10 Cold Calling Tips to “Dummy Proof” Your Efforts
The very first thing that scares most people about sales is the initial cold call. Often it can turn away a potential salesperson before they ever get their feet wet in the business. Cold-calling can be hard! What if I told you that a few simple cold calling tips can be the difference between sinking and swimming? Give these tips a try.
- Start with a smile. Have you ever heard the expression, “You will attract more bees with honey than vinegar?” The simple truth is that people are just more attracted to someone who is smiling—and, yes, you can actually hear a difference in the tone of a voice when someone you are talking to on the phone is smiling. Here’s another interesting thing happens to someone who is smiling: They will automatically be more expressive with their words, their tone and their demeanor. The first three seconds of cold calling contact are all about likeability. Smile!
- Remember to ask, “Am I catching you at a good time?” The very first thing that puts people on edge is the perception that you are treading on their personal time, space or safety. One of the easiest things you can do to warm up a sales prospect is to communicate respect for their time. Remember that the first 30 seconds of a cold call are about communicating respect and safety and appearing trustworthy.
- Pre-think your call to action. If you are lucky enough to get through by following the first cold calling tips, don’t lose sight of what are you hoping to accomplish the first time you talk to the prospect. Within three minutes you need to clearly identify the purpose of your call.
- Expect objections. The name of the game in cold calling is remembering that people do not spend their money easily. This is not personal; it’s business. If you remember to expect objections before you get started it will be much easier to remain polite under all circumstances.
- Propose value. Whether you are selling a product or a service, remember that value usually begins with proposing something that’s better than what the competition has to offer. That value proposition usually comes back to either speed of delivery, price or the overall quality of the product or service. Know what your value proposition is before you call.
- Always ask open-ended questions. In the best possible scenario you are trying to get your prospect to talk to you and give you key information to make the sale. You cannot gain key information if you are not asking questions and avidly listening.
- Cast a wide net. In a large sea, there are millions of fish. How many fish you catch really comes back to how many times you drop your line with bait on it. One of the key principles in cold calling is resiliency: You have to keep fishing, over and over again. Eventually you’ll catch something.
- Take your time and hope that the power will shift. Another tactic you can utilize in cold calling tips is to be short on words and to draw out the conversation. The best possible result is that you stop asking the prospect questions and the prospect uses that time to start asking you questions. In cold calling this is where the power shift happens that allows for sales conversion.
- Take detailed digital notes and leave the door open. In this new day and age most cold-callers are taking notes in a CRM or CRM portal. If one is not available to you, the next best thing is to jot digital notes with feedback about interest level, objections and the next best time to contact the prospect. Why digital notes? They are faster to take, and they are easy to search.
- Repeat after me: “The gatekeeper is your new best friend.” Never, ever fail to recognize the importance of the gatekeeper. You can use all of the tips above to create a separate “sell” to get from the gatekeeper to the decision-maker.
The most effective cold calling tips help you turn your sale into a “game.” It can actually be fun! While the ideal outcome is always to connect with your prospect, remember not to let it discourage your process if you do not. Just like anything in life, it can take hours of practice to become a great cold-caller. The trick is not to give up.
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