Cold calling is a challenging feat to accomplish, without a doubt. You need to be equipped with many skills ranging from objection response to performing pre-call research and developing sound product knowledge. This leads to around 48% of B2B salespeople being scared to make an outbound call. The person making a cold call also has […]
Did you know about 82% of buyers accept an initial meeting when a salesperson reaches out to them via call?
This goes out to say, how cold calling can act as your go-to sales strategy. However, when it comes to sales, it’s not just about how many emails you send or phone calls you make.
It’s about how many deals you close and the money you bring in. It is more probable that you will meet or perhaps surpass your sales target if you fill the sales funnel with quality leads and nurture them. You can’t rely entirely on the leads that come into your CRM system to do this.
You have to reach out to as many people as you can. The use of cold telephone calls and emails is one option in this situation. We’ll explore the definition of cold calling and the many details that can help you capture the interest of your target audience.
What is cold calling?
Cold calling is the practice of contacting potential clients over the phone to solicit business. A cold call is an excellent way to uncover prospects and generate sales leads for your products and services.
Some of them may be unaware of your company, and they may not be interested in your products or services. In any case, you engage with them to raise awareness of your company and finally close a deal.
How does cold calling work?
People who haven’t indicated an interest in the products or services being provided by your company are contacted using the cold calling technique. “Cold calling” often refers to telemarketing or phone solicitation, but it can also include face-to-face contacts, such as those made by salespeople who go door to door.
Cold-calling salespeople that are successful are those who are persistent and don’t mind being rejected over and over again. If they want to be successful, they need to do their homework and learn as much as possible about their target audience and the market. Therefore, cold calling-based professions are known for having a high attrition rate.
What is the purpose of cold calling?
Cold calling is an effective method for interacting with potential customers one-on-one to move them further in the purchasing process. In the past, cold calling was synonymous with the “spray and pray” approach, which involved making many unsolicited phone calls hoping that one of them would be answered.
With the introduction of the inbound method, prospects can “opt-in” and become leads via the websites or through messaging. While this may have lessened the effectiveness and popularity of cold calls, they still have a role in an inbound sales approach.
How does this help in sales?
When it comes to closing sales, digital platforms may not be enough to persuade potential customers to take action. It’s also possible that inbound traffic will be scarce. Even as an outbound approach, a cold call can be executed in a way that is no longer “cold” if appropriate research is done.
Sales tactics and prospecting technologies like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Clearbit, and Leadfeeder have transformed how cold calling is done. There are a plethora of sources where you may learn a lot about individuals and companies. So why not spend a few minutes doing some homework on your potential client?
- A simple Google search of your potential customers and their businesses
- Their company’s official site
- Tweets from the last few days
- Their activity on LinkedIn
- You can see how many times they’ve visited your website and how many times they’ve clicked on the resources you’ve offered by using a CRM system. You can also see how many times they’ve opened your emails.
This will help you better prepare for and engage with your potential customers. Engage with them on social media once you have a good understanding of their sector, business, and pain point.
Before you make a sales call, take the time to know your potential customers and build a relationship with them. You’re now in the domain of warm calling, an evolved form of cold calling.
Difference between warm calling and cold calling
- No prior context is established before a call to the prospect
- Seller approaches first
- Difficult to establish trust with the prospect
- The success rate is low
- A prior context is established before calling a prospect
- Customer approaches first
- The higher success rate as compared to cold calls
How to make a cold call more pleasant?
It made sense in the earlier years to cold call potential customers directly to their office because it was the only way to get through. But now, people can be approached via a variety of channels. To get to know your potential customer, here are a few tips.
1. Using the power of social media to sell
Most of the CXOs rely on social media to help them make purchasing decisions. Put this to good use by connecting and conversing with your target demographics on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Prospecting in this manner helps you generate more leads and warms up cold leads.
2. Cold Emails
A well-written email is a great way to get a cold call through. With a compelling subject line, content tailored to each persona, addressing their pain points, and a heavy dose of added value, a cold email with these characteristics is far more likely to be opened or reacted to.
When you use an email management system, you’ll be notified instantly whenever your prospects open your email or click on the materials you’ve shared with them. You’ll be able to contact them at the appropriate moment now that you have this information. A follow-up strategy can be created if you don’t get the answer you hoped for.
You’ve got your prospect warmed up, and you make a call. There is a huge probability that it will end up in a voicemail. To let the prospects know that you’ve attempted to reach them, leave a voicemail. Remember, it’s just as vital to call someone as it is to leave a voicemail. Have a compelling voicemail script ready that will garner you a callback in the same way as cold emails.
What are the advantages of cold calling?
Informative: When making a cold or warm call to a potential customer, a lot can be said for creating a personal touch. Assuming the prospect has already done some research, they may ask questions and get answers from a salesman without wasting much time.
Personalized: Cold emails can’t compete with the personal touch of speaking to a real person. As with unsolicited direct mail, a cold email is easy to ignore.
Easy to follow up: If nothing else, making a second contact allows you to provide a more personalized experience, establish a business relationship, and hopefully complete a deal (or, at least, come closer to making it). Potential customers often request time to decide, and multiple phone conversations and face-to-face encounters might aid in this.
What are the best cold calling techniques?
With persistence, patience, research about the prospect, and a well-written script, you can finally close a sale. The following guidelines can help you make a successful cold call:
1. Know whom you’re cold calling and why
It’s Important to prepare before making a cold call. You need to know who you’re calling, what they do, what they need, and how you can help them, as well as what they like to do. It is then easier to engage potential customers in discussion and successfully conclude the call when you make the actual phone call itself.
2. Write out an effective script
Prepare a cold call script in advance so that you can get the most out of every opportunity. Don’t read out the script. However, you mustn’t forget anything when a potential customer is on the other end of the phone.
3. Every cold call script has the same essential elements
A strong opening, a value offer, qualifying questions, and a closing statement. Have a strong opening for your pitch so that you don’t appear rude or incompetent when you’re trying to sell something. There isn’t a one-script-fits-all approach to cold calling. If your script doesn’t cater to your customers, they won’t buy from you.
4. Be Persistent
Your prospects need time to make a decision, and that means you’ll have to keep calling them and be patient with them.
5. Wrap up the cold call properly
Don’t just hang up and move on after each cold call. Agree on the next steps, like having a follow-up meeting, giving them a proposal, or sharing additional information. In addition, you should get the prospect’s commitment to the next stages.
6. Understand reasons for the failure of the cold call
Find out why the prospect isn’t interested, so you know how to proceed moving forward. It could also be that they’re not a good fit for your product or service at this time.
7. Take notes of successful and unsuccessful calls
Take note of what worked and didn’t work, and go on from there. What could have been done or stated better? Cold calling skills can be improved by including this extra step into your routine.
How to perfect your cold calling techniques?
When it comes to cold calling, it takes practice to become good at it. When doing so, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Sound natural while talking to the prospect
You’ll sound more natural by not reading your script. The best method to achieve this is to understand your script well so that when you speak what you’ve memorized, it flows naturally.
2. Work on your tone
7 % of a message’s perception is based on the uttered words; 38% depends on how they’re said, and 55% is based on facial expressions, according to studies. This isn’t true on the phone as the facial component is eliminated, which makes ‘how you speak’ crucial. It’s best to sound curious, kind, or helpful on cold calls. This subconsciously piques the attention of the people you meet.
3. Be a good listener
During a cold call, it’s important to let the prospect speak and ask questions after you’ve made your opening statement. Listening intently to what the prospect has to say is the key to making a good first impression in cold calling. This also allows you to acquire and record essential information that you can refer to later in the sales cycle.
4. Ask open-ended questions
When you ask open-ended questions, your prospect will feel like they’re participating in a conversation rather than a game of 20-questions. This is an excellent chance to learn about the specific requirements of a potential customer.
5. Handle objections professionally
Be ready to answer any questions or criticisms. Make a note of the most common objections you hear, and then practice and perfect your responses to turn them into chances. When you know how to reply to objections, they open the door to further discussion.
6. Consistent and persistent practice
Make sure you practice, practice, and practice so that you become an expert at cold calling. Every time you make a call, you’ll be able to get better.
Tips for preparing a cold calling script
- Gauge the prospects’ interest levels before diving into the call. Check with them if it is okay to proceed with the call. By allowing them to decline, you’re demonstrating your regard for their time.
- The length of the call should be made clear to the prospect at the outset of the call. Prospects will be more committed if they know how long the pitch will last. To prevent losing the prospect’s trust, make sure you keep to the time restriction you have set for the meeting.
- The best way to begin your sales pitch is to inquire about the customer’s pain issues. With this information, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly how your product might benefit this individual and adapt your sales pitch to them.
- Provide concrete examples of how your product or service helps to alleviate a problem. Make use of current customer data to discover the most prevalent problems that potential customers are now encountering. To determine which product aspects to discuss with prospects, create buyer personas.
- Take a look at your competition and see what sets you distinct from them. Make sure you know your competition so that you can respond to their claims and illustrate what sets you apart. You should also employ consultative selling and be courteous of your competition, as potential customers might have used them in the past.
- Testimonials and reviews are powerful sales tools, but so is social evidence. A lot of people believe online reviews written by strangers are trustworthy.
- Quite a few individuals trust recommendations from their friends and family members. By sharing the stories of people they know, you might entice prospects to listen to what you have to say.
- You need to give your potential customers a reason to trust you. Showing how much you know about the prospect’s business can help you acquire their trust. You can learn about your prospect’s company and their demands through many channels. For example, you can utilize LinkedIn or the company’s website to stay up to date on the latest news.
- Sharing powerful statistics always works. The pain points of your prospect should be reflected in the facts/data you present. Show how your product can assist customers in achieving their goals, such as increasing their productivity.
- Asking the right questions might help you better understand your prospect’s needs and indicate that you care about assisting them. To make your pitch more relevant to the person you’re talking to, it helps to probe them first.
- Show potential customers what they are missing out on by not using your product. Give examples of how current customers have benefited from certain product features that solve some of the inefficiencies.
- Share a customer success story to pique the interest of your prospects. Let them know how you could help them with the issue they were having and how you could help them in the same way. You should only employ this strategy if the prospect says they’re available to talk. If they’re rushed, you won’t get their attention.
- Salespeople who are knowledgeable about the sector and can give appropriate solutions are sought after by customers. By citing recent customer triumphs and industry honours, you may demonstrate your knowledge.
- A successful cold call can still be lost even if the prospect is interested and asks many questions. Make sure prospects understand what you need from them before you complete the transaction.
- Don’t give up if the potential customer indicates they’re not interested right away. Tell them how your product or service will benefit their business. Sales objections will be raised, so be prepared to patiently explain how you can help them.
- During your phone contact, make an effort to schedule your next meeting. When potential customer can see their schedule, they may ask to connect by email. Be persistent if they don’t answer your email follow-ups. The majority of the prospects need to hear your pitch three to five times before they believe it.
Tips for dealing with the most difficult gatekeepers
You may think of your executive assistants as “guard dogs,” but if you treat them well, they can become your friends and allies. Some helpful advice for dealing with the people who can help you get in touch with your potential customer:
- Show them respect and understanding, develop a relationship with them, and get to know them. Once people have confidence in you, they may be willing to assist you.
- As you’re getting ready to contact, use what you’ve learned about their business to earn their trust. This demonstrates that you have done your research and gives them confidence that you will be an asset to their employer.
- Send a pre-call email or social platform message to engage your prospect and provide them with something of value, such as a white paper. When they respond, ask if you may call and find out when is the best time to reach out to them. After that, you’ll be able to let the gatekeeper know that their supervisor is looking forward to your call.
- When the gatekeeper is not on duty, such as around lunch or the end of the workday, make a phone call. As a result, you have a better chance of getting through to your prospect without having your call checked.
- When you speak with confidence, the gatekeeper is more likely to let your call through.
- Don’t try to sound pretentious. You’re more likely to be rejected if you sound like you’re reciting lines from a script to the gatekeeper.
List of the best books on cold calling
To get a better understanding of how to cold call, you can read the following books:
- “Outbound Sales, No Fluff” by Rex Biberston and Ryan Reisert: Outbound prospecting, also known as cold calling, is the focus of this book.
- “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount: This book provides detailed instructions for using his revolutionary method to prospecting based on real-world experiences.
- “Smart Calling” by Art Sobczak: Sobczak’s book explains how to avoid frequent cold calling blunders and instead become a more successful cold caller.
Read : Best Cold Calling Tips.
Downsides of cold calling
- Cold calling elicits various consumer responses, including acceptance, call terminations or hang-ups, and even verbal assaults. According to a LinkedIn study, the success rate of cold calling to book a meeting is less than 2%. 1 According to a Baylor University research report, it took 200 to 300 calls before an appointment was scheduled. 2 A warm call salesperson, on the other hand, can boast a higher success rate.
- Cold calling is becoming less appealing as technology progresses. Email, SMS, and social media marketing through venues like Facebook and Twitter are the newer and more successful ways to prospect. These new techniques are typically more efficient and effective in generating new leads than traditional ones like cold calling.
- In cold calling, Robo-dialing (also known as robocalling) is the most recent invention, in which algorithms automatically dial and produce pre-recorded messages. The National Do Not Call Registry, a Government regulation has had a significant influence on the ability of cold callers to contact a large number of potential clients. Also, the scam artists using cold calling to swindle has further hampered the effectiveness of cold calling.
Although cold calling as a practice is becoming less popular, cold calling has changed along with newer sales strategies. These calls are all about making them less cold by building a rapport with the potential customer and providing context.
Understanding and empathizing with the requirements of your potential customers is essential. Many of your prospects will become customers if you do these things correctly.
Take your cold calling game to new heights by implementing NeoDove in your sales strategy. Receive real-time lead data and track team’s performance with an efficient telecalling CRM especially build for cold calling.