Cold calling is not the same as it was 10, five, or even two years ago. While cold calling is a popular topic, it is something only a few sales pros have truly mastered. Today we will talk about the best cold calling tips for today’s age.
Before we start, it should be noted this post was originally written for my company website AgencyFlare. You can find the original article here.
Just say no to cold call scripts.
While reading from a call script may initially sound like a good idea, it is something salespeople should try to stay away from. Although it’s a great idea to have key bullets and a general idea of what you’re going to say, you don’t want to sound robotic.
Reading from a script is something most people will pick up on right away. When calling a client for the first time, it is important to try and find a way to form a personal connection. Having a call script on hand will eliminate this completely. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Don’t waste it with a call script that will most likely end in a dial tone.
Call the elephant in the room out.
It’s okay to let the gatekeeper know this is your first time calling (whomever), and you’re trying to find out the best way to get in touch with them. There are many “sneaky” ways to get past gatekeepers, but sometimes the best strategy is being genuine and telling the truth up-front. Have the gatekeeper work with you, not against you! Many gatekeepers will truly appreciate this, since they have heard it all before. By forming a connection with the gatekeeper and ultimately getting them to like you, more than likely they will be more helpful to your cause.
Not to mention, they have their boss’s ear. They may end up being your advocate and very helpful in the long run if they have also formed a connection with you.
Don’t have the call be the first sales touch.
Many salespeople pick up the phone and call out of the blue, but this is not a good tactic. It is important your first cold call is not your first contact. Send an email to your prospect first. That way you can tell any gatekeeper that you’re following up on an email you sent their boss. When a cold call isn’t your first contact, it feels less “cold” and gives you reason to follow up.
Another great reason to try this method is because you can very easily send a calendar appointment to your prospect if you get them on the phone. Perhaps they are interested but now isn’t the best time. “Great! I will follow up with a calendar appointment. Does Tuesday work for you?” Now your prospect can give you the attention and not feel as if you are “wasting their time.”
Prepare to cold call multiple numbers in 2020.
Very few people pick up office lines anymore. Be prepared to find multiple numbers for your contact because odds are they have an office line and a cell phone they do business from. You will need a great lead data partner if you want to get personalized numbers. Either way, less people are in office since COVID-19 and it’s critical we get multiple numbers for our contact. Don’t be afraid to mention you’ve spoken with someone else previously either. You don’t want to come off as “sneaky” by calling multiple people and not communicating that with them.
Form a connection right from the start.
The best way to get through on a cold call is to form a personal connection. If you call and immediately jump right into “business mode” odds are people will simply tune you out or shut down the conversation. People work with people they like, it’s as simple as that. And be relevant. Are you working from home due to COVID-19? Bring that up. Be personable and find a way to relate with your client (or the gatekeeper). One simple way to form a connection is to look up your prospect before you make that initial call. Do you know the name of the decision maker? Great, look him or her up on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter before picking up the phone. Does the decision maker have a family? Great! Find a way to bring up yours. Does your client love football? Bring up the game you watched last night. There are simple ways to form connections and having the tools beforehand is the best way to ensure you are connecting with your prospects as much as possible.
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