While cold calling has gained a less-than-favourable reputation, it can be extremely successful and unobtrusive if utilised effectively. Achieving positive results comes with using the right techniques and having the right attitude.
Plan the details
Plan the details of your call so you’re not needlessly going round the same details and wasting someone’s time. Important points to consider include exactly what you’re offering, the benefits to the buyer, special offer details, how you’ll respond to objections and how you’ll close the call. Don’t use pre-prepared scripts or you may come across as wooden and uncaring. However, if you have to leave a voicemail, leaving a tried and tested scripted message is fine.
Practice cold calling
Cold calling is a little like acting. You want to sound likeable and enthusiastic but not over-bearing and annoying. Therefore you need to practice your telephone voice to hone your tone, delivery speed and volume to engage listeners in the most effective way. Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues and friends for feedback; the more you practice the better you’ll sound on the phone, and the more likely you’ll be to generate leads.
Research your listener
Who are you calling? What are they interested in and what makes them tick? You need to know the answers to these questions so you can tailor the call to their specific needs. Unless you can offer answers to their specific problems, your call is likely to fail. Make sure you know as much as you can about your recipient; the internet is a great way to start your research. This is obviously harder to do if you are cold-calling the public but you should always try to consider the needs of your target customer and use these as a guide.
Don’t just sit there
How you act reflects in how you speak and converse. Don’t feel you have to remain at your desk. Get up, walk about and use your hands. Smile. This can really come across in your voice. You don’t want to sound like you’re just trying to sell something; you want to sound like you’re actively trying to engage your listener. A great rule to follow is: ‘smile, then dial.’
Follow up your call
Whether your call was successful or not, you should always follow up with another call or email to confirm any details or even just to touch base. Cold calls are often seen as annoying, one-off events so if you can establish a relationship with your listener then they are likely to be more receptive to your products and services.
Analyse your results
Learn from your experience; if you know that a particular phrase often warms recipients up to your requests, then don’t be afraid to use it again. Repeat, test and analyse constantly to ensure your technique is as good as it can be. Over time you’ll learn how to deal with difficult callers and get them on your side. Cold calling is a difficult job and there is inevitably a learning period whilst you grow accustomed to the demands of the task.