Does cold calling makes you ‘cold’?
Since this has been a part of my job in sales and marketing team over the past few years, and now I believe will always be a part of me I decided to post something that expresses my inner thoughts about cold calls.
This could be boring to some but please bear with me for a moment. I also just have another request, please don’t be so harsh with comments. We respect each and everyone’s point of view, and I wrote this based on what I have experienced and from what I have learned…. so far. I know I still need to come a loooong way, but the good news is I am on my way!
What is ‘cold call’?
A definition from Wikipedia – It is the process of approaching prospective customers typically through the use of telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction.
Another explanation is from the word itself. The word “cold” is used to identify calls to people who are not expecting any calls whatsoever from the caller. Most of the time, the caller is the salesperson.
Cold calls are associated with telemarketing. Telemarketing is also known as ‘inside sales’ or telesales. It has many subcategories. Listed below are some samples of telemarketing subcategory.
- Lead Generation
- Outbound Calls
- Inbound Calls
Telemarketing is a way of calling out prospective customers. Over the years, this method has been done repeatedly and continuously. Because of it, it has been annoying to most of the customers or people that are being called to.
There are lots of tips and techniques when it comes to doing cold calls. As a matter of fact there are organizations who engage their sales people to cold calling courses or online coaching.
At present, it is not only the telephone that is being used to do cold calls. The power of internet and devices such as VOIP or also known as voice over internet protocol is being used.
Some examples of devices use in cold calling are:
- CRM with VOIP device
- And many others
Nowadays, big organizations in the United States and Europe outsourced the job such as cold calling to countries like Philippines, India, Romania, Mexico and many other countries. It’s called BPO and also known as call centers.
Outsourcing people to do cold calls are cost-efficient and very effective. These cold calling projects helps out companies from all over the globe to come up with such good results and great sales conversions.
By outsourcing talents to do cold calling campaigns, many organizations were truly able to not just ‘sell’ but also ‘save’.
How you can do well with cold calling?
Cold calling is one good strategy for obtaining new promising leads through prospecting and by telephoning them. Calling these prospective customers and directly discuss with them your products and services.
An effective cold calling should give you great result and good sales conversion for your business.
What you need to do before the actual work?
Before you even pick up that phone and dial the number you wish to call, spend some time researching first. You should put some effort in finding out who your targeted people are and related topics you can find about them before you do that call.
Remember that the first 10 seconds are critical, thus you need to really catch their interest.
You have to prepare a message that will catch their attention and get them interested in what you have to offer.
Some cold calling campaign needs to be verbatim and some just spontaneous.
Based on experience, it is effective to have a list of the major things that you have to cover in the call but not verbatim to the extent that you’ll end up sounding like a robot.
It is always best to sound natural rather than a recorded audio that plays over and over almost irritating the customer.
It is also very important to listen to your customer. It is not you who should always talk. Remember that when you do cold calls, you are interrupting a person that doesn’t have a clue about you.
After you have passed that critical 10-second game, you have to be able to maintain and keep that interest. Do not forget to state your name and the name of your company, they should remember that.
Despite the fact that there are many available resources and tips to effective cold-calling, it always pay back if you have sufficient knowledge about what you are offering, your services and your company. Put extra effort to know about whom you are calling, their interest and most importantly listen to what they have to say so you can address their concerns properly.
Some Tips when doing cold calls
1. Prepare your EFFECTIVE opening statement - You have to have a good start. Organize your ideas and thoughts. Preparation is always essential. Remember that the 10-second is critical.
Some hints from the experts: Be very careful when asking questions like “Is it a good time to talk” OR “Are you busy” You might get an answer that you don’t like to hear and end up with nothing.
2. Sample of what your opening spiel would look like - A greeting and an introduction is always a start followed by your name and company.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Smith. This is Jane with ABC Company. I read from the ABC magazine subscription that I have, that your organization has recent transaction with AAA Company regarding new purchases. Our company’s main focus is to help you deliver and maximize your resources and have a much better view of it. Would it help to set up an appointment to better discuss the details?
3. Ask appointment - Now, you had your opening spiel. You don’t want to spend too much time in explaining to your customer all the services or products that you offer. You should set an appointment, he or she must agree with a schedule.
4. Research - Information is power. It will always help you if you know what to talk about and when to talk about a certain thing to your prospective customer. You also need to target people that are right for your products or services. Do not call a guy if you are offering a pair of maternity dress or something like that.
Focus on your target market and your aim should be to the right audience. Research about them, there’s LinkedIn, Zoom, and Spoke etc. that will give you hints on what to talk about when you call them.
5. Be persistent (and extra friendly if necessary but not way too much!) - Remember that gatekeepers are not enemies! If done right, they’ll eventually help you find the right contact or be re-directed to the right person. Be always pleasant whether or not they are pleasant with you. Remember that is you are representing your company, might as well behave as much as you can.
6. Be flexible with your time. - Others do cold calling in the morning or in the afternoon. However, be extra flexible especially if your target customer is outside your time zone or if you need to follow up with someone beyond your working hours.
Do not hesitate to keep on reading and finding resources that can help you. Always remember that every day is a fresh and new day to learn something new. Cold calls are not something to be frightened of, so explore and enjoy!