You might think that cold calling is an outdated sales strategy that is no longer useful. But did you know that over 92% of contact with potential and current customers occurs over the phone?
Despite what you may have heard, cold calling can still be incredibly effective when done right. If you want to learn how to increase the effectiveness of your cold calls, this article is for you.
We are going to guide you through each step and provide some cold calling tips that produce success.
How to Prepare for the Call
Set yourself up for success by following the steps below.
Keep the End Goal in Mind
What are your goals? Be sure to keep them realistic. If you expect too much from the cold calling process you won’t feel satisfied with anything you accomplish.
Realize that it’s unlikely for a sale to result from making a cold call. Instead, your main focus should be on transitioning leads to the next phase of the sales funnel. If you can accomplish this, you’ve done well!
Do Your Research
Before picking up the phone, try to get some info about who you are calling.
This information includes:
- The contact’s name;
- The contact’s title;
- What this person does in the organization;
- What products or services the business sells;
- The company’s time zone (This will affect when to call).
If the initial contact person is not a decision-maker, do a little more research to discover who is. That way, you can get the stakeholders involved in the sales process right away.
Come Up with an Attention-Grabbing Opening
You must convince the recipient of your call that you are worth his or her attention. Otherwise, that person will feel that you are a waste of time. Predetermine how to open the call so that you immediately hook the recipient.
Prepare Answers for the Most Likely Questions
When prospects ask questions about your product or service, it’s a sign they are interested in what you have to offer. Don’t blow the opportunity to further impress them by not having the answers to their questions.
Instead, list the questions that are most likely to come up before you pick up the phone. Get the answers to all of those questions and keep those notes handy. They will be a lifesaver when you are on the phone and need help remembering the answer to a specific question.
How to Make the Call
After you’ve sufficiently prepared, it’s time to make the call. You can increase the odds of doing well by following the cold calling tips below.
Choose the Right Time
First, you must decide when to call. According to HubSpot, “the best time of day to cold call a prospect is between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM their local time.” This is probably because most workers have finished the bulk of the day’s tasks by the late afternoon hours.
But if you prefer calling in the morning, make that call sometime between 11 AM and 12 PM. During this window of time employees are likely winding down their morning tasks as their lunch break approaches.
You must also choose the best day to call. Do Mondays work best? Are Fridays better?
CallHippo claims that Wednesdays and Thursdays are ideal days for cold calling because they fall in the middle of the week.
Mondays are often used to plan the rest of the workweek while Fridays are spent in anticipation of the weekend. No one wants to be interrupted on a busy Monday or take extra time on a Friday to listen to a sales call.
Find the Right Person
If you’ve done your research, you probably know who the decision-makers are in the company you are reaching out to. Ideally, you will contact one of them first. If you are unable to, the person you first contact needs to get you in touch with the company’s stakeholders.
Let Your Script Guide You
It’s a good idea to use a script when cold calling because you don’t want to miss any important points. However, you also don’t want to sound like you are reading a script.
Coming off as a robot can be avoided by practicing your script. When you practice it enough it will sound natural.
And you don’t have to follow the script word for word. Just think of it as a basic outline that will prevent you from forgetting anything you need to discuss. Feel free to use whatever words naturally come to you and don’t be afraid to let your personality show.
Get Straight to the Point
Back in the prep phase of the cold calling process, you planned how to open the call so that it would immediately get the attention of the recipient.
You need to remember this opening so that you can present it once the person on the other end of the line has picked up. If you miss this opportunity to get the recipient's attention you may blow your chance of developing a relationship with a prospect.
Plan for the Next Step
When you are wrapping up the call, be sure to plan a follow-up. You can use a scheduling tool that allows prospects to choose the times that work best for them.
What to do After the Call
You might feel relief once you’ve gotten through the call, but hanging up doesn’t mean your work is over. There are a few steps of the cold calling process left.
Record Call Details
If you don’t take notes during the call, do this immediately after the call so that you don’t forget any important details that need to be documented.
Send a Follow-Up Email
After taking notes, send a follow-up email. Use the email to:
- Say thanks to the person who gave up time to take your call;
- Review the next steps;
- Provide a link to the scheduling tool where a follow-up call can be scheduled.
You can also send another email about a day or two before the scheduled follow-up. This will serve as a polite reminder to set aside some time for your call.
Even if cold calling isn’t your favorite sales-related task you can succeed by taking the right steps. Knowing how to make and prepare for the call will boost your confidence and increase your success.
So, the next time you have to pick up the phone, try the cold calling tips we’ve given you in this article.