Cold calling is one strategy that does not go out of style primarily because it has a personal touch. Due its personal nature, sellers can connect with their prospects on higher level than in those new age marketing methods.
Cold calling is only effective only when it is done right. Nowadays, people tune out cold callers a lot. This has necessitated new and innovative ways of getting prospects to stay on the line as soon as the call is made. Below are effective strategies and examples of openings that one can employ while getting in touch with prospects.
OpeningsFrom the moment you pick your phone and run through your call list to the moment your first prospect receives your call, you need to prepare well. Good preparation is one of the cornerstones of effective cold calling. Do not assume that since you have been talking on the phone for a long time that prospects will respond the same way your friends and relatives do. The cold call will be over before it begins.
It all starts from the opening, how you address the client. A polite and deferent demeanor will work wonders in disarming virtually everyone. Remember: not everyone taking your call will be nice. Some people might be having a terrible day and just looking for someone to go off on and you might have the misfortune of being that person. By being polite and deferent, you take away someone’s reason to be hostile towards you.
In framing your openings, you need to load them with polite words. A good example of an opener that will get your food in the door is, “Hello. I hope I have not caught you at a bad time. I was wondering if you could spare a few minutes to talk.” With such an opening, you are showing the prospect you respect them and their time. You show them you are courteous enough to defer to them and respect that they have the power.
There is no perfect opener, only a template of politeness and deference that you can tailor to suit your personal style. As you open, you are in essence asking for permission from the prospect to engage.
Have A Series of Questions ReadyIn line with proper preparation prior to engaging with the prospect, you need to have a series of question on hand. These are carefully curated questions that will help you get the prospect loosening up. Most newbies make the mistake of leading with a direct question that will the prospect’s alarm and shut the conversation down in a flash.
There is an art in questioning that allows you to extract as much information about the client while putting them at ease. Insights gained from the information gained will help you formulate and customize your plan of attack to close the prospect. It also has the added effect of showing the prospect that you were listening to what they were telling you.
A rule of thumb when structuring your questioning is to stick to as sequential and logical order. Go from general to specific, zeroing in on how a certain problem makes the prospect feel.
Make It About The ProspectA prospect will be willing to engage with you only when you make it about them. They are the ones who hold all the cards during the interaction. It is your job to prove yourself and you cannot do that if you prattle on about yourself at the beginning. You run a very high risk of alienating them by making about you and your company.
Instead, make it about them by deferring to them and asking them about what their wants and needs are.
Do Not Sell On Your First CallMost sellers are an impatient lot. If they see a chance to close a sale, they will take it without hesitation. Some will even try it on the first cold call. It is a very risky venture and has very limited chances of success. This approach puts off prospects who view it as an attempt to take advantage of them. When you cold call the first time, focus on getting as much information about the prospect as possible. Using the information gained on the first call, you can schedule a follow up where you can then try to sell them.
Tear Up Any Cold Calling Scripts You HaveFollowing a cold calling script betrays a lazy attitude that is more egocentric than customer-centric. When you are cold calling, you are calling someone new who has their own unique problems. You need to be attuned to these problems and then formulate ways of showing them the value your company offers them.
It is basically about building a relationship with a customer. They need to feel as though you get them and the predicament they are going through. Call calling scripts, no matter how appealing, are no substitute for a genuine and extemporaneous personal call.