Make Cold Calls Easier with These 7 Cold Calling Tips

October 23, 2019

The cold call. It sends literal coldness to the center of your heart and scares even the most seasoned salespeople. It’s also one of the most challenging things to get results from and to do comfortably. In fact, 63% of salespeople say that cold calling is the things the dislike most about their job.

We’re going to help you out with that today. It takes an average of 8 cold calls to reach a prospect, so consistency and persistence is key. We’re going to give you seven actionable techniques that will help you up your cold calling game and hopefully make those attempts a little more effective and a lot less challenging.

A Note Before We Start

If you think of the biggest obstacles when it comes to cold calling, what do you think they are? Is it rude people? Is it bad data? Is it that people don’t answer the phone?

While all of those are barriers, we think that the biggest barrier is your own mental one. Everyone has some sort of resistance to the rejection that we all face. It’s natural: nobody likes to hear no, a rude hang-up, and the rejection that comes with cold calling.

The seven techniques we’re going to go over here will actually help to take down the defensiveness of outbound prospect that you’re calling and reduce your own anxieties with calling.

  1. Make the Call All About Them

A typical cold call often starts with something like this, “Hey, this is Bill from E-mortgage leads and we have some great age leads that I think you’ll be interested in.”

Notice with an intro like that that it takes quite a while before you even get to the part of the call that addresses the person you’re calling. In that opening, you’re just talking about yourself. This immediately sets you up as a salesperson that people immediately want to reject.

In order to offset this, many people try and hide that they’re a salesperson, which comes off as disingenuous (most people can see right through that anyway). Instead, you want to make it clear who you are, but you want to keep the focus on the person you’re calling.

Take this for example: “Hey Jim, this is Bill.” Even just adjusting to address the person in that first intro is extremely helpful. After that, while it’s scary, take a nice second long pause. This pause allows them to start thinking through their memories and contacts to identify who you are. Salespeople don’t usually introduce themselves in that kind of familiar way, which makes the call a bit friendly and less hostile from the start.

This pause also helps them feel in control of the conversation. Think about it: when salespeople immediately launch into their spiel, it’s often annoying and overwhelming. This makes the  person feel bombarded and out of control. Pausing after your introduction gives them time to process the call and control how the situation will play out.

If and when they don’t give you an objection during that pause, you can move forward. The second part goes something like this: “I’m reaching out because I know you’re a mortgage broker with hometown lenders and have been a broker for several years. I know how hard it is to hit that monthly number month after month.”

Let’s unpack what we did there. You told them that you know who they are, you know what they’re struggling with, and you know what their challenge is. This creates a relationship and a sort of affinity with them that reinforces that while it might seem like it, you’re not calling out of the blue. You’re calling with a relevant purpose.

That whole opening script is all about the person that you’re talking to. Making it all about them before circling back to how you are connected to them opens up the conversation more easily and helps them connect to why they should stay on the call and listen to you.

  1. Have a Goal in Mind for Every Call You Make

You might think this is a big ask, especially as you might be drilling through hundreds of leads and calls every day. How can you have a goal for hundreds of leads?

While each individual call doesn’t necessarily need it’s own supremely unique goal, you want to have an overall goal that relates to your calls. Quickly scan your CRM, see what information you have, and try to find something in there that gives you a goal for that call.

For example, if you’re calling brand new leads, your goal could just be simply being able to make contact, right? Or perhaps if they’ve indicated interest, you goal could be to set up an appointment or gain some more information about them. If you’ve reconnected with an old lead, you goal could be to simply remind them of your connection.

Even just quickly scanning through your CRM will immediately illuminate even the most basic of goals for that call. This will help your calls feel more targeted at that person and a bit more personal.

  1. Use Assumptive Language

So often as salespeople, we open a call with an apology: “Hey, I’m sorry if I’m interrupting you” or “Sorry to bother you!” are common.

But why put that in their mind? Maybe they weren’t bothered but you saying that makes them think, “Oh yea, they are interrupting me”. Instead of saying things like that, we recommend using assumptive language.

Always assume that you’re going to go to the next step and use language that implies that. So use language that reflects that:

“As we move forward, what do you need from me?”

“With this information, we can get you started on [X].”

“Can you give me a little more information before we move forward?”

“What can I do before we speak again?”

“Let’s fill out this quick app so that I can see what you’re qualified for.”

Things like this assume that they’re ready to move to the next step, which helps them, in turn, see themselves moving forward as well.

  1. Create and Use a Script

The first thing that probably popped into your mind when you read “script” was literally writing out everything that you’re going to say, memorizing it, going through it step-by-step, maybe even reading it directly while you’re on the phone.

We actually do not recommend doing that at all. It always ends up sounding robotic and mechanical, which will not help your cause.

When thinking about creating a script for your phone calls, you want to think of it more like a movie actor would. When a movie actor gets a part, they have a script that’s given to them. It’s written out in great detail how they’re supposed to act, what they’re supposed to feel, exactly what they’re supposed to say, etc.

But then that actor sits down, gets into character, and makes the script their own. They start to give it their own flavor and their own interpretation. And that’s what we think you should do for your cold call scripts.

So write the full thing out, but then practice that script and make it your own. Don’t read it word for word. Use it as more of a guide and then make it your own, give it your natural flavor and sales charisma.

And that’s really what a script acts as: a guide. It will help you remember everything you want to say, especially when your nervous and (probably) have a brain blank when you call. It’s especially important to follow guidelines and regulations in certain industries like mortgage and insurance; a script will also help you keep on track with those things.

Scripts and guides can also keeps you from sounding flustered if you’re surprised when someone picks up or when they ask something you didn’t expect. You’ll have something in front of you to keep you on track and saying the right things.

  1. Practice Your Opening

When I say practice your opening, we mean practice it out loud. So often you have a script and only read it or practice in your head. Of course it sounds perfect on the page and in your head!

But then when you go to read it out loud for the first time on a real call, it often comes out clunkily, disorganized, and clumsily. You haven’t said the words out loud, so of course it’s not going to sound smooth. It doesn’t really flow, you stumble over words, it sounds clumsy out loud, etc.

Practicing out loud, and with other people, is really important. Practice it out loud over and over until it becomes smooth and effortless.

You can also try recording yourself as you practice and listen back. This helps you hear how you sound to others, helps you identify where you need to improve, and find things you want to change.

Roleplaying is also a great way to practice. If you’ve got a sales team or even just a colleague, it’s really important to practice and do that roleplay with another person. This will really hone your skills.

You should also have your practice partner respond with common objections so you can practice your responses to overcome them.

  1. Practice Overcoming Objections

Firstly, you should be practicing how you overcome your common objections during the practice phase that we just talked about.

But how do you know your common objections? Create a list of the most common ones you remember and work answers/responses to your script.

Another thing you should make a habit of is writing down objections you hear after/during the call. Anytime you’re on a call and hear an objection, especially if it’s one you haven’t heard before, jot that down. This allows you to understand the objections you’ll hear and plan in advance how you’ll respond effectively.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common sales objections we hear and how to overcome them here. Check it out to help you out with your script and practice.

  1. Create a Call List and Call, Call, Call

All that’s really left to do is put in the work. Like we mentioned earlier, it can take an average of 8 attempts to reach a prospect, so get going!

Create a call list through your CRM system and use a dialer if you have huge amounts of calls to make.

Now, there can be a method to this madness though. You’ll burn out if you sit down and call people for 8 hours a day. This doesn’t help you or the people you’re calling.

Instead, we recommend doing a power hour or a power half-hour of calling. Say to yourself, “OK for the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be completely focused on this task. I’m going to get through this list of callers for that amount of time and then take a break.”

You can also set yourself up with little goals. “I’m going to go through this list until I make an appointment.”

This helps you have a specific task and avoids burnout.

Once you get into that flow, it’ll be easier. Making that first call is the hardest, but it’s often easier with a goal in mind or a time constraint to get something done.

Make Cold Calls Easier with These 7 Cold Calling Tips

Let’s do a real quick recap of all seven of those.

Number one, make it all about them. Number two, have a goal for every call. Number three, use assumptive language. Number four, create a script and use it. Do it like a movie actor does, not like a robot. Step into that role and make it your own.

Number five, practice your opening out loud. Make sure that that opening, that first 20 seconds or less is as clean as possible because that’s gonna be your only opportunity to connect. Just like email marketing, if you don’t get the subject line right, it won’t be opened and you’ll get nowhere.

It doesn’t matter what you have to say after if you don’t get past the opening, right?

And number six, overcome your top objections. And then last, but not least, is to call, call, and call some more.

We hope that these seven techniques to making cold calling more effective help you out and make the whole process a bit easier.

We have a ton more articles like this to help you improve your sales and marketing processes, so check them out! We even have a whole section on cold calling.

We’re also happy to answer any questions you have; contact us here!

SHOW TRANSCRIPT
HIDE TRANSCRIPT

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey guys, this is bill rice with age lead store and I’m going to talk today about one of the things is probably the most challenging things for any salesperson to really get comfortable with at. That’s cool colleague. And today I’m going to give you seven techniques that will help you up your game when you’re cold calling.

Speaker 2: (00:22)
[inaudible].

Speaker 1: (00:22)
Okay, let’s go ahead and talk about cold calling. There are seven

Speaker 3: (00:26)
techniques and really cold calling shouldn’t be as hard as it is, but man, there are definitely some mental barriers. There’s some resistance to, to rejection that we all face just kind of as natural, uh, healthy human beings. Uh, we don’t like people to say no to us. We don’t like people to react negatively to us. And so I’m going to give you seven techniques that will actually help to take down the defensiveness of your, actually, of your outbound prospect that you’re calling. And these can be everything from age leads, which of course we talk about a lot. Um, they could be just past clients, right? There’s a natural reaction, uh, to someone reaching out, particularly on the phone. Uh, but it also happens in email and text messages, but reaching out in an unexpected way. And that ultimately is what a cold call is. So these seven techniques will help to make, um, not only the call itself, um, a little more inviting, um, and, and invoke less defensive triggers from the person that you’re calling, but also get you in a positive space and an effective space to actually get over some of your own anxiety to kind of making that first call and getting into the flow.

Speaker 3: (01:36)
So let’s get started. Number one, let’s make the call all about them. So a typical call, cold call often starts with something like this. Hey, this is bill from e-mortgage leads, uh, and we have some great age leads that I want to sell you, right? Or I have some great age leads that I think you’ll be interested in. Um, and you can notice in that it took a long time before I even got to the you part, right? The person that I’m talking to, it was all about me, who I am, what I have to sell. And actually in that opening, I didn’t really even get to the you part. So immediately as you would expect, um, the people who are going to say this is a sales person, which I’m not, I definitely want, I want to embrace the fact that I’m a sales person when I call.

Speaker 3: (02:19)
So one of the big mistakes I think a lot of people do is they try to hide the fact that they’re there to sell something or they’re a sales. So I’m not advocating that, but we did lead with that really heavily. Um, and so the person never saw the benefit in that opening statement and my opening, um, sort of script there, I never got to how this benefits you. So here’s a little bit of a better approach. This is the way I like to do. Hey Jim, this is bill. And believe it or not, and this is scary, but I like to pause there for a second because what happens there in that introduction is, Hey Jim, this is bill. They start to kind of go into their memory base and type who is bill, who is bill, right? Salespeople don’t introduce themselves and kind of in that familiar way, is this a past client especially take advantage of this sort of opening technique technique.

Speaker 3: (03:06)
So you’re gonna pause and that way they feel like they’re in control of the conversation, but they’re going to be taking so much time processing. Now you’re going to get to go to your kind of your second line, but it almost feels like you’ve been invited in at that point because you paused. They haven’t given you any sort of objective objections and you move forward. And so the second part of that is, hey, I’m reaching out to Damon cause I know you’re a mortgage broker, um, with hometown lenders and have been a broker for several years and I know how hard it is to hit that monthly number month after month. So in that I did a couple of different things, right? I told them one, like, I know who you are, I know what you’re struggling with, I know what your challenge is. Um, so one, it gives create some affinity’s like, Hey, I’m not really calling you out of the blue.

Speaker 3: (03:53)
I know your name. I know who you work for and know that you’re an experienced mortgage broker. Um, and so I set everything up, um, to say, hey, I know you, I have some information about you, um, that that makes this not a cold call. Right? And then the second thing is I also probably know one of your pain points. And so, um, that the whole opening script there, um, is all about the person that you’re talking to. So number one, make it all about them and then at the back end identified who you are and what you’re there to do. Um, obviously, so again, use those opening familiar lines, give them pause so that they feel like they’re in control while they’re processing. Talk about what the benefit is right away, and then begin to identify yourself. Number two, have a goal for each and every call.

Speaker 3: (04:41)
Um, and so as you’re drilling through lots of leads and making high volumes, you may think, hey bill, this is like, I don’t always have a goal for, you know, I call hundreds of leads a day, or maybe I make 50 calls a day, and that’s fine. Even at that level, it’s really important to quickly scan in your CRM, see what information you have and try to find something in there that gives you a goal for that call. So if it’s a brand new lead, it just Kinda came inbound from the internet or you just load it up to your database, uh, that goal could just be simply being able to make a contact, right? Make that initial contact, but you still want to have a goal. Introduce yourself, have a goal for that call. My goal for this is hopefully to schedule an appointment, um, but make it specific, right?

Speaker 3: (05:22)
If you’ve got some more history, maybe there’s somebody in your pipeline that, you know, they’ve got to do some credit work or maybe they’re saving up for a down payment. Again, quickly scanning through your CRM, you’ll immediately know what the goal for that call is and it will start to make your calls. Even though you’re using scripts, which I advocate now, it’s going to make those calls feel a little more familiar. Um, and they’re going to be targeted at that person so they won’t again feel like cold calls because you took just 30 seconds or less. Maybe even while you’re dialing, even if you’re using an autodialer, you see this all the time, use auto dialers. But I could still quickly come up with an objective for that particular call. Use assumptive language. So often as salespeople, we will open a call with an apologies, hey, I’m sorry I’m interrupting you.

Speaker 3: (06:08)
Hey, do you have a second? And instead I’m always an advocate of assumptive language. Always assume that you’re going to go to the next step. So use language, like what is the next step if you’re talking to them. Um, everyone has kind of their, whether you’re talking B2B or business to consumer like we are and mortgage and insurance, they have a buying process. And so with a question like, Hey, what’s next? Or what, what should be our next step that allows you to open the floor for them to tell you what their process is. Binders that may be including a spouse, that may be thinking about something that may be getting another piece of information. Um, you can even a ahead of that. You can do things like, Hey, I’ve got a, I need a few pieces of information so that we can move forward, right?

Speaker 3: (06:56)
So, or, Hey, let’s fill out this quick app so that I can see what you’re qualified for, right? So you’re assuming that they’re ready to move to the next step. So always advocate using that assumptive language, create a script and use it. Now, when I talk about a script, I like to think about it a little bit differently. Probably the first thing that popped into your mind when I said create a script was to literally write out everything that you’re gonna say and memorize that and go through it step by step, by step, by step, by step, maybe even reading it, um, from that script directly. And I don’t advocate that because it sounds very mechanical and robotic as you would expect when I talk about a script, think more like a movie actor. So when a movie actor gets a part, right, they have a script that’s given to them.

Speaker 3: (07:41)
It’s written out in great detail how they’re supposed to act, what they’re supposed to feel, exactly what they’re supposed to say. But then that actor sits down and intently, uh, goes into and becomes that character, right? And then they start to give it their own flavor and their own interpretation of that script. And that’s what I advocate. So write the full thing out, but then I want you to practice that script and make it your own. Or if you’re in a shop that gives you a script, which lot do again, study that like an actor and become that character. Make it your own, uh, giving your natural flavor, uh, such that although you have all the guidelines and maybe this ends up becoming bullet points on your desk, uh, cause you still want that guideline, right? Um, it will help you, uh, if you actually kind of look at it and step into it, uh, step into it as though you’re stepping into a role as an actor.

Speaker 3: (08:35)
But as a script is so important. Cause you don’t want to leave out elements. Um, if you’re in a heavily regulated or compliant oriented market like mortgage or insurance, it’s important that you do the right things and you follow the process. So definitely advocate using a script. It also keeps you from sounding like a cold call where you’re like, oh my gosh, I, I didn’t expect for someone to actually answer and I don’t know what to say and I’m humming and hauling and I don’t, I don’t really know what that journey is that I’m trying to take you on. It feels really disconcerting from the other end of the phone for that process. So definitely use a script. Um, and then number five, practice your opening. And when I say practice your opening, I mean practice it out loud, right? So often we’ll read the script, we’ll play it in our head, it’ll sound perfect.

Speaker 3: (09:21)
We’re like, oh, we got this down. And then we pick up the phone and we say it over the phone and it’s a mess, right? We don’t really have it perfect. It doesn’t really flow. We stumbled over the words, right? It’s really important to open your mouth and let the sound come out, uh, and actually practice it over and over, out loud until it becomes smooth. The words flow, uh, you own it and you embrace it. The other thing I advocate with this out loud and practicing approach is record it and listen to it and watch it back. Nothing harder than watching yourself be videoed, uh, and then playing it back and kind of critiquing it. But you will get better. You’ll find what your little tick is the thing that you say over and over and over again that you gotta get rid of, right?

Speaker 3: (10:04)
Um, and so those things are really important. Like so is one of mine. You just heard it right? And I’m going to see that when I play back the video over and over again. Why did I say so so many times? But so it’s important video that part, play it back and start to work on your delivery. The other thing is roleplaying is great way to practice this as well. If you’ve got a sales lead or even just a, a colleague, uh, it’s really important to, to practice and do that role play and it will hone your skills. This is essential when you’re practicing overcoming objections, right? Which is another thing that we’ll talk about in the future, but definitely if you have the opportunity to do that role play and introduce that and uh, as part of your kind of out loud practice, but you do have to open your mouth, they’ll play in your head.

Speaker 3: (10:52)
It always sounded perfect. You gotta say it out loud. So get in the closet, go in your basement, go outside, take a walk, talk to yourself, whatever it takes, but practice that script out loud. And of course I encourage recording it. Um, like I said before, practice overcoming objections. Um, this is one of those things that I got in the habit of. Um, anytime I’m on a call and I hear an objection, uh, especially if it’s one I haven’t heard before, I like to jot that down, uh, because at the end of the day, as I’m sort of riding home, I will replay those objections. And if you’ve ever been in a conversation or been in an argument, maybe with your spouse or something like that, um, you always go back later and you say, Oh, if I had just said this, right, same thing applies to overcoming objections.

Speaker 3: (11:37)
That’s essentially what’s happening, right? You’re getting objections. Uh, if there are things that you practice and you know about, you cleanly move through those, right? You know exactly how to approach those objections, how to make them feel comfortable with the next step or how to make them feel comfortable that you’ve got that sort of concern that they have overcome and handled. Um, if it’s brand new, um, it’s going to be, it’s going to be shaky, right? You’re not going to get it right the first time. Um, and so by writing those down and playing that back in your head, oh, I should have said this, or I could’ve said this and maybe this would have happened. Um, those are really important exercises. And so one of the things that I love to do is write those down as they happen. Um, usually I have a, um, a legal pad.

Speaker 3: (12:20)
And so every call is a new sheet generally. Um, and so I go through at the end of the day, all those little objections that I’ve written down, um, I sort of cue them up in my head and as I’m driving home and my commute, I actually replay those and um, sort of what if scenarios that I can do. And then that way those objections either will go into my scripts, um, or I will just have practiced them. And so the next time I hear them, I’ll be better equipped to make the right response. Number seven, last one, um, is create a call list and then call, call, call, call. Um, no. So this really depends on your CRM system and really the type of sales that you do. Uh, if you’ve got inbound Internet leads or uh, your loading up age leads and you have kind of really long list are using a dialer.

Speaker 3: (13:07)
Now, some of this is already done for you, but so many of you are perhaps smaller shops or have less leads to work with. Um, and, and one of the weaknesses of that model is that you have a lot more flexibility sort of to prepare, to call and to think about calling. And so there’s a tendency for you to kind of hunt and peck through and that really doesn’t work if you’re doing cold calling or if you have a lot of leads that are not hot, not warm, that you’re not inactive conversations about closing a mortgage or um, Co, you know, closing in on an insurance policy. And so the best defense against that sort of preparing to call or preparing to do sales or preparing for your cold calling, um, and doing a lot of, uh, sort of getting ready, um, which is just our, our defense for not having to make that first call is literally create in your CRM, uh, some sort of filter, some sort of report or some sort of view that allows you to just literally click and down, click and click and dial, click and dial a set up yourself.

Speaker 3: (14:13)
Let, a lot of times we’ll do a power half hour or something like that where we’re say, hey, for 30 minutes, all I’m going to do is dial, dial, dial, or maybe I’m going to get that list and I’m gonna say I’m going to dial until I get my first connect and have my first good conversation. So make up some little mini goals. But the most important thing is have that list prepared. Have a goal in mind, how many people that you’re going to call it a fixed amount of time in just dial. Once you get into that flow, it’ll be easier. But if you’re hunting and pecking around, every single time you do that, you’re going to have to get over that dialing anxiety, right? Making that first call. And if you do it one at a time, and I have that list and that goal to drill through that list, then you’re going to have to deal with that anxiety every single time you hang up the phone.

Speaker 3: (14:58)
So those are the seven. Again, let’s do a real quick recap of all seven of those. A number one, make it all about them, lead with them, and then close in with who you are. Have a goal for every call, as small as it might be or as quick as you might come to that conclusion. Make sure that you have a goal, create a script and use it. Um, do this, like a movie actor does. Step into that role and make it your own. But start with a script. Make sure that you cover everything you want to do and do it in the flow that you’ve prepared. Number five, practice your opening out loud. Make sure that that opening, that first 20 seconds or less is as clean as possible cause that’s gonna be your only opportunity. Just like email marketing, you don’t get the subject line right.

Speaker 3: (15:43)
It doesn’t matter what you have to say after that, you don’t get to the opening, right? It doesn’t matter how wonderful your sales pitches, how wonderful your closing is. You got to have that opening down pat. And the only way to do that is to practice it over and over and over again, out loud, not in your head. And number six, overcome your top objections. And again, my favorite way to do this, write them down and as you encounter them, have them incorporate it in your script and just keep playing them back. What if I do this? What if I say that I should’ve said this and go through all that. What if scenario until you really get smooth and making the prospect confident that you understand their concern, you understand that their anxiety at that moment and exactly how you can make them confident that you’ve got that handled.

Speaker 3: (16:26)
And then the last, create a call list and dial dial dial. I hope you enjoyed our seven techniques for making cold calling more effective. Uh, as always we would encourage you to subscribe. There’s lots more good sales training coming. Uh, hit the like button. Uh, and then of course thing the little bell there and you’ll get notified in real-time cause we’re going to do some live stuff as well. So hope you enjoyed that. Again, this is Bill on half of Aged lead Store. Uh, if you want to practice any of these techniques, as always, the very best way to do that is with age leads. They’re super cheap. You can get a high volume of them, and you can drill through and practice these, uh, in a very low cost, low-risk way. So hope to see you in the next video.

About Bill Rice

Bill Rice is the Founder & CEO of Kaleidico, a digital agency. Bill specializes in providing law firms, attorneys, banks, and emerging technology clients with lead generation strategies enabled with content marketing, SEO, PPC, and email marketing.