4 Methods to Taking the Cold out of Cold Calls
Ways to Sound Warm and Welcoming During the Dreaded Sales Cold Calls
Ask any member of your sales team what their least favorite part of the job is, and chances are it has something to do with making cold calls. It’s tough to ring up a person who doesn’t know they need you yet, but that’s the important thing to remember – they just might.
Like any other method, cold calls need a bit of nuance to pull off. There are proven strategies that can warm up the tone of the call and bring new prospects into the conversation. The key is to remember you are taking up someone else’s time—so you need to project value right away. Here are 4 methods to try today.
1. Customize the Call
Know the basics before picking up the phone. If you are calling a doctor’s office, expect to leave a voicemail. Have a message in mind before dialing the phone. If you are calling an IT company, understand the person on the other end of the line may be in the middle of several jobs at once, and is rarely in the mood for small talk. A few other things to keep in mind:
- Have a name of someone to speak with before you dial
- Know the relative size of the operation (one owner doing it all or a team?)
- Do your research and know a little about who you are calling on
Also know why this company needs you in the first place. Have specific gains in mind for the person on the other end of the phone and communicate them quickly.
2. Script BUT…
Having a script is a good idea. It helps kill the nerves that can flare up during cold calls BUT make sure that script allows for conversation. If you are droning on and on without taking the potential clients questions into account—you’ve lost. A good script should include:
- Your name and your company
- Why you are calling
- How long this call will take (a few minutes)
- Ways they can reach you
- Bullet points of what needs to be accomplished
And that’s it; the majority of the script should be bullet pointed information to remind you to approach each person on the other end of the line as an actual human. Listen to their voice. Are they in a rush? Are they quiet? You need to be able to stray from the script when necessary to adjust your approach. Remember, you are talking to a person, neither one of you are robots; conversation can take you further than a full scripted approach.
Also, be prepared for any curveballs thrown your way. If you need to deviate from your script, don’t be afraid to do so. And if you don’t have the answer, just be honest and let them know you will find out and get back to them.
3. Short and Sweet
This cold calling strategy has scientific data to back it up. Studies have shown that the brain likes 20-30 second bursts of information. To put that into perspective, a brain may only remember 30 seconds of a 10-minute call. Keeping things short will make you more memorable!
- Don’t overwhelm a total stranger with industry jargon. Even if it’s their industry jargon.
- Speak clearly and calmly
- Focus on high level information
- Always stay positive, even when they may not be
Stick to what they will remember and what you think they want to know. If they start asking questions– you know they are interested, and paying attention. Try getting them to talk with you right away.
4. Know No is OK
It’s not fun, but it’s a part of life making cold calls. You will be told no, get hung up on, and blown off. Know that’s part of the process and carry on! Knowing how to read the “no” cold calls is just as important as getting a yes. Take notes and adjust:
- When are you losing the majority of your “no” calls?
- What needs to be tweaked before you try that business again?
- Are they more comfortable with emails, texts, or social media?
A lot can be learned from being blown off. Take it in and work it into your cold calling methods. The world is changing and so should the methods of your brand’s sales team. There are no hard and fast rules of what makes cold calls tick, just time-honored methods of what you can try. Have a plan going in and be flexible enough to read the situation over the phone.
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Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency based out of Lafayette, Louisiana. RUSSO uses consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand.