Cold calling is possibly the most dreaded and avoided task in any sales office. As a rule, it involves lots of failure and a significant dose of rejection. However, it is an essential part of the sales process and therefore needs to be given the investment it needs to succeed.
Professionalism and confidence breed success in cold calling. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Lack of confidence leads to mistakes and vice versa. Body language and tone of voice can convey to the prospect on the other end of the line and undermine everything that is actually said. So, it’s important that whenever a sales person conducts their cold calling, they do it with the right attitude, training, preparation and support.
The recipients of cold calls aren’t necessarily that keen on them either. You’re interrupting their day with something that’s on your agenda, not necessarily theirs, no matter how well profiled your data is. If the output of the call is something tangible which requires nothing of the audience – such as a report based on the information they give you – then there’s a reason for them to stay on the line. Having this clear goal, that has obvious benefits and value to the prospect, at the start of the call will help both parties – either they immediately turn off or give permission to continue. Either way it is a clear signal to follow.
Know your stuff
We are all human. Sometimes the mind goes blank, sometimes we are asked questions we don’t have a clue how to answer or sometimes we end up going into a topic that we don’t really understand. Preparation is key here – knowing your subject matter is a given, but also knowing something about who you are calling if previous calls or engagement have been tracked in a CRM or marketing automation tool.
Strike the balance
Having clear structure and next steps can provide massive support to a cold caller, but scripting can have the effect of making the caller come across as amateur. What’s needed is a blend of natural style, a structured approach and clarity of direction.
Cold call scripting tools which allow for this flexibility in conversation enable sales training to be put into practice in a “safe” way, signposting what to ask next and building caller confidence. Confidence will, in turn, encourage the prospects’ trust as the caller demonstrates knowledge about potential solutions to their problems. Ultimately, the more the prospect trusts what is being said, the better the chances of them engaging on next steps down the sales funnel.