Cold calling is by and large one of the least favorite, yet incredibly important, tasks of any business in the sales industry. You can attain leads, increase your earnings, and expand your business through the process. However, engaging in cold calls is not just as easy as picking up the phone and dialing a series of random numbers. There is an art to it. One that many sales people and businesses overlook.
As is the case with any marketing plan, you have to have a goal and strategy laid out before you can make any progress. To give you a good foundation to build your cold calling plan off of, we’ve outlined a step-by-step guide for making the most out of this complicated process.
- Step 1. Define your Target Audience
Accuracy is the key to making sales from cold calls. Whether you outsource sales or are planning to do the work yourself, identify your target audience first before you waste time calling individuals who simply have no interest in your product.
For example, if you were selling natural cleaning products you wouldn’t make large companies the focus of your cold calling. Instead, you would hone your prospect list towards residential areas and base your pitch off what entices those individuals most. Define your prospects and create a list that represents them before you begin making calls.
- Step 2. Determine the Best Time for Calls
Obviously, if you can’t reach the client you are looking for during a certain time of day you would want to know what time that was. In cold calling, therefore, determining the proper time of day to make your call will ultimately affect the outcome of your hard work. Why spend hours trying to call a business or individual who is simply unavailable?
Patience and research are vital for determining the appropriate time to make a call. Blindly calling potential clients is the exact opposite of what you want to do. Investigate what your prospect’s daily schedule looks like, and then identify the right time to receive the best results from them.
- Step 3. Come up with an Effective “Pitch”
Unsure what to say once your prospect picks up the phone? Well, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when constructing your pitch. These include:
– Compelling reasons why they should buy
– Identify who you are and why you are calling
– Outline a word-for-word script including all important points
– Create a set of replies to various responses you may receive
Your script does not necessarily need to be conveyed word-for-word once you contact your prospect, but if you are inexperienced with cold calls, you might just want to follow the script verbatim.
Alternatively, if you plan to give your script to an outsource sales team you will want to provide them with a few points to touch on in their pitch to ensure your message gets across effectively.
- Step 4. Practice makes Perfect
Once you come up with an effective pitch that identifies your audience, the next step is to practice said script until you feel comfortable. This is particularly important for cold callers who are not experienced in the art of cold calling.
If you are handing your cold calls over to a company, make sure their agents are experienced at what they do and even request a sample of their skills before you sign up with them. This guarantees you are getting quality sales people for your company.
What we mean by this is identifying a natural tone in your voice that is easily relatable and trustworthy. The way that you come across through the phone may be different from in person, so consider recording your pitch and playing it back to yourself to identify any weaknesses in your speech and adjust them accordingly.
- Step 6. Give yourself a Time Limit and Goal
No plan will work without a goal, which is why you should set a target cold call number within a set amount of time.
For example, shoot for 50 calls in just 150 minutes. This eliminates the time you waste on calls that are not going anywhere and helps you hone your skills.
If you outsource sales, set a goal for your team and follow up to ensure they are meeting it. This guarantees your investment is well spent and that you will achieve the results you want.
- Step 7. Don’t be Afraid to take Breaks
Unless you are on a serious sales roll, give yourself permission to take breaks from the process. The last thing you want is to come across as pushy or irritated because you haven’t taken a break in 3 hours.
You would be amazed at how much good a 15-minute break can do, so don’t hesitate when the opportunity arises.