Through the years, even the words “cold calling” would make people grimace. However, in today’s technologically inspired world, a voice on the other end can made a person feel a little more comfortable than an impersonal machine. You may still be met with hostility or reluctance, but on the other hand, you may be asked to further explain your product.
According to Investopedia, “Cold calling is a technique whereby a salesperson contacts individuals who have not previously expressed an interest in the products or services that are being offered” . Cold calling can be done right with scripts, research, presentation, and delivery.
1. Prepare -You must target your audience. Do your research on your indented audience. Find out all that you can before making the calls. Make a connection. Make sure that you are ready to defend your product/business. Don’t waste your time, nor that of another person, by calling someone who will not have any use for your product. Also, show respect for the prospect’s time. Many products and business are tailored for specific needs. By doing your research, you will feel more confident when calling and your prospect will be more at ease with your presentation. Cold calling isn’t always about immediate results, but it is making contacts and connections.
2. Script – Don’t try to wing it. Take the time to prepare what you are going to say and why. The “why” may be the most important part of the equation. Don’t read word for word, you will sound like the machine that you are trying to avoid. Be prepared for objection, it’s only human. According to the CBS Money Watch, “ the purpose of the script is NOT to communicate substantive information about your offering. Instead, the purpose of the phone call is to win the right to actually sell to the prospect.” Just as in writing, calling has specific keywords that consumers listen to. Make sure that those buzz words are used immediately and often.
3. Attitude, Attitude, Attitude – Make your conversation relevant to the prospect with insights that make you accessible. Don’t just rely on data. Have confidence! Geoffroy James of Money Watch wrote “confidence not only helps you communicate more effectively, it provides the motivation that will drive you to actually sit down and start making the cold calls.” Handle objections gracefully and objectively, don’t get defensive.
4. Be Persistent and Focused – AboutMoney.com states that “Eighty percent of new sales are made after the fifth contact, yet the majority of sales people give up after the second call”. Research shows that early morning or late afternoon are the best times, however, depending on the product/business that you are promoting, you need to be focused on best times afforded to you. Set a goal and stay focused on that goal.
5. Follow up – Don’t give up, follow up. It is very important to follow up with a prospect even if the reception was lukewarm. An email or social media contact could carry a lot of weight, ensuring the prospect that you are genuine in your endeavor.