If you’ve previously been told that cold calling is now dead, you have to know that this notion is false. Cold calling is very much alive, and it’s, still, one of the most relevant and effective ways to market your business in today’s time. Despite the presence of other forms of marketing, cold calling still stands as effective, given its long-standing history of success.
When you’re reading this from a business perspective, it’s important to know that not many customers like to receive cold calls. Some will find it downright annoying and a waste of time. There are some customers who’ll immediately drop the call. Or, for those who actually pick up the call, they only do so for a while, and once they learn it’s a cold call or sales pitch, they’ll cut you off. This is expected from many customers, and, unfortunately, if you continue to let this happen, your percentage of successful sales from the cold calls is going to be low.
You have to remedy that by striving for the best results at all times. This means improving your cold calling strategies, with the goal of winning over more customers and improving your overall customer service. The more customers you successfully win from your cold calls, the higher your profit margin becomes. This fact also gives you that assurance that whatever resources you spend on your cold calls are worth it as they, in fact, drive results.
If you wish to up your cold calling game for this year, moving forward, this article can help you out. Below are the best ways you can go about cold calling so you can successfully win over more customers.
1. Use Technology To Your Advantage
Technology is there to your advantage, and cold callers of today should make the most out of the resources available to use the applicable technology. If there are manual tasks that can now be automated, why continue to make these tedious, when there are ways for you to automate them, like through having hosted predictive dialer, among the many features.
Using technology isn’t doing the easy way out. In fact, you can become more efficient in the job that you do when you allow yourself to enjoy the available technology. Here are some of the key differences that automated cold calling technology can allow you to achieve:
- Automated dialing, proper call holding system, and automated scheduling of follow-up calls
- Full sequence management applicable to telephone calls, mobile phones, and even SMS or email marketing messages
- Availability of sales productivity tools
- Availability of an autodialer
2. Research First About The Prospect
While you can’t research on each of the prospects as you may not have enough time for that, you can still perform that research by grouping those prospects according to demographics. This means that after compiling your contacts list, take the time to, first, group like contacts. You can sort or filter them according to factors like age, gender, and geographical location.
Researching first about the prospects gives you ample time to prepare for a successful cold call. You can tweak in a few personal details here and there to make the call feel more personal, rather than the usual and scripted tone. Or, you can even revise the script to make some words more appealing and appropriate for each specific demographic.
For example, cold calls made to the older, more professional market are fine with technical terms. But, for the millennials and the seniors, some technical terms might be alien to them. This is why it makes a lot of sense to revise so as to get your message across clearly and to be more appealing to the demographics you’re trying to reach. Without performing prior research, you won’t be able to come up with those decisions.
3. Embrace Rejection
One of the challenges with cold calling has to do with the rejection. You could be so excited to get your cold calls in order, and, then, toward the latter part of the day, feel upset and have obvious changes in your tone simply because you’ve been rejected a lot of times. The truth with cold calling is that no matter how good you are, rejection is inevitable. You could be calling at a wrong time, or the prospect may be going through challenging times financially, thereby becoming uninterested at all in your offer.
While your goal is to win over more customers, you can’t do this successfully if you can’t accept rejection. Once you learn how to accept and embrace rejection, you can become a more successful cold caller. This is evident when you’re no longer bothered by rejected calls pulling you down within the day. Instead, you use those rejections as an opportunity to do even better after every rejected call.
4. Write An Outline Of What You’ll Say
Even the most experienced cold callers can stutter. So, if you want to give yourself a tad more security and confidence when cold calling, it doesn’t hurt to actually have an outline of what you’re going to say. Usually, a good script is one that lasts only an average of 30 seconds, so having a script also ensures you stay within that acceptable limit. Anything longer than that, and you’ll start to annoy and bore the call receivers, to the point that they may even automatically shut you off.
Having a script, however, doesn’t mean that you’re going to read and go through it in verbatim as you’re making the call. Before you make the final cold calls, it’s a good strategy to practice multiple times before. The more you repeat the script, it becomes etched in your mind to the point where it’s as if you’ve memorized the lines already. This can help you have a smooth conversation when you cold call as you already know what the sequence of words is.
Then, as an added tip, once you make that call, be sure that there’s nothing else distracting you. The only thing that should be between you and the phone or auto dialer is your script. No matter how much you’ve rehearsed your outline, even the tiniest bit of distraction may confuse you, or make you lose the train of thought you’ve already etched in your memory.
5. Set Your Eyes On Learning
Yes, the goal is to earn more and close more sales. But, this doesn’t mean that your only focus should be the sales per se. To be very effective with your cold calls, it’s important that you also set your sight on learning. This means that as you endeavor to make a lot of calls, you should also have the same endeavor to learn more.
Even the most experienced of all cold callers will have to keep on learning—there’s no stopping to it. As technology improves and gets more advanced, this also means that you’re going to have new offers. There’ll also be new strategies on how to successfully make the calls. If you don’t stay updated, you may mistakenly think that your cold calling strategies are still appropriate, when, in fact, they’re no longer attuned to current times.
Hence, if you notice that your sales conversion rates from your cold calls are poor and low, you may want to review your script and strategies. One reason that could be hurting your chances of success for your cold calls can be that your skills aren’t updated anymore.
Along this line, here’s a quick guide on some facets that can help you learn more and improve in your cold calling practices:
- If you’re not confident yet with your abilities, don’t deviate from your script.
- Share whatever you’ve learned with your direct superior or with other cold callers in the team so you can make it a practice to equally learn from one another.
- Find out the area in your script or call where you usually get rejected.
- Record all your learnings in a notebook so that during your free time at work or when you aren’t making calls, you can give yourself time to review and keep learning more.
6. Ensure A Strong Opening
You only have an average of 30 seconds to make your pitch; hopefully, you can earn the heart and ears of the listener to the point where you both start the conversation already. In that 30 seconds, one very good way for you to strike a good difference is to prepare a strong opening sentence. Think of this as your punch line.
When your opening sentence is strong, you can reduce the likelihood of the listener immediately dropping the call. Use those first ten seconds to prove to your prospect that you’re worth conversing with, and that the listener isn’t merely wasting their time by taking your call.
Some of the best examples of strong opening statements are:
- “I’m inspired by the work you’ve done with…”
- “I saw your post about…”
- “Congratulations on…”
As you can see, you can only come up with a strong and compelling opening statement when you’ve also done your research. By doing so, you may come across some information, like recent accomplishments or victories. When you start acknowledging those in your calls, the listener will be more than willing to keep listening. It sends the right message across, that you’ve actually taken the time to learn more about the prospects, making them feel that you’re professional and you’re really prepared to take on this role.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect, and there definitely is a lot of truth to that saying. This applies to just about any endeavor you may have, as the more that you practice, the lesser the mistakes you’re going to make.
It may sound so simple, but it’ll actually be evident in your cold calls when you don’t prepare well enough for them—talk about all the stutteing, awkward pauses, monotony, mispronounced words, and even improper spacing of the words. Even if you may be new to cold calling, you don’t have to sound like an amateur. You can instantly ace your calls with a simple act of taking the time to do a lot of practice.
8. Read Your Script Like An Actor, Not A Robot
Take time to imagine your favorite TV shows or movies. The actors and the hosts go through a script. That’s the only way for them to actually be certain about what they should be saying next. But, if you observe the way they talk, there’s no monotony at all. They have pitch, a good tone of voice, and they sound friendly and human. The script they follow doesn’t, in any way, turn them into monotonous robots.
Mirror that example. Even when you’re following an outline or a script, read it as if you’re merely talking to a friend. Think of cold calling as a performance, where you also have to get in the zone to get it right. It’s easy to master this, for as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and the effort.
Here tips you can follow in this regard:
- Memorize your introduction, if you can, so you can make it easier to inject a lot of emotion for a strong start.
- Formulate clear answers right away on your mind for some of the most common objection or rejection phrases, so you’re always prepared for them and they don’t catch you off guard.
When you’re given the responsibility to perform the cold calls for a company, you’ll most probably be instantly feeling the pressure of getting things right. Whether this is your first time or you’ve been frequently doing cold calls already before, what’s most important is that you give yourself the time and the opportunity to learn as you go. Also, no matter the strategy you use, keep in mind your goal of making more sales. That way, you’ll be certain that all the efforts you’ll be pouring into performing those calls simply won’t be wasted. Furthermore, remember that no two calls are alike, so keep yourself excited and on the lookout for new effective strategies, slowly as you go.
About the Author
Olivia Summers works as a cold caller for various companies. She’s been in the industry now for five years, a career that started after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication in 2016. At present, she’s also completing her Master’s Degree in Communication and Sales. She’s engaged and will soon make a big call of ‘I Do’ to her fiancé, Marc, at the end of this year, 2021.