8 Tips to Make the Most from Cold Calls
Making cold calls is a great way to increase your sales base. The person at the other end of the line could be your future client. However, many salespeople are all-too familiar with that click as the line goes dead even before they finish their first sentence. As a result, most become too used to rejection and instead focus on making as many calls as possible.
While making many calls helps you cast your net farther, it’s pointless if each call is just a cursory one to check a phone number off a long list. Change your sales performance by making the most out of each call you make. Here are eight ways to do that.
- Make the Call a Little Less Cold
Cold calling is “cold” because you’re calling someone you’ve never met before. While the person you’re calling may not know who you are, you can get to know them first!
If you have the name of the person you’re supposed to call, run a quick search on LinkedIn or even Facebook before calling. You’ll find information regarding the person’s age, profession, and maybe even interests. If you’re contacting a business, find out more about what the business does and what its values are. This will allow you to pitch your call appropriately, focusing on the potential client.
- Prepare a Script
A script allows you to plan what you want to say and how you want to say it. It also gives you something to fall back on when you’re nervous. This is great for evaluating your success as a cold caller. If your script works, continue using it. If it doesn’t, you will know what you’ve said and can figure out what to change.
When you’re preparing a script, you’re mainly preparing the first part of the call—before the other person asks questions. Try to pre-empt common questions, but include a short reply to them in your script should the other person ask them anyway.
- It’s OK to Ditch the Script
A script is good for ensuring you’re pushing the information out, but following it word for word can make you seem robotic. If you know a little more about the other person, you can change things up a bit. Try to be personable and warm on the phone. This will be hard to do if you insist on sticking to the script word for word!
- Relax and Speak Clearly
Most salespeople talk too fast on the phone. You won’t be more efficient by talking faster. Instead, no one will understand you!
If you’re nervous, take a few deep breaths before making that call. Even if the person on the other end of the line turns nasty, you can always put down the phone and that will be the end of it!
- Don’t Talk About Yourself
Since you’re trying to make a potential client, your conversation should be focused on the other person. Instead of starting the call with an introduction of yourself, start with questions to judge the prospective client’s level of interest. Understand their needs and concerns, and make yourself useful.
- Be Polite
This can be especially hard when the person you’re calling turns nasty. Each job has its drawbacks, and dealing with rejection and rude individuals is one of sales’. Remember that you’re a professional, and just end the conversation with a polite “thank you for your time.” Don’t waste your time fighting back—make the next call!
- Practice. A Lot.
You’ll probably be nervous on your first call, sounding uncertain and maybe mumbling quite a bit. Practice in front of the mirror, friends, and family or record yourself to know how you sound. Get feedback. Revise your script. Practice some more. This will help you build confidence, and work on clarity and pace. Making a phone call is more than just speaking into a phone!
- Take Careful Notes After Each Call
Even if the call doesn’t bring you a new sale or client, note what worked and what didn’t so you know how to revise your pitch. Jot down the profile of the person you’ve called, too, if possible. With these notes, you’ll be able to spot a trend in your product’s popularity, allowing you to be a more focused caller.
Go beyond making lots of calls to making each call count!
Learn more about what it takes to exceed in sales by downloading The Secrets to Building a Winning Sales Process eGuide. Leading sales experts Anthony Iannarino and Amy McClosky Tobin show you their sales secrets.