Prospect or Perish: Tips to make your cold calls more effective
Written by: Derek Weber
Let’s face it, nobody likes to make cold calls, but it is an absolute must in maintaining a full pipeline of prospects, especially for newer companies and sales reps. Fortunately, if cold calling is done correctly, your percentage of successes will be higher, you will see the fruit of your labors, and understand why it is a necessary tool in any prospect tool box.
When placing cold calls, your one and only goal is to schedule a sales meeting; that’s it. To do this, you must first qualify the suspect into a prospect by establishing if the client is in need of your services (discover their pain/need), has the budget to pay for your service, and is a client you would want to do business with. If the answer to all of these questions are yes, then that turns the suspect into a legitimate prospect. Do not, no matter what, no matter how tempting it may be, do not try to sell on a cold call…ever.
The key to any successful cold call is to make it a smooth and seamless conversation, not seem like a scripted and rehearsed sales pitch. The second you start going into full sales pitch mode, the person on the other end of the phone will pull back and place a mental wall between you that will be nearly impossible to overcome. At this point, they are not listening to what you say, but rather what is the easiest and quickest way to get off the phone with you. The easiest and most effective way to accomplish this is not by what you tell them but by what you ask them.
Make a list of 10 things that are vitally important to the health of your client’s businesses and specifically to the role of the person you will be calling on. Under each of these topics, now write 3 questions that you could ask your prospect about how effective their company is in accomplishing these aspects. By just equipping yourself with these questions, you will greatly improve your effectiveness, because when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how good your product/service is, if your prospects don’t know why they need you.
There are many other things you can do to improve your cold calls as well:
- keep a running list of common objections and ways to steer clear of them
- send a direct mail piece to “warm up” the call
- keep all of your calls per day within one industry; it will keep your mind focused on the problems in that industry
- research the heck out of the client before you call them; we have a full page info form that must be filled out on each prospect before a cold call is ever made
- hold yourself accountable for making a certain number of calls each week
- PICK UP THE PHONE AND MAKE SOME CALLS!!!
Read our series on prosecting:
- Tips to make your cold calls more effective
- 4 ways to make networking easier
- 5 great places to find referrals
- Targeted Marketing: Hot chocolate for your sales