Here are 9 cold calling techniques that are easy to implement and can help you to immediately improve your results.
1. Focus on the right goal
It is very easy for us salespeople to “always be closing”. But what are you trying to close when you are on a cold call? Don’t try to close the sale and fully sell the product as there is not enough time to do that (unless what you sell is very transactional and a one-call sale).
Your goal for the cold call is to establish a conversation with the prospect. The way that can look in most scenarios is scheduling an appointment or meeting. Focus on selling the appointment in place of selling the product.
2. Focus on your value
Another trap we salespeople fall into is jumping at any chance to talk about the product that we sell. If you are truly cold calling, the prospect does not care yet about your products, and talking about them too early and too much will just trigger their guardedness.
As part of your cold calling techniques, shift from talking products to talking about the value that your products deliver. How do they help your prospect and what do they help them to achieve?
3. Have your key pre-qualifying questions
What is more important than talking about what we have to offer is asking the prospect powerful questions that extract valuable information. There should be a list of key questions that you can ask that assess how well the prospect fits with what you have to offer and these are great pre-qualifying questions.
Instead of spending all of your time with your cold calling techniques talking about what you have to offer, go through your pre-qualifying questions. In order to make sure you know what to ask, have these identified and prepared in a list before you make your prospecting calls.
4. Prepare for objections
You will have to face objections on just about every cold call. Objections are what the prospect says to try to get rid of you.
It is common for most of us to wing it when it comes to how to respond to objections and just think about how to deal with them right at the moment when they come up. As you can imagine, not only is this the path that leads to the worst results, but it is also a more stressful and frustrating direction.
One of the most helpful cold calling techniques is to simply list out the objections that you anticipate facing and prepare responses that stand to help you to keep the call going. Notice here that we say to try to keep the call going, not overcome the objection.
5. Disqualify the prospect
One of the best is one of the most counter-intuitive. Our instinct is to push forward by talking about how well we fit with what the prospect needs. But to do the exact opposite at certain times by disqualifying the prospect can have really great benefits.
When you disqualify, you essentially doubt that it makes sense to continue. The reason that this is great is that it helps to decrease the prospect’s guardedness. Here are some examples to use early in a cold call:
- I don’t know if you are the right person to speak with
- I don’t know if we are a good fit for you
- I don’t know if you need what we provide
6. Name drop
Another extremely powerful tactic is to name-drop at every chance possible. You want the gatekeeper or prospect to see you as more of an insider than an outsider. Something very minor that can help with this is to simply name-drop other people in the organization that you have spoken to. Haven’t spoken to anyone yet – just name-drop people you are planning on talking to.
7. Share some pain examples
One of your goals while using cold calling techniques is to find something that is not working well with the prospect that you can help to fix. Since they might not just come out and tell you what is wrong, you can share some common pain points that other prospects have that you can typically fix.
After you give some examples, you can check in to ask if they have any similar challenges or if they can relate to any of that.
8. Leave a voicemail that educates
It is very possible that you will often reach the prospect’s voicemail when cold calling. One thing to consider when you leave a message is that there maybe be a low probability that the prospect will call you back. If you agree with that, you can shift the goal of your voicemail message from trying to get the prospect to call you back and focus more on trying to educate the prospect on why they should talk to you when you call them back.
9. Follow your cold call and voicemail with an email
The last of the 9 cold calling techniques is to follow every cold call and voicemail with an email. Regardless of whether you connected or not or how the conversation went, follow up with an email that aligns with what was discussed.
This is helpful for a couple of reasons. One is that it reinforces the message that you are trying to deliver. But it also provides something that is easy for the prospect to file away and respond to.
SalesScripter provides a solution to help sales pros with cold call techniques.