Ten Sales Techniques To Warm A Cold Call…!
How many of you actually got excited about picking up the phone and trying to make a sale with someone you’ve never met before? I bet there aren’t that many of you out there. For most of us, cold calling is a dreaded and daunting task that strikes fear down the backs of even the most fearless of marketers. However, it’s a part of the game. And when done correctly, it can be a powerful and effective sales tool. So to make sure that you’re perfecting your cold call, here are 10 sales techniques to never cold call again.
1. Define Your List
It could be tempting to open the Yellow Pages or scroll through your contact and begin making calls. The problem with that is that’s not effective. Instead of casting a wide net, narrow down your list and target your audience. Create a list of companies or individuals that fit the profile. When you discover vital information like age, location, gender, income, etc., you have a better understanding of how to approach your prospective customers or clients because you’ll be aware of their wants and needs. For example, if you were selling a new line of ski products, would you want to be cold-calling people in Texas? Or, would you rather target people in Colorado?
2. Making a Warm Call via LinkedIn
Within the last year or so, there was a lot of discussion surrounding the idea that cold calling was dead, thanks to LinkedIn. The truth is a resource like LinkedIn has become an extension of cold calling since it can be used for “warm calling.” This means that you can use LinkedIn, or any other means of networking with prospects, to make an introduction. It could be a brief email to introduce yourself and your company, which also mentions that you’ll be calling in a couple of days. By doing this, you’ve already broken the ice and have already established a connection with your prospect.
3. Do Not Use a Script
You want your prospective clients or consumers to trust you. And, you can forget about establishing trust if you come across as just another salesperson. Even if you believe that you’ve constructed a script, most people can see this pitch coming from a mile away. It’s an impersonal tactic that immediately turns people off. If you’ve defined your target audience, then you should be able to address their specific wants and needs. Which that you don’t have to rely on a generic set of questions or responses to peak their interest.
4. Comparing Yourself to the Competition
When you compare yourself to the competition you’re risking the chance of putting the customer into a “no-decision”! “Why? Because when you force a customer or client to compare the features of you and a competitor you’re not standing out from the status quo.” “Make the decision easier when cold calling and be different than everyone. Focus on why they your prospects should chose you over the competition by highlighting what features make your brand unique and beneficial. Focus on strategic sales through referrals which implies you have all warm calls and the closing ratio goes up.”
5. Don’t Be Pushy
Whether it’s that overzealous car salesman or cable provider representative that won’t let you cancel your subscription, people can’t be a pushy salesperson. In fact, we just plain loathe these type of people. So, why would you think that this technique would work for your cold calls? Believe it or not, there are ways to sell your product without just screaming “buy, buy, buy!” in their ears. For example, you want to prove that your product or service has value to them by making their lives easier or more secure.
6. You Have 30-Seconds To Connect
Your prospect only has a limited amount of time to talk to you on the phone; which is why it’s important that you grab their attention immediately and retain it. You don’t want to give them an easy way to get of the call by asking them questions like “Do you have five minutes to talk?” or “I’m Sean from Awesome Business Inc. and I want to tell you about our amazing product.” Here it what I do over and over again and it works every time:
Hi Priscilla, I’m Larry Horning with FurnitureBasix. I understand that your company may be in the process of relocating its office or possibly about to redo the current one. Are you the person that will be managing the process? YES, I AM
Let me ask you a quick question “how in the world did you get that job, did you make someone angry at you??” (LAUGH or GIGGLE), YEAH I MUST HAVE!
So now, not only do you have your daily job to do, but you have this second job! Have you ever done this before? NO, IT IS MY FIRST TIME!
(……………….. let Priscilla think about what she just likely realized) Fear not, I have been making sure for the last 30-years that my clients in your exact position do not get fired, and have not lost one of them yet in the process! GREAT I NEED MY JOB, IT IS A SCARY TIME IN HOUSTON
Have you lived here all your life? NO I ACTUALLY MOVED HERE FROM UP NORTH
Me too, from where…? NJ, BACK IN 2010
I’m an Eastern PA guy, so which exit of the NJ Turnpike? ….BLAH BLAH BLAH
Blah Blah Blah…okay so now that we are probably related, when may I stop by to see what you’ve gotten yourself into? SURE
7. Giving Prospects a Chance to Say “No’
Hearing the dreaded word “no” is bound to happen. That’s just something that you’re going to have to live with. However, doesn’t it make sense to not give your prospects that opportunity? In trying in with the previous statement of leaving easy-out questions or statements, don’t give prospects that chance to say “no.” For example, instead of asking them if they would like more information about your brand, ask them where you could email or mail brochures or other vital information. Again, you don’t want to be pushy, but you do want to attempt to generate a follow-up.
8. Do Not Only Focusing on Making a Sale
“The purpose of a cold call is to engage a prospect in a conversation about their needs and determine next steps.” This means that you’re not selling anything right off the bat. You’re planting the seeds for future sales. The initial call should instead focus on engaging the prospect in conversion and identifying their needs by asking the right questions. Once you answer these questions you can determine which steps you’ll need to take to make that sale in the future.
9. Leaving a Darn Voicemail
Unless you have an appointment, there’s a very good chance that your prospect won’t be available to take your call. So, what do you do? Hang-up without leaving a message or leave a message that could be used to spread brand awareness? While not every voicemail message will be returned, you still have to give it a chance. But, how can you make a prospect interested in your company over a voicemail? Remember, you’re not going for the sale, so stay away from the sales pitch. Just a simple introduction and where you can be reached should suffice. You can also state that you will be calling them back at another time. This way if they don’t return your call, at least they can expect one in the future.
10. Not Following-Up
Research has found that “80% of sales happen AFTER the fifth contact attempt.” This means that you can’t expect to make a sale after just one phone call. Which is why it’s important that you follow-up with a prospect. But, how can you achieve this without being too pushy or annoying? For starters, you could send an email thanking them for their time and sharing an article that they may enjoy. You could also make sure to set-up another appointment before concluding the first cold call.