What is Cold Calling?
By cold calling, we are referring to the strategy where salespeople call a prospect they haven?t made any connection with. The call is made completely ?out of the blue? where a salesperson talks to the prospect about your products or services.
When the internet wasn?t as prevalent as it is now, cold calling was one of the primary ways companies used to approach customers and generate leads. In fact, it used to be one of the only prospecting strategies marketers and salespeople used.
The past four decades have been revolutionary when it comes to lead generation. More efficient and effective strategies like email marketing have emerged. In fact, these strategies and marketing techniques have saturated the market.
So, is cold calling dead?
The answer to that is no. It would be pretty na?ve to say that cold calling has completely lost its effectiveness. Pushy, untrained salespeople have previously tarnished the image of cold calling. But you can?t say that it?s dead and has become an archived strategy that doesn?t work anymore.
It might not be the go-to tactic for many marketers, but it can still be an important part of your strategy, provided it is used correctly. In order to guarantee the success of cold calling, you might need to make it a part of your overall holistic lead generation strategy.
Instead of dumping it completely, you need to refine your cold calling strategy to make it work for you. You need to make use of all the resources available to you and build a rapport with each customer to generate good leads.
Don?t let the negative reputation of cold calling dissuade you from using this strategy. You can really miss out from getting good leads if you don?t pursue it. There are some tips that can help you optimize cold calling and make it work for you.
Create a Script
While each prospect should be handled on an individual basis, a basic script is necessary for cold calling. Your salespersons should have a general framework that they can use as a guide to ensure each client gets the necessary information.
You want to make sure that in the midst of making a high volume of calls, they don?t miss out on any details. Also, making the right statements is necessary to convince them to purchase your products or services.
However, there are some considerations when it comes to writing that script. Sales and marketing suggest that the script should not be used word for word. They should only be considered as guidelines. Stick to the details of the script but alter for each specific client.
Since sales calls are recorded, you can listen to the successful ones and learn what worked. Use that call as inspiration for the script. It can help employees, especially ones with less experience, to steer the conversation in the right direction.
Prospect your Leads
Create a targeted list of prospects before you begin cold calling. Even though making cold calls is far economical than say, spending hundreds of dollars on newspaper ads or Google AdWords, making random calls will not lead to anything. So the first thing you need to do is, filter the list of prospects based on relevant crieteiras and target only those people who are likely to be interested in your services.
Just like marketers do for targeting customers, make lead personas. Focus on understanding the needs and pain points your company?s products or services solve. Remember that cold calling works most effectively when the call is relevant to the targeted lead.
Research is a crucial part of making cold calls. You need to be prepared and know how to handle each customer before picking up the phone. Once you have a targeted customer, try to find out as much information about them as you can.
Use social media, LinkedIn, the company?s website, etc., to get some background information on the prospect. Even a basic Google search will give you some insight into understanding who the client is.
The Right Time
Successful cold calls always happen when they happen at the right time. If you call your prospects at random, you might catch them at a bad time. They might be in the middle of a meeting or even after they have left for home.
This is where your research and prospecting will come in handy. When you research the decision maker or gatekeeper prior to making the call, you?ll have a better understanding of when to target them.
The general recommendation is to wait until later in the day when the prospect is less likely to be busy. The salesperson needs to understand that the prospect might not be receptive to the cold call. Rejection is a part of this game. However, persistence pays off. If you time the calls correctly and make an offer relevant to the customer?s needs, they might be willing to listen sooner rather than later.
Avoid Making Small Talk
Mastering the art of conversation is critical to making successful cold calls. While pleasantries and small talk work for personal conversations, they can be counterproductive when you talk to a professional about doing business with you.
Start the cold call with direct statements. For example, you can begin the call by introducing yourself and where you work and then immediately move on to discuss the reason for the call. Experts suggest that you steer clear of asking the prospect if they have time to talk. Even though it seems like a polite thing to do, it gives the recipient the perfect chance to evade the call. When you ask, they will simply say no and hang up. Besides, if they are extremely busy, they?ll let you know.
Keep a hold on the questions until you have determined that the prospect is hearing what you have to say. Once the conversation starts flowing, you can ask for additional details.
Always remain polite throughout the conversation. Make a point of using their name respectfully when addressing them.
Along with that, make sure that you are prepared to provide any information that the client might need. The worst thing you can do on a cold call is not knowing anything about the prospect or details regarding your product or services.
This is the reason why a script or call guide is crucial.
Lastly, being prompt in your follow up is the key to locking in a lead. Be proactive during the cold call and ask the lead permission to send them an email with more information. This way, you?ll gain an opt-in and have another channel for communicating with them.
Let them know that you?ll be making a follow-up call. Tell them the day and time they can expect the call and then make certain that you stick to it. Make the call at exactly that time.
We understand that all of this can be overwhelming at first. However, having the right technology on hand can make all the difference in your efforts.
The Solastis CRM+BPM software platform comes loaded with features that automate and facilitate efficiency in cold calling. The centralized database can help store the data while features like email integration and the ticketing system can make following up with the leads easy.
To find out more ways Solastis can support your cold calling efforts, click here.