A few tips to get your cold calling journey started off on the right foot.
“Cold calling?” you might ask.
“Isn’t that a thing of the past?”
The short answer is no, and the long answer is that cold calling has been making a comeback.
This can inspire confusion when you harken back to the hey-day of cold calling where a business might send out 100 cold calls a day only to receive 1 or 2 answers.
Even then, they weren’t often positive answers. So, why now are businesses reaching out to prospects using this ‘some-of-it-might-stick’ method?
It’s simply easier and more effective now due to emails and improved communication between businesses and their market.
Recent studies have shown that out of 100 cold calls you can now expect to receive 5-7 replies. It will take 100 replies before you receive a yes from a prospect. Though this may seem but a paltry number, it is the accumulation of these positive answers that not only spur business on but gradually lead to success.
For a small business, it can often be difficult to know where to start the cold calling process. The desire to build up a larger customer pool and to forge business connections is strong. This, however, doesn’t negate a small business’s need for these connections to be of substance. Here are just some techniques that a budding business can use to share their message and effectively market themselves.
Start on social media
Using social media searching tools to hunt down profiles that suit your business is a surefire way of ensuring the most interest in your cold calls.
Sites such as LinkedIn where people showcase their professional accolades or twitter, where you can weave together a customer profile from a user’s posts are goldmines for small businesses wishing to target a specific market.
Putting together a compendium of these potential prospects and then cold calling them not only increases your chances of positive responses but almost guarantees that you will not waste time with futile leads. Not to mention that you’ll have a neat directory of those that you have previously cold-called, helping to avoid any recalling or loss of useful data.
Write your own script
With so many businesses doing the same thing, cold calls can become a sort of spam for people.
They’ll hear the same thing over and over again and hang up the phone every time in frustration.
And who could blame them?
No one wants to listen to the same tune forever. It gets drab, bleak, repetitive. These rehashed and old phrases and selling points just won’t cut it anymore. And with research suggesting that the average attention span of a human is 8 seconds when it comes to advertising – you need to make your opening act a good one.
And if you want to make it good, you’ll have to do it yourself. All good scripts are unique, they captivate and draw you in with their first witty statement.
They then follow this up with substantiated and relevant facts. Ask them questions. Connect with them. Don’t leave anyone indifferent about your ideas and products.
Change your intent
There’s a world of difference between interacting with someone who wants something of you and someone who is genuinely interested in what you have to say.
It may be hard for any passionate business person to circumvent their desire to sell their product or promote their business, but it must be done if they are to create an authentic and enjoyable interaction.
Using cold calling as an exercise in empathy can increase your chances of gaining a loyal customer tenfold. So, consider your intention before cold-calling. Is it to get to know your market on a personal level while creating bonds and positive communication?
Or to simply just sell as much of your product as possible? Your approach makes all the difference and will completely revive your cold calling experience.
Play the long game
Following from changing your intent. It’s recommended that you not immediately pressure your prospect into buying your product. The aim of your first cold call should be to become acquainted with your prospect.
This can be done by asking the right questions, questions that are relevant to not only your business but the prospect at hand. Building rapport between your business and your market is a fantastic way to understand their wants, needs, and priorities on a personal level.
This can work as a type of endearment to your potential customers while encouraging them to invest in your business, whether it be their time or money. If the prospect has shown a sufficient amount of interest, you can then undertake a second cold call.
It is in this second cold call that you attempt to seal the deal and make your offer. So, you don’t need to rush. Though you will always have closing the deal in your mind – patience is key to success.
Stand during calls
This certainly isn’t a cold call technique that you hear often. It is, on the other hand, somewhat obvious. It simply skips the mind for one reason or another, but you’ll never look back once you implement this cold call-boosting technique into your business.
Have you ever answered the phone just to be told: “you sound like you just woke up!” If so, you were probably sitting down.
Sitting down can us to slouch which ultimately leads to our voices becoming weaker. When we stand up our voices are able to boom once again. We sound more confident, forward, and assured – all traits that are appealing to prospects. The tone of your voice matters just as much as what you are saying.
Nobody will be long listening to someone who doesn’t even seem sure about their own business convictions. So, take advantage of your voice and reap the benefits!
Going directly to prospects takes you one step closer. However, this is not worth much if you cannot have a meaningful conversation with a prospect while converting them to your business in the process.
As mentioned previously, prospects have heard it all before, many are even now predisposed towards rejection and negativity upon being presented with a cold call. It’s undeniable that coming up against perpetual rejection can be discouraging and plant the seeds of self-doubt in any business.
Fortunately, there are ways around this and not losing motivation is the first step. The second step involves the use of a sprinkle of psychology and persuasion. Understanding the psychology behind cold calling can be the difference between quitting too soon or becoming a master cold caller.
The secret of all good cold callers comes from one simple psychological trick that works on the majority of people.
It is the concept of reciprocity. If a person is given something, they feel obliged to give something else in return. Try sharing some helpful facts with your prospect, or imparting some happiness to them, make them laugh. Give whatever you can to your customer by means of phone, email, or letter. Bonus points for making it relevant to your business.
Make use of the software and applications available
Here’s just another reason why cold calling is back at the forefront for small businesses. What used to be an exhausting feat in organizing data and distributing cold calls have been miraculously facilitated by a multitude of programs that are made to do the dirty work.
With Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software available such as ‘Toky’ and ‘Outreach’ ready to manage both your outbound and inbound calls – you’ll really have nothing to worry about.
Your workload will almost be cut in half. Have a look through the wide selection of user-friendly and efficient software to find which one suits your company. There is even software that will keep track of the data you have accumulated from your social media searches which will allow you the ease of access to thousands of numbers.
So, save yourself copious amounts of time that you can invest in the betterment of your business and enlist a team of software and programs. And not to be forgotten – the classic auto-dial! Why type in number after number when you could just get an auto-dialer to take care of that for you?
Before you realize, the majority of your cold calling will be automated and finely tuned to provide you with the best returns and profits.
So, there you have it. Cold calling still has its benefits and is only improving the day. Adding just one of these creative techniques to your cold calling process will not only alleviate your workload but will also increase the chances of your cold call turning into a warm call.