Cold calling can sometimes feel like a waste of time. It can be exhausting not getting a hold of the right person at the right time, and frustrating contacting the wrong person or wrong type of prospect.
My rule of thumb? If you can’t sell yourself on why you’re picking up the phone, to begin with, then you’re probably not ready to call your prospects either. If the reason for your call doesn’t make sense to you, it probably won’t translate well over the phone either.
Half the battle of cold calling is connecting the dots as to why your company should be having a conversation with the prospect in the first place. If you can’t convince yourself, don’t bother dialing. You first need to be knowledgeable and confident in presenting your product or service, before you attempt to be able to sell to someone else.
So how did I help bring in some of our largest clients that have remained our clients over the years? Patterns. I looked for patterns of what we are good at with our roster of clients and then think big. Remember, capturing a whale always starts with just one phone call.
Get ready to heat up your cold calling abilities! Here are some other strategies I’ve used to help bring on board some of our largest and long-standing clients.
Cold Calling Tip #1: Right Attitude
You need to psych yourself up and be confident and comfortable on the phone. The call doesn’t need to perfect, but it should come across as a natural and unscripted call. Sure, you can have some notes to rely on, but having more of a natural dialogue on the phone will be more attractive and will get a better response. Be familiar with your product or service that you’re selling and be prepared for the prospect to tell you “No”, or my favorite, “Can you send me an email with more information”?
Also, on the days that you don’t feel like speaking on the phone, (everyone has those days), take advantage of this time and create a list for yourself when you feel more up to calling and then do some research! If you’re not preparing for another round of calls, then you better believe that someone else is.
Cold Calling Tip #2: Be Persistent
Most salespeople give up too quickly and easily on their prospects before they even have a chance to speaking with them. This is an extension of your attitude. You need to keep pushing forward and following up with leads when they tell you to call them back next month or 3 months from now. Put a reminder on your calendar to follow up with them with a note of your previous conversations so you have something to rely on when you do call the next time.
Most salespeople will only call a prospect 1 or 2 times max. I have prospects that I’ve been calling for over a year! One of my prospects was someone who I was calling for quite some time and that person eventually left after being with the company for 15+ years. The new decision maker had more of an open mind and wanted to meet and now is one of our largest clients.
Persistence pays off, you just need to be patient. This is easier said than done, but in the meantime when you are busy filling up your pipeline with other prospects that make sense for you to do business with, the time will pass by quickly.
Cold Calling Tip #3: Connect The Dots
When I was initially hired to do sales, my main goal was to contact schools since we were looking to focus on higher education. If we were good at recruiting new students to become enrollments and ultimately starts, then what about recruiting within a different vertical? This way of thinking helped us now obtain three trucking companies, including a trucking school located in the southwest, as well as, one of the largest trucking companies in the country.
It all started with one local trucking company that recruits truck drivers nationwide and combining that with the idea of education. Since we already work with one of the largest trade and technical schools in the country, I saw this as an opportunity for us. This is how I connected the dots during my first call with the trucking school and it didn’t take much more convincing to set up our first meeting.
The more effective you are connecting the dots with sales and marketing, the more success you will have. By figuring out a common denominator with your prospect, you can really impact the result of setting the first meeting and justify why you are calling in the first place.
Cold Calling Tip #4: Be Empathetic
By being empathetic in sales, you will create a likability by being understanding of your lead’s timetable and other variables. Being empathetic is probably the best sales attribute you could have. Empathy builds client relationships with trust, understanding, and honesty. Be understanding of your prospect’s needs. People naturally don’t like to feel pressured or rushed to do anything, let alone to spend money even if it’s truly beneficial to their business. Be empathetic and show gratitude. Your actions speak louder than your words, especially in sales.
The bottom line is that cold calling isn’t going away anytime soon. Cold calling is very much alive and well. Cold calling is getting a face-lift with different software programs like Phone Burner that dials the calls for you and eliminates (with some imperfections) the grunt work of researching a name/phone number per lead. This software dials phone numbers without any break in between calls and can leave a prerecorded voice message with 1 click. So, what are your excuses?! Start making calls!
You may also enjoy this article: How to Close More Sales When You Start with the End in Mind