Cold calling is an old-fashioned sales strategy that involves sales representatives reaching out to prospective customers who have not expressed any interest in the offered services or products. Essentially, sales reps have to call people they have never interacted with before, and no two calls are the same. Cold calls rely on a connection with a stranger who might not be willing to make a purchasing decision. Arguably, cold calling is one of the most overwhelming and challenging parts of a sales representative’s job.
But, it is 2021, where social selling and digital marketing is the order of the day. So, why will you invest resources in cold calling when you can reach out and connect with people via their social accounts and emails? Recent research by Rain Group says 82% of buyers readily agree to set up meetings after being cold called, and most importantly, cold calling is five to ten times more effective than email campaigns.
Whether it’s a high-growth start-up or a Fortune 500 company, every business depends on cold calling for boosting revenue. So, not only is cold calling still relevant in 2021, it is evolving. A lot of companies have even started hiring dedicated cold callers who eagerly dial numbers every day.
However, it cannot be denied that, over the years, there has been a significant shift in buying behavior, which requires you to make some changes to your cold calling strategies as well. To make the most of cold calling in 2021 and beyond, keep in mind the following tips and tricks.
Everyone is familiar with salespeople who call out of nowhere to announce a fantastic offer. But, unfortunately, that’s not what all customers want. Alternately, the customer might get interested in the offer but later learns they are not eligible. Such embarrassing situations can be avoided by conducting in-depth research on your potential customers before calling them and knowing all the essential information about your prospects to customize the offers.
Consider using cold calling scripts
Cold calling without a script can be nerve-wracking. First, you don’t know the person you are calling, and second, you don’t know what to say. So, it is better to use sales scripts for cold calling that you can use as a reference during the cold call.
When you’re using sales scripts, remember the idea isn’t to read verbatim. Use the scripts as a guide that will help you communicate the message. Also, it would help if you worked on your tone so that the potential customer doesn’t understand you’re reading from a script. It should sound as natural as possible.
Find a convenient calling schedule
You wouldn’t want to waste time and resources calling the same prospect over and over again. But that’s what will happen if you call them at the wrong times. If you reach potential customers with no particular schedule from 9 am to 5 pm each day, you are missing an opportunity.
It is essential to track when prospects are likely to answer the phone, and they will be more inclined to speak with you. By focusing your efforts during such times, you’ll make a more significant impact.
Don’t run from rejection; let it motivate you
Rejection is an integral part of all sales activity. Even the most experienced salesperson will be rejected now and then. So, prepare yourself mentally that you’ll not be closing 100% of your prospects, but don’t give up.
If someone rejects nicely, ask them why so that you can learn the reason why they’ve rejected your proposal.
The best sales reps are those who maintain a positive attitude and continue learning from their mistakes.
Focus all the questions on the prospect, not on yourself
During your initial contact with the potential customer, focus all your questions and attention on the prospect. There’s no need to talk about what you do or who you are. Remember that cold calling is about your prospects and encouraging them to try out the products or services offered by your company. You can ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation rolling and motivate them to open up so that you get more opportunities to close the deal.
Never start cold calls with a sales pitch
A lot of sales representatives are guilty of making this mistake. They start the call by presenting their offer immediately, without asking for an opinion of the person on the other end of the call. Then, if the customer is looking for something, the reps give straight into selling the product or service. Sometimes, they might get lucky, and their solution might be exactly what the customer was seeking. But, being a sales rep is not about being lucky.
So, remember to take your time to ask the prospect what they need and then offer tailored solutions catering to their needs. Then, after you’ve been speaking for a few minutes, you can ease into the sales pitch.
Automate your sales
If you’re still updating your cold caller database manually, you are wasting a lot of time. By automating your sales and other tedious tasks, you can utilize the time to make more cold calls. So, make sure to automate scheduling follow-ups, sending messages and updating the database with a good CRM tool so that you can concentrate on cold calling. Moreover, using tools will ensure that you constantly get reminded to follow up with a potential client and never forget to send an email or message.
Practice, practice and practice!
Like everything else in life, you need to practice cold calling so that you are perfect. If you are nervous and eating your words, the person on the other end of the phone will understand and probably reject your sales pitch. Therefore, you must be confident when you are cold calling. Yes, initially, cold calling may seem awkward, and you might be nervous, but you need to practice so that everything seems natural, from your tone to how you answer questions.
Cold calling doesn’t have to be a nightmare for your sales team if you keep in mind the tips and tricks mentioned above.