Embrace new cold calling techniques to bring more life to your lead pipeline and guarantee more success
Look up “cold calling” on Google, and you’ll get over 240 million results. You can read through several “ultimate guides” to cold calling, “amazing” tips, best practices, and if you make it all the way to page 21, there’s even the “#1 secret” to success with cold calls. (And then ask yourself why that article isn’t on page 1.)
There is no shortage of cold calling techniques. How many of them work, though? For that matter, does cold calling work at all? It does if you’re an IT executive. According to an article in The Balance, “60% of more than 1,000 polled senior executives […] reported taking an appointment or attending an event after receiving a cold call or unsolicited email.” Think about that! You could have 600 leads in your sales pipeline for every 1,000 calls you make. That’s a pretty good ratio.
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3 Cold calling techniques that work better than you think they will
1. Call smart
There are millions of phone numbers in the U.S., but not all of those numbers belong to your audience. In fact, only a small percentage of those numbers will connect you with the people you need to reach. A little bit of market research can help you narrow that list down. For instance, if you sell restaurant supplies, your list would include the restaurants within your geographic region. If you’re in the insurance industry, your list may be much more extensive, but you could still focus on group health policies and reach out to human resources departments or small business owners.
Let’s narrow that down still. Shall we? Do you have common business associates? Are you in a social media group with some of your prospects? These aren’t limitations; they’re touchpoints that can help you succeed in your sales calls. And even if you don’t get an appointment with your initial contact, you can always ask for referrals and expand your list of connections. You’d be amazed at how vast your web of contacts can be once you start looking.
So we’ve taken the list of potential prospects from millions to thousands. That’s still a lot of dialing and leaving messages for all the people who don’t pick up. Or is it?
Auto dialing software (like Call Logic) can streamline the process and help you improve your calls. You can import your list, click to dial, and preview your contact before you connect, so you know exactly how to personalize the call. And for all those voicemails you’ll leave, simply trigger a pre-recorded message and move on to the next person on your list.
Follow-ups are simple, too. You can submit a customizable email template to your prospect with the click of a button while you’re still on the phone with them.
2. Use a script – and a calendar
When you make a cold call, you only have a few seconds to hook your audience. And after that, you still only have a few minutes to begin building a relationship and set up a meeting. It’s easy to forget important information or to get lost in your conversation. That’s why a script is so valuable.
Bear in mind, however, that a script isn’t just a few paragraphs that you read over and over. You could have multiple scripts (cold call, hot lead, follow up) and you can individualize them to almost any extent you need. Where they genuinely help you, though, is in making sure you convey the information you need to concisely and efficiently.
A script doesn’t make you less human, either. Actors use scripts, musicians use scripts (or sheet music), and all your favorite public speakers use a script. They also add their personality to that script to make it sound natural. You can do it, too!
Oh, and don’t quit with just the script. If all goes according to plan, you’ll need to set an appointment. And, “sometime next week” is not an appointment. Tuesday the 18th at 10:00, however, is an appointment. Lock it in. Otherwise, you risk losing the appointment and you’ll have to go through much of this again.
3. Embrace failure
There’s a theory that talking about something like failure will make it happen. Only focus on the positive and envision your success. There’s certainly nothing wrong with training your focus on achieving goals and filling your lead pipeline. But we also need to face the reality that some of our cold calls won’t play out the way we would like.
People could hang up before you can get two words out. They could listen to your whole pitch and say, “no.” You might be poised on the edge of success only to find that your prospect won’t commit to a meeting. That’s okay. Why?
Failure is a gift.
Failure is your opportunity to learn more about your prospect, or about your script, your delivery, and so much more.
Every “no” is a chance to improve. When it’s possible, take advantage of the moment and ask why your product or service isn’t right for them. It might be something entirely out of your control. Then again, it might be something you can easily change.
If you’re still having trouble, listen back to the recordings of your calls (which you can do with Call Logic’s auto-dialing software), and find out if there is somewhere your calls seem to be losing steam. Try changing your script if you notice a consistent point where your prospect loses interest. Listen to your voice and note any changes in enthusiasm or energy.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of fine-tuning your cold-calling techniques. Other times you might need an entirely new approach. In either case, all three of these techniques can help you improve your calls and get more prospects into your lead pipeline.
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