A cold call is an act of marketing your product or services to a person without the traditional route of referrals, word-of-mouth, or other marketing techniques. With that said, it’s no wonder that cold-calling is among the most difficult activities that salespeople (and occasionally even entrepreneurs) face.
The first hurdle is breaking the ice with prospects, who are often busy and wary of unknown callers. Then there’s the fear of rejection, which keeps many individuals from making calls at all. And finally, overcoming the individual’s initial response.
When you do connect, people are more likely to decline hearing or seeing you right away. The uphill battle is becoming steeper. When cold-calling, the average salesperson feels more pressure. When she talks to her prospect, she may portray that stress, making the prospect feel pressured and defensive. Any chance of forming meaningful trust has vanished, and recovery is nearly impossible. Try some role-playing and brainstorming exercises to come up with good responses when prospects give you reasons why they don’t want to talk to you. By successfully overcoming these obstacles prior to making contact, you will be able to concentrate on the business prospects that await you.
If you really think about it, Is there really a ‘no sale’ call? Every call you make results in a sale. Either you sell the customer stock or he sells you a reason why he is unable to purchase. It’s a sell either way. The question is, who will be the last to leave? Is it you or him?
During the cold-calling process, you may notice an overarching pattern of not truly selling. It’s possible that dialogue will take place, but it’s also possible that it won’t. People will call you and hang up on you, be unpleasant to you, and maybe curse at you. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t take anything personally. You’ll get immune to it after a few calls, and you’ll be able to move on to the next call as if nothing occurred. Keep in mind that the goal of cold-calling is to initiate a conversation, establish a relationship with the prospect, and obtain permission to send materials or schedule an appointment.
Even if you don’t get an appointment, if you were memorable and communicated your message clearly, you’ve at least made your prospect aware of your organization, which is a significant step forward. You never know, they might require your offering in the near future and call you back.
• If possible, schedule your cold-calling for a specific time each day rather than doing it all at once. You’ll feel more energized and optimistic, and it won’t seem as daunting.
• Obtain authorization to send a message regarding your offering. If the initial contact went well, you can call again to confirm that the materials were received and to request a response, which will hopefully lead to a step further down the sales path.
• If you get a rejection with a friendly tone, ask if your prospect can refer you to a colleague who might be a better fit for you to speak with.
• When you call, get up and smile. It relaxes your muscles and warms up your voice.
• Simply avoid cold-calling whenever feasible. Before you call, send something. Work your research into your opening about the prospect’s firm and the likely need for your service.
• If you receive a friendly refusal, ask if you may call again in three or six months to see if things have changed.
• It’s OK to be apprehensive; everyone started somewhere. Remember, It will no longer be a significant concern as you are exposed to the same experience over time.
Cold-calling is a skill that requires practice to master, and it takes time to overcome your worries. Hopefully, these tips and approaches will assist you in achieving your goals.