Do you hate cold calling? Won’t you just love it if you have access to tried-and-tested cold calling techniques to warm up your sales? That way there’s no guesswork left.
Whether you are a Consultant, Business Development Professional, An Entrepreneur or a Professional, your prospecting strategies would mostly include Cold Calling. You do not need to like cold calling, but it is necessary for prospecting.
Let me admit, for the first 10 years of my sales career, I hated Cold Calls. The fear of rejection would make me cringe every time I got to attempt a cold call. Yet in the fast paced, highly competitive industry, achieving my business goals without cold calling was impossible.
Firstly, the term ‘Cold Call‘ itself is so alien and unfriendly. No wonder the clients give us a ‘Cold Shoulder‘ and we get a ‘Cold Feet‘!!!
A lot of studies and experiments later, I was able to discover how to get the clients warm up to our first call.
My Success Ratio – I was able to get 80% of the clients interested.
My sales coachees also have reported a similar hit ratio.
I, therefore, call these proven methods – Warm Calling Techniques. Attempt these yourself and boost your relationship value.
Cold Calling Techniques to Warm Up Your Sales:
Most successful sales people will bet on the benefits of a thorough pre-work. In today’s time it’s not that difficult as well. Linkedin, Glassdoor, Company website, Facebook etc provide us with a lot of input about the client and his business.
At the same time, scooping out the relevant information would do the trick and prevent us from Data-Diarrhea!
The challenge, however, is to decide what is relevant.
Know your Purpose
Skimming out the right information depends largely on our objective behind the cold call. Its the first contact with the client, either via phone or face to face.
So there will be questions like:
- Do I need to fix up an appointment?
- Should I gather some information?
- Do I need to introduce myself and my company?
- Is it just for networking?
And so on.
All these questions can clarify your objectives. And these objectives would need to be loaded with some relevant information beforehand.
You wish to introduce your organisation to the Marketing Head of a Private Sector Bank.
So, apart from the Annual Report of the company, the Marketing Head’s career profile on LinkedIn, and the corporate’s feedback on Glassdoor, also spend time on the recommendations he has received on LinkedIn. It would tell you about how he is as a person or client.
The information available there could also act as a conversation starter.
A point of caution would be to pick up information that would not make you come across as a stalker.
Create an Introductory Statement
And make it about the customer.
Every body’s favorite topic is “Talking about Themselves”.
Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab has done a research that gave an insight that talking about the self corresponds with increased neural activity in areas of the brain associated with motivation and reward. And its higher when they know some one is listening.
So avoid the cliched “Is this a good time” ” How are you doing today”
A cold called customer mostly have a ring tone “I am not interested”. He/She is busy and doesn’t have the time to know about us or indulge us.
An opening statement that grabs the client’s attention and makes him/her sit up and get interested is the one that talks in terms of their interest.
You could use an introductory statement to the Marketing Head , such as “I work with Marketing Heads of large Banks like yourself to help them reduce their cost of acquisition of banking clients by using our unique Customer Acquisition Solution Tool.“
Focus on having a Conversation
Once we have grabbed their attention, we should also let them know why we have called and what’s in it for them. So as soon as possible get to asking questions.
The questions should be guiding us to the objective of the call. These questions could be for taking permission, or gathering information, or getting an agreement.
Our idea is to get the client say yes to our objective.
A point of caution, however, is not to sound interrogative.
“I am calling to check if it might be valuable to you and your company. Before I proceed to tell you how we could help you get similar benefits, May I know what system do you currently use for customer acquisition?“
Mind the Vocal Communication
A smile on face while talking makes the person on the other side hear the smile. We should have a moderate rate of speech and vocal pitch that makes us come across “Not Desperate”.
Most Cold Callers have this intense desire to close the deal in the first call. And therefore our clients confuse us with tele-callers and therefore the ‘ring-tone’.
We should sound enthusiastic, warm and empathetic but not desperate.
Avoid Pitching your Solutions
Whenever I have asked my trainees to sell me a Pen, they have gone all excited and started talking about how I could benefit from using the pen. So far so good, at-least they were talking about my benefits.
The only challenge was, those were not the benefits I was looking for.
So till the time a Need Analysis is not in place, avoid the urge to pitch your product or solution.
Rehearse the call and record yourself. Listen to it and reflect.
Call a friend or family and take their feedback.
An example of Warm Calling
When you put it all together, this is how your Warm Calling may sound like –
“I work with Marketing Heads of large Banks like yourself to help them reduce their cost of acquisition of banking clients by using our unique Customer Acquisition Solution Tool. I am calling to check if it might be valuable to you and your company”
“Before I proceed to tell you how we could help you get similar benefits, May I know what system do you currently use for customer acquisition?”.
Remember to keep varying the pitch a little so that it doesn’t sound too rehearsed and “Cold”.
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