How do you set about getting new business from a cold call? There are 13 effective techniques to get the best results. Follow these tips for every cold call and you will dramatically improve your sales conversion rate and results.
Cold calling can be a challenging task, especially if you are not naturally outgoing and comfortable with confrontation. You have to pick up the phone and call strangers (or friends of friends) in order to sell them something they might never want or need. It’s hard work! That said, there are some cold-calling tips that can make it easier for you.
Add value to your prospect’s day by making their lives easier, not harder. Before you make your first contact with a company start by asking yourself: “How can I be of service?” What is it that they want? Do they want more customers or perhaps a reduction in costs. Whatever it may be make sure that this is what you offer them in the first conversation. This way you build trust and credibility on the very first call rather than having to win them over.
You don’t need to have a product or service that is the best on the market in order to make a sale; you can still succeed with a mediocre offering if you place it at the right point of your prospect’s buying cycle. It means working out where they are in their purchase process and then selling to them accordingly. It may mean handing them off to another department rather than making the sale yourself, but that will give you more opportunities with other people within the company simply because they will be happy with how quickly you helped their colleague get what they needed from your organisation.
Every day we all have time constraints placed upon us by other people, whether it’s our bosses asking for reports or feedback from clients about a project. Add value to the people you call by asking them what their current priorities are, this should give an immediate conversation opener that shows that you care about their business. You can then highlight how your product or service may be able to help them achieve these objectives or goals faster than they could on their own.
Most sales people would agree that a no is not the end of the world and getting lots of nos means there will be more yesses further down the road, but don’t let it show in your voice if you get shot down because it’s only going to put off your next prospect before you even speak to them. Don’t come across as desperate and needy because when you do all those prospects who were previously interested will see you as a bad risk.
Don’t give up on people; even the worst prospects can become an opportunity if you keep going back to them and being persistent. Make sure that your message is clear every time you speak to them and don’t waste their time with overcomplicated information or jargon. A potential new customer will give you more of their attention than someone who simply isn’t interested, so make it worth their while by presenting your offering in a way that they will understand and find useful rather than confusing or boring them.
Keep at it! Getting new customers doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient and realistic about how many opportunities each sale is likely to bring you or what your average conversion rate is going to be like for each customer. Work out the value of a sale to you based on your average margin, this way you can determine if it’s worth selling to only one prospect or ten prospects who don’t become customers.
Every entrepreneur has been in the situation where they have something brilliant to offer and that will make their company amazing, but before they started up they didn’t know that there were already two companies offering the same thing. So when you get declined because someone else is already doing what you do for them, congratulate yourself for finding a gap in their business and move on, being successful means having lots of irons in the fire at all times.
Be outgoing and engaging; cold calling is difficult so smile, relax and enjoy the process because taking your customers through the sales cycle is just as important as selling to them. Don’t focus on your own personal sales targets or how much money you’re going to make that day, instead concentrate on giving every person who answers the phone 100% of your attention and patience, this way they will feel like their business is really being valued rather than just another transaction.
Don’t be afraid to push a little for referrals; many people prefer word of mouth recommendations over cold calling because it comes from someone they know and trust rather than a random advertising call out of nowhere. If you do get referred then send the prospect’s colleague an email thanking them for passing your number onto them, making sure that you have taken down all the relevant details so that you can add a warm introduction to the person you called.
When asking for referrals, be sure to mention your previous successes or current projects that could be of interest to their colleague too; this can lead to more sales and a better relationship with the whole department rather than just one person in it. Also make sure that when you do use any information from cold calling campaigns, you give credit where it’s due on your website or social media pages etc. This will help build up a base of loyal customers for years to come who are willing refer new people who may not have heard about your business yet!
Don’t come across as desperate and needy because when you do all those prospects who were previously interested will see you as a bad risk. and remember a No is not the end of the world.