Making cold calls stand out for the right reasons isn’t easy. That’s because for most of us, getting a case across in a way that’s professional and informative, is simply more natural when we’re face to face. Sadly, most people find the very idea of cold calling sends shivers down their spine. However, there are some great reasons why cold calling is a business skill like no other.
For a start, using the phone is instant, you can reach many potential buyers or prospects in any given day. You don’t need any professional equipment for cold calling, other than a phone, so anyone can take advantage of the benefits. It’s also cheap, and unlike other forms of marketing, doesn’t need specialist design or knowledge to administer, so you can be your authentic self.
1. No scripts
Cold calling should be spontaneous, and every call completely unique. A script is unhelpful in so many ways. Firstly, every person you speak with will have their own set of circumstances and objectives. Trying to stage a conversation around the narrative you were having in your head when you wrote your script is bound to end in failure. They will say things you were not expecting, and you will flounder and lose control of the call.
Secondly, by forcing your conversation along prescribed lines, you’ll end up blurting out a pitch that’s trying to pack as many features in as possible as it’s not built around the prospect you’re cold calling. This will make your call boring, rushed, and irrelevant. Finally, scripts remove all the highs, lows, and modulation of the voice, making it robotic and hard to listen to.
2. Do the numbers
On average it can take between eight to thirteen dial attempts before a decision maker at an organisation is reached. Sometimes more. If you’re one of those people who try three times and give up, or worse, leave a message, your chances of converting that prospect are low. Patience is important when you’re cold calling, people are busy, so keep trying. Spread your dial attempts out over several days, or even weeks if you have to. Don’t use your redial facility to attempt dialling over and over. And never leave a message, by doing so you hand the responsibility and the control element over to your prospect.
Build benchmarks for your progress. How many dials it takes to reach a decision maker, how many decision maker conversations it takes to convert a lead, how many new names you can qualify and add to your database. These numbers will all help your cold calling collect momentum. It’s also a good way of maintaining productivity and ensuring your work is successful.
3. Pepper people with reasons to choose you
Being clear about the difference your product or service makes will help your cold calling come across as passionate and expert. Ask open questions to get your prospect talking, for example, ask about what’s important to them. Open questions generally begin with words such as what, when, why, or how. They will get your buyer talking and yield information that helps you understand their needs, and therefore highlights what you need to say in order to meet their needs. If you understand what’s important in that person’s world, you can pepper them with reasons to speak with you, and transact with your business. It also helps you to demonstrate a personality that builds warmth, trust and makes you the supplier a prospect will want to work with.
Avoid the temptation to email prospects just because it’s easier than cold calling them. A telephone call is filled with personality and charisma, so it can touch prospects with your message and brand far more than an email ever could. In fact, according to CRM experts Salesforce, on average, business people send and receive 115 emails a day. They add “this is one of the many ways that email can never replace human interaction. Instead, you should pick up the phone to cut through the clutter”.