Effective Cold Calling

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Most people hate the idea of cold calling. It’s probably not far behind public speaking as far as the biggest fear. That’s because most think of cold calling as annoying telemarketing. It is not! I think of cold calling as talking to people who don’t know you, or your product (or service) yet. Obviously some of you are introverts and will never pursue a sales job. However, it’s a skill everyone should learn. Good cold calling comes down to effective communication and asking the right questions. 

Effective communication, when cold calling, is getting your message across clearly and directly. Cut down the fat and get right to the point. Do NOT waste anyone’s time. In order to get your message across clearly, define it first. What point are you communicating? It should be a statement you believe in and can recite in your sleep. 

But what if you get rejected? 

Rejection is the biggest fear about cold calling (and life). There’s no way around it; you will be rejected more than you can count. Rejection is part of cold calling (and life). The key here is to get as many quality attempts as you can. Great baseball players only hit in about 30% of the at-bats they get. That means they don’t hit 70% of the time they play. They adjust and get back in the batters box after a strike-out. 

Here are some actions you can take to reduce rejection and increase the quality of your cold calls. 

  • Start with a script. Memorize it and do not deviate until you’re 100% comfortable. And for god’s sake, use the script like an actor not a robot! 
  • Figure out where you get shut down during the script (from customers) and tweak it until it works. 
  • Prepare great questions to ask and have rebuttals ready. Write them down and have them ready to read while cold calling.
  • Listen to your customer 
  • Don’t ask ‘Yes or No’ questions. Ask questions starting with What, Where, Who, When, How. 
  • Target the right prospects. Don’t call an engineer to sell women’s makeup. There are tremendous resources we can use via the internet and social media (especially for b2b sales). 
    • I use LinkedIn and google search before every cold call because it helps to know who you’re talking to and get insight into their motivations. 

– Practice, Practice, and Practice some more. The more you practice your script, the more comfortable you will feel and sound natural. 

Some gurus say that cold calling is dead because of social media marketing and everyone’s obsession with adjusting to customer behavior. Cold calling is not dead, nor will it ever be. It may take on different forms like email, text, LinkedIn, webinars, etc., but you still have to get your message out there in the most effective manner to new prospects. 

If you never put yourself out there, how will your prospects ever know about how your product / service can improve their lives? 

Happy Cold Calling! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below. 

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