Cold Calling Basic Tricks
Learn Cold Calling Easier
Cold calling basic tricks and how to use them and learning them will help you learn cold calling easier
When you start in sales, cold calling in any format is a way to find new potential prospects to sell your product or service too. This may come in the format of marketing events, like setting up a booth at an industry trade show and meeting prospects and gathering business cards for a follow up call, setting up a webinar for a topic which your prospects may be interested in and in exchange they supply their contact information for a follow up call, supplying an industry rated “white paper” for prospects to download for a follow up call, tracking visitors to a website for a follow up call, pounding out calls on the phone to speak with the decision makers in your target market, or a long time ago, my company had a person who literally walked the streets physically walking into established businesses and asking if they were in the market and getting business cards for sales people to call and to follow up on!
Honestly I do not know if literally knocking on doors in the business world is an active practice anymore. I do know that cold calling is far from being “dead” and is still a very effective means of obtaining a scheduled meeting with a prospective decision maker or significant person of influence in order to speed up the sales cycle.The one consistent theme is that the sales people have to “call and follow up” on any of those methods. There is a reluctance to do it because lets face it, it is not always an easy job. If cold calling and setting meetings is your daily job you can have days of just total frustration. However, you can also have days where you stumble on to a number of fantastic leads that has a clear path to what could be an incredible sale!! When you find a few of those you suddenly become exhilarated and want to find and convert as many as you can.
Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques when making professional cold calls. Lets first talk about the ‘gatekeepers’. Most likely that will be the first human you will actual speak with. Voice mail is a constant issue and there is another article I have written with tricks and techniques to help you overcome that. However, lets deal with how to approach people when you do get them live on the phone. Gatekeepers can very often be helpful to you when you approach them with respect. Although you feel you are the only person in the world, imagine that this person, lets say a VP of IT’s administrative assistant, probably talks to 10-15 of you a day. First of all, they usually will answer the line and provide you their name. Immediately jot it down so you can call them by name when appropriate. If they immediately say “I can put you in his voicemail”, one suggestion would be for you to confirm that he or she is the correct person to leave a voice message for and engage him or her in a conversation. For example: “Sure I am happy to leave a voice mail, but before I do I was wondering if you could possibly help me, just to confirm he is the correct person to leave a voice message for, Sue, Is Mike involved in making decisions regarding tools for your database management systems, would he be the best person to approach in order to schedule a quick follow up meeting?”. If you are respectful and treat them as the valuable resource they are, many times you will get a friendly response. For example; “Oh, well sure Mike would be the end of the line decision maker here, but you know I think you’d do better talking to Matt on his team, he really does the evaluations of those types of things specifically and recommends solutions to Mike”. “That’s great thank you Sue, do you happen to have his extension?”. Obviously from there it is important if you can to obtain Matt’s title and last name and spelling is incredibly important for an email follow up. At that point you can do a little research on Matt at LinkedIn or Google and know how to approach Matt. When calling Matt you should always reference the string of where you got his information, for example: “Matt, Sue in Mike’s Office gave me your information and I was told you would be the proper person at Xcompany to schedule time with for an introduction about how (your company) has helped (good current customer reference’s within Matt’s industry) to save as much as 80% on their database costs. Would you have some time next Tuesday in the morning to schedule an overview and technical demonstration call with me?”.
Referencing the referrals on cold calling is invaluable. It is a powerful way to be professional and turn a cold call into a warm call and increasing your odds of success. If you are fortunate enough to get the exact person you are targeting to answer the phone, lets call her the SVP of that multi-million dollar company, even a seasoned cold calling professional can get a little nervous. Lets face it you now have ONE shot that will last you maybe 30 seconds to obtain a follow up meeting with THE decision maker. These next phone tips should really be the same if it is the SVP, Director, Manager or Administrative assistant. First, use a high quality phone. Test the phone and leave yourself a voice message on your cell or other phone so you can hear the quality on the other end. There are many headsets on the market, the very expensive ones are good but use your best judgement. If you have 30 seconds and the first two are your prospect being able to tell you are on a headset or poor quality phone you have already set a bad first impression so the rest of you 29 seconds had better be stellar.
Never follow a written script. If you are in enterprise software or high ticket item sales, it is very easy to tell if someone is ‘reading to you’ and they will dismiss you pretty quickly. You need to know the ‘script’ you have designed and repeat it until you are able to be conversational and light. Keep your speaking at a nice pace, not too fast and not too slow. The initial impulse is to get all that information out there quickly because you know your time is short but work on speaking slowly and distinctly. If you sit when you make cold calls, a good practice is to stand or walk immediately when you get someone on the phone. It allows you to think on your feet and creates a higher level of energy. Always jot down names, extension, anything that could be useful for follow up calls, because if you become methodical you will also become highly effective.
By practicing some of these tips, tricks and techniques you will become a highly effective cold calling professional. Over time you will find you may even have to make fewer calls with the same result because you have learned how to approach the calls and prospects effectively. The end result is always the same, which is more sales and an always overflowing pipeline of potential sales! Good luck and good selling!
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