Just about everyone dreads making cold-calls. They expect people to judge them, slam doors and hang up. In the digital era, cold-call can seem so “old-school” and counter-productive. Still, marketers in this new age of selling are finding values in sales approaches long thought dead.
Entrepreneur suggests, “A good way to make cold calls more appealing is to stop thinking of them as ‘cold’ calls. Try thinking of them as ‘introductory’ calls instead.” You can’t meet face-to-face or development a relationship until you introduce yourself.
3 cold-calling techniques:
- Have a plan. If you don’t have a goal in mind or metrics to rate your performance, you have no direction. You’re wasting your time, patience, and confidence when you call unqualified lists aimlessly.
You need a target market. It might be focused on territory, income level, demographics, or more. But, you must know the characteristics of the market so you can design your pitch to that audience. You must know enough about the market to match your product and service to their needs.
- Follow a script. Cold calling uses a script, one with enough flexibility to customize it to each prospect. The pitch opens with a statement—not a question. The statement should identify yourself, your company, and the product or service you provide. And, it should lay out what the listener can expect from the call.
The opening statement must be direct, clear, and explanatory. It should not offer an opportunity for the customer to hang up. It should lead to the benefits of the call, an opportunity to meet, talk further, or talk later.
The script is a structure. You should follow it closely but not awkwardly. You must speak naturally and comfortably. Still, you need a detailed infrastructure so you don’t stray from the things needing coverage or make mistakes about benefits, features, and prices. It should also follow a sequence leading to the most important point and the action required.
- Study the technique. Cold-calling has been around a long time, and there is plenty to learn about it. You can browse for good opening statements, samples of calls to action, and successful scripts. If cold-calling is part of your work, you should become an expert and make good use of quality sales automation CRM.
You will learn, for example, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call. Likewise, the best time to call is between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. when people are wrapping up or between 11:00 a.m and 12:00 p.m. after they have finished their morning tasks.
Making your mark in the new age of selling
Darren Dahl, writing for Inc.com, says, “like any skill, cold calling requires practice.” It takes planning, design, and repetition. It also takes some self-analysis. You should confirm what works for you, count your successes against failures, and compare your results with others. If your numbers don’t improve over your previous results or if they lag behind your peers, it’s time to use these techniques and more.