preserve the structure of the conversation. A good call script will have the following hallmarks:
- Clear in its objective: A cold call script must be clear of the sought desired outcome and must be designed for achieving that, for eg, ascertain need, seek a face to face meeting, seek an agreement for receiving of information package, gain internal management mapping information, etc.
- Conversation centric: Keep the focus on the needs of the prospect and not on what you are selling. Use open-ended questions (why, how, when) rather than questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.
- Handles Objections: Here is a caveat, your product or service will not be a fit for everyone, you must remember and realize this. In such a situation it's advisable to listen with an intent to help and explore with open dialogue to ascertain if what you offer is of value to them. Having said that, responses for the most common objections (reasons that prospects give for why they aren’t interested). A script without objection handling makes for short and ineffective calls. It wastes time, yours and the prospects.
Research your prospect
This may have not been much of an option for a cold caller in the 80s, in 2019 it's not only possible but also absolutely necessary. Before making the call, check the social profiles of the company, LinkedIn is a wonderful source for getting names and designations. Information is the key in helping you uncovering details in which you can engage better with the prospect. A simple thing as knowing the name of the person you are trying to reach can astronomically improve your probability of making contact with the right party.
Follow-ups, Follow-ups & Follow-ups
A cold call will not get the desired outcome 7-10 times and that’s okay. The emphasis is on having a natural conversation, objection handling can help identify clearly the reasons for a “No”. When this happens have, try to get the following done:
- Request to check back with them in a month, quarter, sometimes in the future to check if something has changed.
- Request for the contact email address and take permission to add them to your monthly mailing list.
After you have done the following, remember to mark your calendar and follow up. Caveat, close follow-ups are a sure shot way to make sure to lose the prospect and hence this must be avoided at all costs.
I hope these pointers help you up your game. If you need help with the scripts, leave us to comment below or contact us. And remember, persistence is the key. You’ll only get better if you keep at it. Remember, intelligence is first simulated and then emulated.
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