Many people say to never engage in cold calling.
However, when you sit down and think about it, the people that say this simply haven’t been successful with this sales technique themselves within the digital marketing funnel.
If you can do cold calling well, it has the potential to introduce your brand to a brand-new audience, develop lasting relationships, and boost your bottom line.
Below, we will dive into what cold calling is, the pros and cons of cold calling, and a few cold calling tips that will make the process more effective and efficient.
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What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is an unsolicited phone call to a potential customer or client. This is because they were not expecting the call due to no established connection being present.
In contrast, warm calling occurs when there is already an established connection with prospects.
Cold calling is a tough sales technique. You are essentially calling a stranger who likely has no knowledge of your company. Your job is to engage them as quickly as possible and successfully pitch your service or product.
According to reports, under 2% of cold calls will result in a scheduled meeting, while under 1% of cold calls will result in a sale.
While the statistics don’t favor cold calling and its success, the truth of the matter is that this technique can be lucrative if done properly.
Cold Calling Pros
At this point, cold calling may not appeal to you very much. However, it is an important sales technique to be used in B2B sales. Let’s take a look at some of the pros of cold calling.
Potential to Reach New Customers
There are many instances when people don’t even realize they can benefit from your products or services. With cold calling, you are reaching out to an individual that is unlikely to have discovered your company on their own.
Receive Valuable Feedback
By cold calling prospects, you have the chance to get helpful feedback from them regarding your products and services.
Engaging in a conversation with prospects is more likely to help you gather qualitative data as opposed to an email or other form of cold communication.
Take the time to ask them what they think about your product/service, if they believe the price is fair, and if they would feel comfortable receiving a live demo or free trial.
The information and feedback you collect on cold calls can help you set your business up for success, as you can better meet the needs and wants of your target audience.
Cost-Effective and Easy
Although there are still costs associated with cold calling, it is far more cost-effective than other sales techniques that can introduce your products/services and improve sales.
Plus, cold calling can be done anywhere and at any time.
Cold Calling Cons
Everything in life has more than one side, and cold calling is no different. Check out the low points of this technique.
Annoying and Intrusive for Prospects
When people receive unexpected phone calls, they are often annoyed. These types of phone calls can feel intrusive.
In a number of cases, prospects will immediately hang up on you because they aren’t interested in hearing what you have to say.
While you may have had success with other sales techniques and strategies, cold calling never guarantees success.
It may work, and it may not. You may make dozens of phone calls before you have a successful call.
Unfortunately, these types of inconsistencies are a risk to your business as a whole. For this reason, cold calling should never be the only sales technique that you are using. It should be used in conjunction with other strategies for the most success.
Slow in Reaching a Large Audience
The more people you can reach, the better your chances are at converting a lead.
However, with cold calling, it takes time. You are contacting each person individually, which can be incredibly tedious.
A much quicker method of reaching larger audiences is to collect email addresses and then send cold emails. You can reach a larger number of prospects in a short period of time through email, social media, and the internet as a whole.
Just think about it: one email campaign directed at 500 customers takes significantly less time than contacting those 500 customers directly via a phone call.
5 Tips to Succeed with Cold Calling
While there are indeed disadvantages to the cold calling sales technique, there are steps you can take to make the process more successful for your company. Here is a look at a handful of them.
1. Prepare Your Opening Statement Ahead of Time
Whether cold calling or not, a good first impression is imperative.
With cold calls, this is your opening statement, and you only have seconds to let your prospects know they should take time out of their day to speak to you.
Therefore, your opening statement should be prepared ahead of time, rather than trying to wing it on each call. When you come up with your script as you go, you run the risk of not sounding authoritative.
When you know what you’re going to say ahead of time, you will sound more confident and in control of the conversation.
Make sure that your opening statement consists of your full name and the name of your company. By giving this information upfront, you maintain control of the call from the get-go.
Don’t forget to let the prospect know why you’re calling as early on in the phone call as possible. People want to know why you’re calling, and letting them know this upfront will ease their minds.
You can also make an opening statement about the prospect. An example may be to congratulate them on a recent accomplishment or let them know you’ve been inspired by a certain piece of work they’ve completed previously.
2. Take 1-2 Hours to Go Through Your Call List
Before you make any cold calls, take the time to go through your call list. Make sure that you are familiar with the people and businesses you are about to be calling.
Ideally, you want to tailor your offerings to the needs of the business or individual you are talking to on the other end of the line.
By preparing yourself ahead of time, you will have a higher chance of turning a cold call into a successful sale.
3. Make Sure Your Data on the Prospect Is Up-to-Date
Researching prospects before cold calling them is an important part of ensuring that this sales technique is successful.
If the profiles you currently have on your prospects were created six months ago, it is time to review them and ensure the information you have is up-to-date.
If you’re calling businesses, check their website and social media profiles to confirm the information you have. If you’re calling individuals, see if you can locate them on social media.
You want to know as much as you can about the person or business you’re calling, and this information must be current to avoid a bad first impression.
4. Listen to the Prospect; Don’t Do All the Talking
One of the most important tips that anyone can be given to make cold calling as successful as possible is to be an active listener.
While there will be a time during the conversation where you need to talk, such as asking follow-up questions, you must allow the prospect to talk and ask their own questions.
At the same time, though, you must be listening to what they’re saying. This will help you create the best possible follow-up questions that show you are listening to them and that you value them as a potential client.
And when you do ask questions, make sure they’re open-ended questions that require a full response as opposed to simply yes or no questions. This gets the customer talking so you can learn more.
By giving your prospects the attention they seek, it will only be a matter of time before your cold call turns into a successful sale. Plus, this will help with long-term customer retention.
5. Ask for the 2nd Meeting
More often than not, a sale won’t occur on that first initial cold call contact. In fact, 80% of sales will occur after the fifth call.
Therefore, you must not give up after that first call, and you must strive to secure that second meeting.
Calling back and sending emails may sound intrusive, especially if the prospect didn’t agree to them, but 75% of online buyers are interested in receiving between two and four calls before they are given up on.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard. You don’t want to call a prospect multiple times a day, along with several emails and text messages as well.
However, in the end, persistence is key.
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Cold calling may not be the popular sales strategy that it once was, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective for your business when used appropriately.
The key to successful cold calling is patience, preparation, and persistence. Avoid getting discouraged when you don’t make a sale on that initial contact, as it generally doesn’t happen for anyone.
However, that initial phone call is when you can make a solid first impression, so be prepared and confident. This will make the task of cold calling less challenging.
As mentioned earlier, cold calling should be used alongside other sales and marketing strategies.
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