The world is evolving every day, and so are our ways of interaction. We live in a age where business deals happen over social media chat boxes. Some people are still using traditional methods like cold calling in a world ruled by digital marketing. Cold calling involves selling to prospects through unsolicited phone calls.
But does cold calling work?
Cold calling can be a daunting process because they are not always received well by people. Cold callers have a reputation for being annoying and intrusive. Most of them find their way to people's block list. So why isn’t cold calling dead already?
The statistics below paint an interesting picture:
- According to a Comprehensive Rain Group Study, 57% of level C buyers prefer sales personnel calling them.
- A study by Rain Group confirms that 82% of people say yes to a meeting when a sales group approaches them.
- A DiscoverOrg Study states that 75% of prospects attend meetings or events over cold calling.
- Velocity found that it ideally takes six calls to seal the deal.
All these statistics confirm that cold calling is very much alive, and how! Many businesses or salespeople back out from cold calling for fear of being rejected or mistreated. This is probably because you don’t know the right way to approach prospects.
Well, don’t worry because we will show you how you can ace your cold calling game with the help of six tried and tested steps.
Let’s dive in!
6 Steps for Sales teams to Ace their Cold Calling Game
Here are some tips that will come in handy for sales teams to ace their cold calling game:
1. Know who you are calling
One of the greatest mistakes you can make while cold calling is not caring enough to know about your prospect. Some salespeople call random people whose numbers they find on local directories. If you start calling random people, there’s a high chance that you’ll be rejected, leaving you discouraged.
Always make an effort to learn relevant information about your prospect before calling. So that while you are on the call, you can bring it up to get their attention in a personalized way.
For example, if you offer a recruiting service, you may say, “Hey Miss/Mr X, we have been following your posts for a while and noticed that you are looking for a communication coordinator in your office…”
Personalizing your calls will make your prospect feel valued and important. It will give the impression that you are invested in offering a solution to them through your service or products and not just calling them to feed your sales figure.
2. Record the conversation
Pressing that record button and recording your call will help you analyze your conversation technique and improve your performance. This is especially true during the initial days of cold calling, as you might make certain mistakes. Listening to your call records will help you self reflect.
You can figure out where you went right or wrong. For instance, when the customer lost interest or what topic triggered their interest and so on. It is a great way to improve your skills and strategise your next steps. Your cold calling success rates can significantly increase if you strategise your conversation and plan your moves well.
A tool that can help you here is Salesken. This speech analytics tool can analyze all the recorded conversations between reps and prospects and identify the key areas for improvement. An intent-based lead scoring process can help you distinguish between valuable and non-valuable leads. Therefore, it becomes easier to identify the right leads and engage with them over cold calling. The chances of conversion are higher.
To know more, book a free demo!
3. Draft scripts for each cold call
Now that you have analysed all your call records, you have a fair idea about how people react, what questions they ask, and what triggers their interest. Call success will depend on how well you present your motive and answer the prospect’s questions with precision.
The next best thing you can do is gather and list all the important analyses from your call records, and prepare a script. Practice your script so you sound natural and engaging and not robotic.
4. Find a suitable call schedule
Most people are probably busy and are less likely to pick up the call or engage in any form of conversation if you call them at the wrong time. Do your research and figure out a suitable calling time that works for both of you.
You can research their working hours, holidays and break time. Prospects will probably not talk with you during office hours but can spare a few seconds during their breaks. An Inside sales study found that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days where prospects are likely to engage with your call.
5. Build their interest in the first few seconds
The first few seconds are crucial in a cold calling. It determines whether the prospect will hang up or continue talking to you. And it all depends on the way you introduce the motive of the call. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t pitch in too early. Be personal, be polite and be direct. Address the prospect on a first name basis adding a suitable title. For example, “Good evening Mr X or Miss Y,” where ‘X’ and ‘Y’ are their first name.
People will directly disconnect your call if your reason for calling doesn’t seem compelling enough. Be enthusiastic with your greeting and introduce the subject of your call to trigger their interest. The call's success will depend on your ability to attract your prospect in the initial seconds of the call.
6. Pitch at the correct time
One of the greatest mistakes you can make while cold calling is pitching too early or too late. Pitching too early can come off as desperate and self-centred, and late pitching can risk not getting to the point and boring your potential customers.
To figure out the most suitable pitching time, begin by introducing the motive of the call. Then, bring up the prospect’s problems or needs and introduce your pitch in the form of a solution that you are offering. There is no point in dragging the conversation longer. Your prospects have spared a few seconds of their valuable time to listen to you, try to make it worthwhile and short.
What are the roadblocks in the way of cold calling?
To close a deal successfully, every cold caller has to get past certain roadblocks. We will be discussing the three important factors that can come in the way of your call's success and how to address them.
1. Addressing the assistants
When you try calling a senior executive, you may have to get past their assistants or receptionists. Their role is to ensure that only valid and important calls are forwarded to the executives to avoid wasting any time. Be confident, direct and concise while interacting with them. Present an image of someone important with a legitimate reason to connect. The assistant will be bound to divert the call to the executive.
2. Following up the right way
Follow up calls are crucial. Many times prospects ask you to call on a different date. In the interim, the potential customer may lose interest in your offering or completely forget about your existence.
The follow-up call is as important as the first call. You may have to get past the assistants again. Hark back to the previous time you spoke, refresh their memory a little and continue to talk with confidence.
3. Sealing the deal
Never seem desperate or pushy while trying to close the deal. This can make your prospect uncomfortable. Keep them intrigued and position the deal in a way that seems attractive to them. If the prospects seem hesitant, offer them incentives in the form of discounts or promotional codes. This can take you towards the final point of closing the deal successfully.
Cold calling is still a relevant method for closing important deals. While rejections and disappointments are par for the course and you will not get a successful deal in every cold calling process, it’s still an effective method. It is just a matter of strategy and planning. Once you learn how to cold call properly, there is no one to stop you and your business from reaching new heights!