Published : 8 August 2017
Cold calling has long been a sales technique used throughout the world. And like most things in life, there's a right way, and a wrong way, to do it.
Sadly, too many organisations consider cold calling an easy task, that can be done by anyone. This is a myth. It is a difficult skill to master, and it's a job that suits a certain mindset.
Before looking at some of the best cold calling techniques, let's clarify a couple of things. Cold calling is exactly that; it's a call made to someone who has expressed no previous interest in the product or service being sold. The aim is to actually sell the product on the phone, or arrange a follow-up appointment.
Warm calling is quite different. This is a phone call, email or visit that has been preceded by a cold call, mail-out, or introduction. It's a lot easier!
Getting Past First Base
One of the biggest mistakes rookie cold callers make is the way in which they start the conversation. Remember, most people hate getting cold calls. They're probably in the middle of something and just want to hang up.
Don't start with 'How are you today?' It's a dead giveaway. Instead, try 'I know you want to hang up, but please just give me a minute'. That should buy you a few seconds to tell them more.
Script or No Script
Many companies provide their cold callers with scripts. The jury is out on whether this is a good idea. A seasoned cold caller generally does better without a script. They know the product, and they know how to react to different scenarios. They have their own techniques.
Reading a script can sound very robotic and doesn't exactly promote trust. The person receiving the call feels like just another number. By all means scribble down those important points to jog your memory, but try and talk as naturally as possible.
Even if you are not! Any sign of fear or nerves in your voice will give the customer the upper hand. Your best approach is to sound confident, but not cocky; friendly, but not over familiar. Above all, you need to believe in the product you are selling, and get that across in your voice.
Whether or not you are using a script, write down the three main points you want/need to get across. The temptation is to cram as much into the call as possible, to try and get the sale. That will just make you sound desperate and you can practically guarantee a 'no'.
Learn to Listen
By really listening to your prospect you may pick up useful information that will help your sale. Make the call all about them, not you. How can you help them? Will your product make their life easier? What's in it for them?
Consistency is Key
Let's say you have successfully got your prospect on the hook. What's the best way of reeling them in? Consistency. Follow-up is crucial if you are to get the sale.
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