What is cold calling?
Cold calling is a deliberate, personalized, unsolicited visit or call made by a salesperson to a prospective client in an attempt to sell. This call or visit should only be done after detailed research of the prospect.
Oftentimes, many people miss the distinction between cold calls and telemarketing, but cold calls are more strategic and involve serious planning and research for the best outcome, rather than a random phone call to many perceived prospects.
How to make an effective cold call
Though cold calling can be used as a legitimate business tool, scammers can also use it, so it’s vital that salespeople try hard to stand out from these dubious individuals.
To be able to make effective cold calls, you need to:
Do not make a cold call in a haste without proper research. Prepare an outline of what and how you will deliver the call. Also, get yourself into a strong positive mental state and speak confidently and with great enthusiasm.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and align your thoughts with what you believe will be interesting to him or her. Remember: A good dose of humour does magic; smile a lot while on the phone.
Research your prospect
Embark on detailed research of your prospect’s name and, if possible, how to pronounce the name to ensure effective communication. LinkedIn is an effective tool for prospecting, especially with the name pronunciation on the profile. Practicing repeatedly how to pronounce the name is essential. Calling people by their names correctly is the first step to building a connection and relationship.
Research your prospect’s personality
Each and every one of us is moved when we see someone who shares the same ideas as we do or can relate with what we say. Ensure you understand your prospect’s personality from the posts they’ve shared on social media and try to understand their line of thought. When done accurately, this will help you to fashion the right humour around the conversation, and when done correctly, the prospect won’t see you as a typical salesperson.
Research your prospect company
This is the first step in prospecting and researching a prospect. Clearly outline what the companies do and how your company can be of help to the prospect’s company. Understand the company’s structure as well to ensure you are prospecting the right person, and use sales intelligence tools to optimize the process. This could take up to a week or more because you must be able to relate at every point of your cold call, how your company can be of help, why you are the best and what your prospect stands to gain without wasting time. Keep it simple and direct because your prospect may be preoccupied with one or two activities of the day or maybe having a bad day and your call was not prescheduled. Keep it brief and straight to the point. share specific insights about your client’s business, such that when the client hears you, he would be compelled to listen to you and could clearly see the alignment.
Ask the right questions
Asking the right questions goes beyond simply asking questions that can easily be found on the internet. Rather than asking compliance questions, this could cause the prospect to think deeply and become excited. Your questions should also help you to understand both the body language and the thoughts of your prospect. Get clear expectations and always be closed!
NB: Ensure to grab your prospects’ attention and suck them in within the first 10-15 seconds of the call.
Speak with the authority of a CEO. Never feel inferior or intimidated by the profile of any prospect. Come with the mindset of helping them to solve their pressing business problems.
Don’ts of a sales cold call
- Never make a cold call without doing thorough research about your client’s business.
- Never sound like a typical salesperson:
For example, don’t ask questions like:
a. How are you doing today?
b. Is now a good time?
c. Don’t say you’re just touching base or “checking in”.
- Never share a bad joke.
- Do not be afraid of rejection. Don’t run from it. Rather, embrace it.
Note: You can’t close 100% of your deals.
How do you start cold calling?
- Do in-depth research on the prospect, his personality, company, online engagement, etc.
- Mental preparation (stability and alertness) will greatly enhance your performance on the call.
- It’s best for you to stand when selling and sit while closing. This is so because you need energy and excitement to sell, calmness and stability to close deals.
- Always bring confidence and excitement to every single sales call.
- Ensure to grab your prospects’ attention and suck them in within the first 10-15 seconds of the call.
Describe yourself in an exciting and inspiring manner. Never describe yourself as a sales rep or sales executive. That’s why we describe salespeople as ‘Business Growth Consultants” in SalesRuby.
The structure of a cold sales call
- Research and preparation.
- Opening and salutation.
- Conversation intelligence and rapport building.
- Why are you calling? This is where you expound on your value proposition.
- Feedback or questions to the prospects.
- Call to Action: Make this as creative and compelling as possible.
- Do a recap of the conversation, stating the next steps forward.
Do cold calls still work?
Cold calling is still very effective. According to SalesRuby, 69% of salespeople believe cold calling is an effective strategy.
The effectiveness of your cold call depends on proper research and excursion. For the record, more than 50% of decision-makers prefer to be contacted over the phone- Rain Group.