5 Ways to Warm up to Cold Calling
Cold calling–one of the most dreaded phrases to a salesperson. The idea of picking up the phone, calling someone you do not know, and pitching them something you’re selling can seem like a daunting, onerous, and perhaps even overwhelming task.
Chances are, though, you will take a position that requires some form of cold calling at least once in your life. You may have to sell a product or a service. You may have to fundraise for an important cause or increase attendance to an event. No matter what you are cold calling about, this task requires skill and practice. So when the time comes to make the dreaded cold call, it is important to know what to do. Here are five ways you can warm up to cold calls and improve your sales.
1. Think Positively
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when cold calling is having the wrong state of mind before going into it. Many times an individual will think to themselves, “This business doesn’t want to be bombarded with yet another sales pitch from yet another pushy salesperson. That potential client will just want to get off the phone with me as quickly as possible.” This mindset is the most destructive thing you could do. Instead of thinking negatively about the call, say to yourself, “This person is just waiting for me to call. They have been in desperate need of this service that I can provide for them.” Training your brain to see the call as a positive and helpful task will make you more enjoyable to talk to and will increase your odds of making the sale.
2. Use a Script
Another essential thing you need when making a cold call is a script. ALWAYS prepare a script beforehand. The script could be scratch notes or a detailed outline. A good script will at minimum ensure no rambling takes place. People do not want to sit on the phone at work with a babbling salesperson who doesn’t appear to know what message they are trying to convey. A good script will also help you stick to your goals during a call.
3. Add a Personal Touch
Although you should keep your script in mind, you should also look for potential to add personal touches to your script and adjust your messages for your audience. For example, discuss the weather or a sports team from their area, or refer to them by name. Show empathy and listen.
4. Don’t be Afraid of Rejection
Hearing “no” is a natural, although not always fun, part of the sales process. Don’t let it discourage you. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Celebrate your wins and milestones. Step back, get rejuvenated, and find new inspiration when you get discouraged.
5. Use this Outline as a Starting Place
The below is an example guide to follow when making the call. Keep in mind this is a very loose structure, a skeleton. You will need to add in your own personal touches.
- Greet the person with a friendly tone, telling them who you are, where you’re from, and ask, “Is this a good time to talk?” This will make them feel less threatened or bombarded. Should they say they are too busy at the moment, schedule a time to call back. Do not settle for an ambiguous “maybe tomorrow afternoon sometime.” Attempt to set a definitive date and time.
- If they are able to talk at that moment, begin the conversation with small talk.
- Make a connection. If someone gave you the person’s number, say “so and so gave me your number because he thought you would be really interested in…” If you were not given their number say something like, “I’ve seen your impressive work in X, Y or Z and feel that you will be really interested in…” and mention you service or product.
- Explain the reason you are calling, but just hit a few of the really important points of the event, service, product, etc. that will highlight why this is significant to the person you are calling.
- If possible, ask if they would like to come in to your office or meet somewhere to discuss more specific details. This will give you the opportunity to meet face-to-face and really sell.
- If they cannot meet, indicate that you will send some additional information via mail or email and plan to follow up with them in a week.
No matter what your initial attitude is toward cold calling, always go into the call with confidence and positivity. Practice and the right attitude will make your future pitches more effective and more manageable when reaching out to potential clients.