Most of us loathe the sound of those two words, ‘cold calling’. It can be labour intensive and takes a fair amount of courage. We worry that it can often be seen as annoying to the receiver, putting us at a disadvantage from the beginning. However, if you’re willing to put in some effort, there are some top tips to help you to make cold calls effectively.
What’s the outcome you’re trying to achieve? Write this down and keep it top of mind when you’re planning and making your calls. This may help you to make the calls shorter and more succinct – a benefit to both you and your client.
Write a script for your cold call. Make it brief and to the point then practise it again and again, until you feel confident to use the script without needing to look at it (but always have it close for backup). You may also like to try rehearsing with a colleague or family member. This may feel silly, but once again it will give you the courage and confidence to go into each call. Just saying the words out loud will help you become comfortable so you sound natural and fluent. It also helps you weed out any phrases that feel false or unconvincing.
The more you know about your product or service, the more confident you will appear to prospective clients. This knowledge will make you feel more confident too. Quite often the person on the other end of the phone will know very little about what you’re trying to sell, so do your research, learn all the ins and outs of it to arm yourself for any questions that may be fired your way.
If your prospect needs your product or service, you can use this to sell your point. Let them know the ‘who, what, why, how and when’ of what you’re able to provide. Ask relevant questions and really listen to the answers, so you can reflect back to them on the ‘what’s in it for me?’ principle. Knowing what’s in it for your customer will help you reiterate the importance in what you’re trying to sell. Add a call to action. ‘Would you like us to come out and demonstrate?’ ‘Would you like a sample so you can test it yourself?’ ‘Can I send you our catalogue?’
Before you make a cold call, know your competitors and establish the difference between them and you, between their product and yours, between their service and yours. Make this difference evident to your prospective client in a diplomatic way and prove how what you’re offering is a far better deal.
After each call, take a minute to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Make a note for next time and always remember to congratulate yourself on a job well done.
With the right planning and practice, your cold calling confidence will increase, making the whole process much easier over time.