Cold calling. It’s something that every salesperson — regardless of industry — has done at some point in their career.
Some like it, some hate it, and some do it because they have to.
There’s a general consensus that cold calling has lost its luster over the years. However, when you dig into the statistics, you’ll come to find that nothing could be further from the truth.
According to Small Biz Genius, “82% of buyers say they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with sales cold calls.”
What do you think about that? Now, do you see why cold calling should be part of your sales arsenal?
The Basics of Cold Calling
Cold calling is best defined as a technique in which a salesperson contacts an individual with whom they have not previously engaged.
The basic steps of cold calling include:
- Creating a call list
- Creating a call script
- Researching the prospect
- Dialing prospects to pitch products and/or services
- Moving the conversation forward, such as by scheduling an in-person meeting or sharing additional information via email
Pros of Cold Calling
It’s never easy to get into the “cold calling frame of mind.”
Even if you know it’s one of the best ways to connect with prospects, the fear of the unknown is often enough to slow you down.
Fortunately, the benefits of cold calling far outweigh any potential drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Full Control Over the Process
Cold calling is still the most direct way to get in touch with a prospect. You dial, they answer, and the conversation begins.
With full control over the process, you can continually adjust your approach based on the feedback you receive.
It takes time to find your “cold calling groove,” but once you do all your fears will fly out the window.
2. Instant Feedback
When compared to other sales techniques — such as cold email and social media — cold calling is one of the best ways to receive instant feedback.
Once you have the prospect on the line, it won’t be long before one of four things happens:
- They hear you out and provide feedback
- They like what you have to say and make a purchase
- They request more information or another meeting
- They hang up on you
If you receive feedback on the spot, use it in an attempt to continue the conversation. Should the prospect tell you they’re not interested, implement their feedback in future calls.
3. The Thrill of the Call
This is what sales is all about.
There’s no better feeling than calling a prospect, piquing their interest, and closing a deal on the spot.
Even the most experienced cold callers still experience this thrill when they generate a positive response.
And of course, even if you’re hung up on or cussed out, it’s still an adrenaline rush!
Cons of Cold Calling
Now that you understand the benefits of cold calling, it’s time to turn your attention to some potential disadvantages. Here are three of the most common:
1. It Takes Time to Make a Sale
According to the Brevet Group, it takes an average of eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect. And that doesn’t mean the lead will be receptive to your pitch when you finally connect.
It takes call after call to connect with enough prospects to make a sale. Don’t give up.
To a certain degree, cold calling is a numbers game. You will eventually reach someone who is interested in what you have to say.
2. You Need Thick Skin
There are no two ways about it. You need thick skin if you’re going to cold call prospects.
People will hang up on you. People will cuss at you. People will tell you that you’re wasting their time. And those are the nice people!
The best thing you can do is remember that these aren’t personal attacks.
3. It’s Uncomfortable
There’s nothing easy about calling a stranger on the phone with the goal of selling them an insurance policy.
It’s uncomfortable on many fronts, as you don’t have an established relationship to lean on. If you don’t make an immediate connection, your level of comfort will go from bad to worse.
Be personable, you’re not a robot sales machine so you shouldn’t act like it. Treat it as a conversation and not a one-sided pitch. People are likely to be much more receptive.
Why You Should Use Cold Calling
Despite the cons, there are plenty of reasons to use cold calling.
Even if you have other ways of generating sales, don’t put this technique on the backburner. It can be a big part of what you do.
Some of the top reasons to use cold calling include:
- It’s simple: All you need is a name and a phone number to get started. There are many ways to generate this information, such as by purchasing leads.
- It’s a good way to start a business relationship: You’ll fail more times than you succeed, but when you finally “hook” a prospect you’ll realize that your relationship is starting on solid ground. This bodes well for closing a deal in the future.
- It’s measurable: As long as you track every call and follow-up communication, there’s no guessing as to how you’re performing. You can quickly calculate your close rate, how many calls it takes to make a sale, and how long the average call lasts. This is all information that is useful in the future.
The best way to truly understand why you should use cold calling is to gain first-hand experience. Get on the phone and dial until you can’t dial anymore!
What Do You Think?
As an insurance salesperson, there are days when cold calling is all that you do. Don’t let that scare you — embrace it.
Now that you know the pros and cons of cold calling, we hope that you have a better idea of how cold calling can benefit you and why you should stick with this technique.
The more calls you make, the easier it becomes to engage with prospects who will eventually become customers.
If you’re ready to take your cold calling to the next level, here are 22 tips that can help you do just that.
And of course, you can always rely on Aged Lead Store as a source of high-quality insurance leads.
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