4 cold calling tips to close more sales with less stress
Asking total strangers to buy your products or services is not easy. If you’re like most people, just the thought of asking a stranger to shell out money is a sure path to high levels of stress.
Yet, cold calling can be an effective way to generate sales if approached with preparation and the right mindset.
Here are four cold calling tips to help you close more sales.
1. Try to warm up your sales calls
The best way to make a successful cold call is by not making one. This is especially true in light of the federal government’s anti-spam legislation that forbids sending unsolicited electronic messages, including emails and text messages.
Think about how you could warm up cold sales prospects.
- Is there a way you can meet them or get a referral?
- Search your prospect’s LinkedIn and other social media profiles for common contacts or online groups that might generate an introduction.
- Ask current customers to refer you to potential customers.
- Encourage referrals by offering a discounts, gifts or service credits.
Don’t forget that according to Gartner, a research and advisory firm, more than 90% of B2B buyers do an online research before making a decision. That means your website has to be topnotch, with detailed information on your business and products as well as content that positions you as an expert in your field.
2. Research your prospects
The more you know about your target customers, the more confident you will feel in reaching out to them, and the better your results will be.
Use market research to get a clear idea of your ideal prospects—those who are most likely to buy from you.
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- What are their needs and desires?
- How do they like to buy?
For help, think about the characteristics of your best existing customers. You might even want to develop one or more personas—fictional individuals who help you identify the traits of your target customers.
Before you call, check out your prospect’s website, LinkedIn profile and Twitter feed to get a feel for the person’s business, background and interests. This can help you break the ice and keep the conversation going.
By researching prospects at the start of the process, you’ll be able to make a list of promising opportunities as opposed to making random calls. Try to identify the specific person with the power to make buying decisions. This way, you won’t have to go through several people before talking to the right person.
3. Create a script
You’re only going to have a few seconds to introduce yourself and initiate a conversation with a prospect. Creating a call script will ensure you know what to say.
Your call script should include:
- A brief introduction of you and your business
- A convincing argument showing your potential client the value of working with you
- The value you can bring in terms of saved money, time or effort
- Asking if the prospect is interested in following up through email
- No hard sell at this point
Be prepared for what you will say when you hit voicemail because this will be happening to you a lot. Realistically, the person is not going to call back. Instead, improve your chances of getting the person to pick up on your next try by briefly describing how your product can help him or her and asking to have a conversation.
Once you have permission to take the next step, follow up immediately by sending a very brief email laying out what you can do for the prospect and asking to move on to a next step—a longer phone call, an in-person meeting or sending a quote.
4. Be persistent and stay positive
No one likes to be badgered by a salesperson. But it typically takes several attempts before you get through to a prospect. Cultivate a cool, professional attitude to the job and get those calls done. Yes, cold calling can be frustrating. But the more you do it the better you will get at it.