Do your cold-calling efforts pay off?
If you want good business, you need to go after it. While in the perfect world, your phone would be ringing off the hook all day with clients offering you business, the reality is that if you want to be successful you need to take initiative. And cold calling is an effective sales tactic if done properly.
Behaviors and techniques of all great entrepreneurs and leaders are included and represent the principles of good cold calling. In essence this technique is the art of approaching someone, professionally, openly and meaningfully, with a sensible proposal. Most great business leaders have this ability or they would not have become successful, therefore cold calling enables success, mainly because it is strongly focused on action.
The great potential of cold-calling
By nature, cold calling opens new and fresh business opportunities, free of baggage and history, and not weighed down by unhelpful patterns and expectations. Also, when it comes to cold calling you are in charge, you can define each situation as you want.
When you’re out of work and out of connections, cold calling may be the only way left to get a job or a lead that can become business in the future. And if it doesn’t create business opportunities, than, at least, it will provide you with market intelligence on specific companies, market conditions, the economy, your services etc. Keep in mind that this information can help you readjust your business and marketing tactics.
How to make cold calling more effective for your business
There is no perfect recipe for cold-calling, and most of the experts agree that a big part of this process includes attitude and intuition. At the same time, there are some steps or strategies that can help, all recommended by the experts in the field:
Target and research – To be effective and efficient, it is best to focus your efforts on calling into a targeted list of companies. Find out as much as you possibly can about the company or individual you’re going to call in advance.
Build your script – Once you know whom you’re going to call, you need to focus on what you’re going to say. Write a brief script that introduces who you are, what you do, and what you provide. Don’t forget to prepare an opening statement for your call. Keep in mind that the purpose of the script is not to communicate information about your offering, but to win the right to actually sell to the prospect.
Practice your script – How will you know if your script is effective if you have not tried it? Ask your family, friends or colleagues to listen into your script and let them have their say on what needs to be refined. After doing the necessary revisions, you are set to start your B2B cold calling campaign.
Get positive – As we previously mentioned, attitude is everything in cold calling. If your offering has value to the client, you’re doing the prospect a favor by giving him/her the opportunity to meet with you. Therefore, have confidence in your ability to provide value.
Leave a message – If you end up in the contact’s voice-mail system, don’t give up. Based on your calling script, leave a very brief message, but rather than setting a time for an appointment, say that you’ll be calling back on a certain date and time, and would appreciate a call back. To increase the chances of that happening, try to find a referral you can mention in the message you leave.
Anticipate and handle objections – Most objections are common to all sales situations, so you should be able to list them out. The key is to practice handling objections until the response is automatic, almost natural. Once you’ve got the contact on the line, execute the script, but don’t read it. Put it into your own words, with enthusiasm.
Be specific and persistent – According to AllBusiness.com, 80% of new sales are made after the fifth contact, yet the majority of sales people give up after the second call. At the same time, it is recommended to use phrases like “Would Tuesday at 10 a.m. be a good time to meet?” instead of saying “Can I meet with you to discuss next week?”
Cold calling is a rewarding way to reach out and initiate contact with prospective clients. What are the most important strategies you use or would like to use in cold calling? How would you make cold calling more effective for your business?