Cold calling is still alive and well in the business world, even after decades of technological advancement like emails and online marketing.
So, what is cold calling doing right after all these years? It’s humanizing the sales experience.
Sure, a landing page or online ads can work well to warm up your lead before calling, but you still have to make the call at some point.
There’s no doubt about it, cold calling is nerve-wracking for beginners, and still challenging for experienced professionals. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of 22 quick tips for better cold calling.
1. Score Your Leads
Your company should have a lead scoring methodology for ranking leads by their sales-readiness. Filter through your CRM to find leads that have your most desired attributes and traits for greater conversion rates.
2. Research Before Calling
You don’t want to seem unknowledgeable about the companies you’re pitching to. Learn key people’s names, like the president or head of marketing, before you call so you can ask for them by name.
3. Find Out their Trigger Event
Trigger events are impactful circumstances that create a need for your client. Examples include companies hiring new people, firing people, announcements of new products, etc. Keep an eye out on LinkedIn to see if your prospects have any recent trigger events that warrant a cold call.
4. Set a Goal Ahead of Time
Your CRM is filled with leads, all of which are in different stages of the buying journey. Is your goal to set up an in-person meeting? Or to close a sale? Set your intention when calling each lead so that you can achieve the appropriate goal.
5. Use an Auto Dialer for Speed and Accuracy
If you’re still dialing numbers by hand, you’re doing something terribly wrong. Most CRMs integrate with auto-dialers to drastically improve call rates and reduce human input errors. Start using an auto-dialer and watch your daily call rate increase.
6. Qualify Your Lead Through Insightful Questions
Ask qualifying questions to determine how interested your lead is and how potentially valuable they are to you, so you can determine if they’re worth pursuing or not. Since it takes around 8 phone calls to close a deal, you can save yourself a lot of time if you can qualify your lead from the first call.
7. Use their First Name
Addressing your lead by their first name establishes rapport and familiarity that can help you close the deal. Just don’t be too presumptuous and start calling them nicknames, like shortening James to Jim, unless they say so first.
8. Use Assumptive Language
Assume your lead is interested in your product, and your language will naturally follow. Never apologize for calling, saying, “sorry for interrupting your day.” If you believe in your product, you shouldn’t have to apologize for talking about it.
9. Practice Your Opening Pitch Out Loud
Record voice audio of your pitch and listen back to it. Better yet, record a video and watch yourself speaking. Most people aren’t comfortable hearing their voice played back. However, if you want to get better, you’re going to have to get over this aversion.
10. Write Down Your Top Objections, and Rehearse Perfect Responses
After calling several leads, you’ll begin to run into the same objections. Write these top objections down and rehearse your responses in advance. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you look forward to hearing the objections because you know it’s an opportunity to push the sale forward.
11. Make It About Them, Not You
Why are you calling your lead? Is it to help them or to help yourself? Remember, you’re calling before your product or service to help them. Your prospects are always thinking “What’s in it for me?” Clearly let them know what’s in it for them, not for you.
12. Pick the Right Time of Day
There are a million pieces of contradictory information online about the best times to call. Some sources say “call first thing in the morning, before meetings.” Others say “call at the end of the day.” Instead, research your lead and their company first. Keep notes in your CRM so you can understand your lead’s personal schedule, and call them based on their schedule.
13. Get Past the Gatekeeper
More often than not, you’re going to deal with gatekeepers, usually receptionists, who answer company phone calls. Be courteous and personable. Don’t try to sell to them, they’re not interested. Politely ask to speak with their boss, if possible. If not, ask to leave a voicemail. And be sure to remember the gatekeeper’s name for added authenticity when following up with your lead.
14. Have Next Steps in Mind Before Calling
Don’t get off the call before agreeing upon the next steps, whether it’s setting up another call or sending them further materials. And be sure to send that follow up email after the call.
15. Ask “How Have You Been?”
This simple question implies a familiar connection or previous interaction between you, even if it doesn’t exist, which can have a warming effect on a cold lead.
16. Call Them Within 5 Minutes of Opening Your Email
Many CRMs automatically track when outgoing emails are opened by their recipients. If possible, try to call these leads within 5 minutes of opening your email.
17. Deliver a Pitch Perfect Pitch
Per rule #9, listen to your voice delivering your pitch and master your tonality. Avoid upward inflection unless you’re asking a question. Otherwise, you’ll sound unsure and unconvincing.
18. Smile When You Talk
Smiling has a positive impact on your tone of voice, adding necessary enthusiasm and positivity to your phone call. Though they can’t see your smile, they certainly will hear it.
19. Don’t Just Hang Up, Leave a Voicemail
You’ve spent the time calling them, so don’t hang up without leaving a voicemail. Assume most of your calls will go to voicemail. Many people screen their calls beforehand, and if you don’t leave a message, it’s assumed your call wasn’t very important.
20. When Leaving Voicemails, Leave Your Name for the End
When you start a voicemail with “Hi, I’m X with XYZ company” your prospect automatically knows it’s a sales pitch and will delete it. However, if you start by addressing them and their needs first, they’re more likely to listen to the end of the message when you leave your name and contact info.
21. After You’ve Finished Calling, Make Just One More Call
After all, cold calling can be a numbers game. Push yourself further each day, making one more call than you did the previous day. Even though your calls will be tracked in your CRM, consider buying a paper chart that lets you physically write an X on it after each call. Strive to make more calls each day.
22. Never, Never, Never Give Up
You will face rejection. You will deal with jerks. You will get discouraged. But never, never, never give up on cold calling, because the more you call, the more you will improve your skills, and ultimately close more sales.