Do you think cold calls do not get results for salespeople? Think again. This article features twenty effective cold call steps. Each one can put you on the right track to turning your cold calls into hot sales. Before we go over the steps, let’s address some common questions about cold calls.
The later steps in this article provide many ways to improve cold calling techniques. But here are eight simple tips that you should consider.
Yes, cold calling is still alive and well. Companies of all industries can still pick up sales through making cold calls. But they have to apply certain strategies that can provide consistent results. Any modern demand generation strategy should include a policy for making cold calls. Cold calling is still a great way to connect with many prospects. But the key is for salespeople to get informed about who their buyers are. Reps must know what their prospects’ buying processes are. Once they do, problems can get solved. In fact, problem solving is what drives sales that take place through cold calls.
Begin each cold call by making the following simple statement. “Hi, [person’s first name.” Do so in a kind and pleasant manner. Next, dive right into the content of your cold calling script. Never make the following statement at the beginning of any cold call. “Hi, [person’s name]. How are you doing today?” Don’t ask a question like this because the prospect can disrupt the conversation. He or she can ruin the flow of your cold call before you even mention the product or service. Remember- cold calls are about control. You’ve got to maintain control from the start of every conversation. All you must do is identify who you are and then jump into your sales script. Never allow anything to increase your time with a prospect while cold calling.
The number of cold calls per day can vary based on so many factors. Here are four. 1. What product or service you’re selling. 2. How many people you reach per day. 3. The length of your sales script. 4. How much research you do before every call. Only a sales manager can provide you with a number that fits your day-to-day work. But keep in mind that twenty to thirty calls per day is not enough. If you want to make sales, you’ve got to make way more calls per day. Many top-ranked salespeople make over 100 cold calls per day. Talk to your sales manager if you’re unsure how many cold calls you should make. Whatever that number is, try to add an extra ten to fifteen per day. This could help you put more money in your pocket over time.
Cold Call Step #1: Don’t Feel Scared About Cold Calling
Many salespeople never live up to their potential because they fear possible rejection. You cannot afford to be one of these people. The first step to making effective cold calls is changing your attitude about them. Never go into your cold calls with a sense of dread or apathy. If you do, you’re never going to be in the right mindset to generate leads. Dealing with rejection is part of being a salesperson. It comes with the territory. Wear your rejection like a badge of honor. There’s nothing that prospects can do to hurt you. What’s the worst that can happen? They yell at you? Hang up their phones? Well, that’s completely fine. Move on to the next cold call.
Cold Call Step #2: Keep Track of How Many Cold Calls You Must Make
This applies whether it’s a personal goal or a monthly quota. It’s best to have a numerical goal in mind during your cold calls. Why? So that you can stay motivated. Start out by determining how many cold calls you need to make per month. Then you can divide it up so that you have daily goals to reach.
Cold Call Step #3: Know When to Take Care of Your Cold Calling
Weekday afternoons are the best time to make cold calls. Aim for around 3:00-5:00 pm. This is due to most businesspeople getting done with their big tasks of the day by the afternoon.
Cold Call Step #4: Think of Your Cold Calling Efforts as a Game
Cold calling can be fun, if you let it. Change your mindset so that you view it as a game rather than a hassle. Don’t overthink how to turn your calls into a game. Have fun with it—and why not? The success rate is around one to two percent. That means you’ll have to make around ninety-nine calls to get to a next step. Don’t view it as torture. You’re a professional. This is a game that you can win.
Cold Call Step #5: Don’t Feel Afraid to Take Risks During Your Cold Calls
He is one common denominator of some of the best salespeople in the world. They recognize that they can’t always play it safe. If you do, that one to two percent success rate is less likely to ever improve. Here is an example. Say that a call is going off track. This means that you need to be creative and take some risks to get it back on track. Otherwise, the call could spiral out of control and it will be too late to salvage. Taking risks makes cold calls less painful for salespeople. Why? Because it takes away a feeling of constant disappointment or discomfort. You’ll realize you’re more comfortable by going outside of your comfort zone.
Cold Call Step #6: Warm Up the Prospects
In advance of your cold calls, you and your company do all it takes to ensure the prospect recognizes who you are. The prospect should also infer what your company does. Prospects will be so much more likely to want to talk to you if you make as many touches as you can. These include sending emails, letters, webinar invitations, and stopping by their office. Remember- the more touches you make, the warmer the cold calls will be.
Cold Call Step #7: Script Out the Entire Cold Call
Think how much you enjoy your favorite movies. The dialogue in them seems natural and authentic, right? Well, the reason you like your favorite movies is that they don’t seem scripted. But they always are. They’re scripted well. And your cold calling also has to get scripted for success.
As a salesperson, it’s good to improvise every now and then. For example, you can do so whenever a prospect takes a conversation off track. But your focus needs to stay with the prospect and avoid unnecessary verbiage. This means you’ve got to stick to an effective script. If you feel you “sound scripted,” that means your script needs to be rewritten. Re-write it until it sounds genuine and authentic. You don’t have to read the script verbatim one hundred percent of the time. But the script must get used as a guide so that you can communicate well. Don’t overthink your cold call scripts. You cannot assume that the scripts will always lead to a sale. Sales during cold calling are sometimes rare. Your goal is to get each prospect to commit to the next step. The next step is a meeting or second phone call.
Cold Call Step #8: Master the Introductions on Your Cold Calls
Your first ten seconds during cold calling has to be perfect. You’ve got to get your initial introductions down to a science. You should consider revising what you’re saying on a regular basis. First impressions are everything when it comes to cold calls being effective. You’ll need a great opening of seven to ten seconds. You can then buy yourself thirty more seconds of time. Otherwise, you’ve already lost the prospect and there’s little chance of saving the call.
Use pattern interrupts to your advantage so that prospects get caught off guard. This is so they will think to themselves, ‘This person seems interesting. Let’s hear what he/she has to say.’ For example, you can begin your cold call by saying the following. “Hey Steve. [Your first and last name] calling. How have you been?” Notice that, “How have you been?” is written. Never say, “How are you doing?” Why does this matter? It’s because you’re trying to catch the prospect off-guard. You can do so by making him/her think, ‘wait a second, do I know this person?” This is an example of a pattern interrupt. It helps buy yourself the thirty seconds you need to get the cold call started on the right track. Don’t feel afraid of this technique. Most prospects won’t call you out for asking how they’ve been doing.
You could also use flattery to your advantage during cold calling. For example, you can open the call by congratulating the prospect on a recent achievement. This means that you’ve got to do your research before the call. You might see on Facebook or LinkedIn that the prospect did something exceptional. If so, bring it up when you’re doing cold calling.
Cold Call Step #9: Use the Right Tone of Voice
Tone matters. A lot. You must ensure that you’re speaking in a pleasant manner that a stranger wouldn’t mind hearing. The most effective way to go about this is to do personality mirroring. This is where you match the prospect’s tone of voice and patterns of speech. But don’t go too far where it sounds like you’re imitating your prospects or sounding fake.
Cold Call Step #10: Never Ask, “Did I Catch You at a Bad Time?”
Remove phrases like this ASAP. If a prospect has other stuff going on during your call, he or she will tell you. Otherwise, always assume that it’s fine to go ahead with your cold call. Many prospects will use this question as a means to lie and get out of the call.
Cold Call Step #11: Leave Short-But-Sweet Voicemails
Your cold call voicemails should be no longer than thirty seconds. Script out your voicemails in advance of every cold call. This is so you’ll know exactly what to say every time. Plus, you’ll avoid unnecessary pauses like saying, “Uh.” Your goal must be, to make a statement that piques the interest of your leads. You can pick the most likely pain point or challenge that you think the prospect is experiencing. Next, you should state that your company has solutions. Remember, the goal isn’t only to make a sale, it’s also to pique someone’s curiosity.
Cold Call Step #12: Let Rejection Motivate You
Stay positive and don’t let rejection bother you. It’s easy to get discouraged, but every call is a new opportunity. Never take rejection personally. Remember- it’s business, not personal. You’re too talented of a salesperson to let rejection discourage you.
Cold Call Step #13: Avoid Talking About Yourself
The focus of a cold call should never be on you. All that matters is finding solutions for your prospects. The more you talk about yourself, the more likely it will be that prospects will lose interest. That’s why you need to engage with them. You’ve got to get to the purpose of your call fast and get right into it. Cut down as much as you can on sentences explaining your company and your story. The prospects don’t care. They care about themselves, which is why you have to focus on them.
Cold Call Step #14: Use Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions avoid “yes” or “no” responses. They allow prospects to explain their challenges and pain points. Try to start your questions with who, what, where, ‘when, and how. This will allow you to give your prospects ample room for responses.
Cold Call Step #15: Focus on Challenges
One of the best ways to engage prospects during cold calls is to focus on challenges. Everyone experiences problems in their industries or markets. This will set up your prospects to reveal what their true challenges are. It will also help ensure that you seem knowledgeable and caring. You want to appear to be an expert more than a salesperson. The more you can get your prospect talking, the more likely you are to get a second meeting and close the sale. Here is an example. You could say this. “I’ve noticed companies in your marketplace are dealing with X, Y, and Z.” This gets into the person’s challenges. It positions prospects to talk about themselves and what they’ve been facing.
Here is another example. After talking about challenges, ask a question like this. “Steve, do you often experience any of these challenges?” This will invite the prospect into the conversation. Even if the prospect says, “No,” then you can follow-up: “Fair enough. But can I ask you one final question? If there was one thing you feel you could be doing better with X [Prospect’s main responsibilities], what would it be?” Next, let the prospect fill the space.
Cold Call Step #16: Concentrate on Two-Way Dialogue
The more prospects talk, the more likely they are to stay on the phone. This is so you can find an opportunity to get a next step that will turn into a sale. Focus less on pitching what you have to sell and focus more on engaging your prospects. Do so in an authentic, two-way conversation. Have fun, be yourself, and make sure your prospect talks more than you.
Cold Call Step #17: Dig Deep on Every Cold Call
Don’t go into pitch mode during cold calling once the prospect is talking. Here is an example. Your prospect says, “Actually, one of the challenges we’re dealing with is this…” Don’t say, “Well, I’ve got the solution for you!” Remember, because you’re a salesperson doesn’t mean you should sound like one. All you need to say is, “Tell me more.” Dig deep so the prospect will feel engaged and realize the value of what you have to offer as he or she continues to talk.
Cold Call Step #18: Get the Next Step Set Up
This is the most important step of the cold calling process. You must establish a next step, otherwise, the cold call was for nothing. The goal of any cold call isn’t to get a sale, it’s to get a next step. Whether it’s a face to face meeting, another call, or a webinar. The unique situation doesn’t matter. Get a date and time set up.
Cold Call Step #19: Confirm the Next Step
Say that your prospect agrees to a next step. Send out a calendar invite while you still have the person on the phone. Don’t stop there. Confirm with the prospect that he or she received the invite and accepted it.
Here’s an example. Say, “Why don’t I come to your office? I can sit down with you to show you how our company has been able to solve challenges like yours?” If the prospect says, “Sure,” ask what date and time works best for them. Then say, “Okay, great. Are you in front of your computer or phone by any chance?” The prospect will say, “Yes I am.” Then reply, “Okay, great. I’m going to send you a calendar invite right now. If you don’t mind, can you confirm you’ve gotten it while we’re still on the phone? This way, we’ll avoid any constant back-and-forth.” Most prospects should agree to do follow along. This way, you’ll have already confirmed that there’s a next step. And even better, the next step is now in set in stone.
Cold Call Step #20: Don’t Take Breaks, Make More Cold Calls
Great cold callers don’t make five cold calls at a time. They keep pushing through and maintaining momentum. This happens regardless of if prospects are picking up or agreeing to next steps. The cold caller must get in a rhythm and stay in that rhythm for as long as possible. This is especially important due to the low percentage success rates of cold calls.
Doing Research Will Improve Your Cold Calling Ability
Doing research is one of the key actions that will improve your cold calls over time. Why? Because you have to know what type of prospect you are going after. So, how can you do your cold calling research fast? It’s simple- you have plenty of tools at your disposal. In fact, there are more tools for cold calling available right now than ever before. Using the tools will prevent you from going into any cold call blind. Are you having trouble thinking of research tools that can help you? Here are some of the best ones, in no particular order. 1. LinkedIn. 2. Facebook. 3. Instagram. 4. Twitter. 5. Google search results. 6. The prospect’s company website. All six of these cold calling research tools matter. They can help you learn about each prospect in a matter of seconds. The more you know about every prospect, the greater your chances are of making a sale. The internet contains a wealth of information. What salespeople find online can help them do their pre-call research. Consider doing some fast research before every cold call that you make.
Conclusion: Follow the Cold Calling Steps in This Article
Put the twenty steps of this article into your cold calling routine. Doing so will help ensure that you position yourself to get to more next steps. The key is to stay consistent and positive. Before long, your cold calls will put you in a position to make hot sales. And if they don’t, contact our firm at any time. Our sales training experts can assess how your cold calling abilities can improve. We can provide articles and courses that could improve your cold call skills fast. Our team looks forward to helping you succeed. And if you have any questions, our dedicated staff is ready to respond. Our experts can instruct you on cold calling tips over the phone or through email.