Anyone who sells for a living will tell you that the thing they hate the most is picking up the phone for a cold call. Maybe there are a few lucky energy brokers out there who look forward to the challenge, but most of us shrink from picking up the phone and calling a stranger about a product or service. The fear of rejection is deeply ingrained in all of us, and there are plenty of cold calls that only lead to flat out rejections. This is tough, but when you talk to salespeople who are actually good at coaxing sales from cold calls, you notice a lot of similar advice comes up.
Use A Script
Many people will tell you that a script is a bad idea, but that’s not necessarily true. What is a bad idea is relying so heavily on your script that you don’t allow for any deviation from the talking points you’ve given yourself. The key is to craft a good script that lets you provide a concise description of your services and compelling reasons why the customer should use those services—and then be ready to go off script if necessary.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like most things in life, practicing cold calls will make you better at them. Get in front of a mirror and take a look at your body language and energy. Obviously, your customers can’t see you, but they can get a good feeling for the energy you’re bringing to the call. One trick—try smiling when you need to convey energy. It’ll come across in your voice. You’ll find that over time you begin to get a better sense of what works, and you can ditch talking points that are irrelevant or seem to be turn-offs. Any time that you’re asked a question you aren’t prepared for, remember it, write it down, and have the answer ready for the next call.
Warm It Up
Creating a “warm call” is a proven winner when it comes to making cold call sales. With all the information online that you can easily find about the person or business you’re calling, there’s really no reason to go into the call completely “cold” anymore. Use LinkedIn to find out important details about your potential customer before you call, and research their business to find out if there might be parts of the script you should skip, or something different you need to address.
You can also send an introductory email or message letting that person know you’ll be calling. Describe your service and what you offer in a short email, and then end it by telling them you’ll be following up soon. This way, not only are you “warmed up,” but so is the person on the other end of the line.