Perhaps you’ve just heard about cold calling and you’re wondering what it means or how to go about it, this content will give you a thorough guide.
There are different ways to pitch or approach new customers—LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, physical appearance—but you will rarely hear about cold calling.
A big number of small businesses always have woeful experiences at it.
Why is that so?
According to statistics, the success rate of a cold call is only 2%. This is it: if 100 people cold called, only 2 always close the client at the end of the day. That has always been the case.
Thus, some business owners have now concluded that cold mailing is archaic, wasteful, and quite irrelevant. That’s not true.
Indeed, those who make such propositions are part of the 98% that failed at it.
At this point, you might want to adjust your tie and imagine if your business will be among the few 2% to record a cold calling success rate. What is the gap between the failed 98% and the successful 2%?
The gap is made of some secrets and principles. There are simple secrets to go about it. If you follow these principles, you will close high-paying clients.
To assure you that cold calling is still working even in this modern time. Salesforce made over $100 million recently only through cold calls.
Therefore, one thing is sure: cold calls can cause an exponential shift in your revenue if you do it right.
What is Cold Calling?
This is the first question people ask whenever they hear about cold calls. They are always curious to know its exact meaning.
Cold calling is the process of calling a potential buyer or investor who doesn’t know you before. It’s similar to barging gently into someone’s room unannounced.
This is it: If Business A sells mobile phone batteries, and Business B sells mobile phones. The former may see the latter as a potential wholesale buyer. Thus, cold calling is when A calls B without prior notice to present its business to B.
The 15 Most Practical Cold Calling Tips for Businesses that Convert
Here, we will address the tips step-by-step: five for before; during; and after. Making 15.
1. Map Out Prospects
Taking the first step in the journey of cold calling starts with answering this question: “who are you going to call? What businesses?
Therefore, an important action you should take is to map out your prospects. These are the people who have the potential of becoming your client or your customers. You need to look for them.
If you don’t get their details, there’s practically nowhere to start cold calling. Your prospects are all over the world and in different fields.
How do you do this?
You’ll look for businesses that will appreciate and pay for your products. You can scout them out through a lot of means like LinkedIn, Twitter, or their official websites.
Please note that what you’re after is only a credible phone number you can use to contact somebody at the top of the company.
2. Research About The Callee
When you have mapped out your prospects, there will always be someone in that company who is in the position to pick your call.
It might be their Product Manager, Chairman of Boards, Head of Communications, or CEO. Knowing this person is crucial to the success of your cold call.
Therefore, you have to research your callee. The research will furnish you with relevant data to know about such a person.
You can even use any data from this research to generate a pick-up line for your conversation.
Moreover, you will only get to know the personality of your callee when you research. According to statistics, most Gen Z CEOs don’t like having conservative conversations.
This among a few other reasons is why you need to research your callee well.
3. Plan What To Say
There is a cliché, “prior proper preparation prevents poor performance.” It is indeed true. You shouldn’t just jump on cold calls, planning is necessary.
Remember, your prospect doesn’t know you before. If anything goes south, that might be the end of it all. If you don’t plan well, you might be repeating mannerisms like “em, um, you know” which always reduces the fluidity of conversations.
Having said that, how do you plan for a cold call?
Plan the chart of your discussion. Although this doesn’t mean you should have a rigid roadmap, it’s only a mere guide. Garner the data you could get in respect to your prospect, and start chipping it into every stage of your discussion.
Imagine that you’re already on the cold call, how will you start? What would follow? How would you drive home your point? You must address these before jumping on the call.
4. Be in a Quiet Environment
This looks trivial but is part of the reasons some cold calls are never successful. During an ideal conversation, both speakers should be able to hear themselves.
The moment you start telling your prospect to come again or repeat his last line, know that you’re already wearing them out. And they may most likely lose interest in what you want to say.
Therefore, always be in a serene environment when you want to make cold calls. First, it will calm your mind and make you think properly. Secondly, it would aid your reception of what your prospect is saying.
If the colleagues in your office always chat quite loudly, then you might have to excuse yourself and find a more suitable place.
5. Have Somewhere You Can Write
It can be your phone, tab, PC, or note; you must have somewhere to write. This is important.
If your prospect picks your call and you are trying to tell her or him about your products, you will reach some terminal conclusions or what you would give him feedback on.
You won’t remember these if you were not writing anything.
There are also times that you’ll need to make some simple math during cold calls, having an available gadget or paper where you can do that will impress your prospect.
However, it’s apt to note that this doesn’t mean you should be writing almost everything that your prospect is saying. That’s not necessary. Only the cogent points will suffice.
See Also: 21 Bad Business Habits You Should Avoid
6. Call At The Best Time
Timing is key to the success of any marketing outreach – including cold calling. If you call at the wrong time, your prospect won’t pick up at all.
This is still part of the research. According to Indeed, the best time to make cold calls is always between the hours of 4 and 5 in the evening.
There is a rationale behind that: most people are always done with their days at work by 3 p.m., and they will only need the next few hours to wrap up any other things they need to do.
Hence, there is a more likelihood that comes during these hours when they don’t have much on their sleeves. As against calling when they are working.
On the other hand, you can also cold call outside these stated hours. It all depends on your research. Some marketers have confirmed that calling prospects during their break in the office always leads to successful contracts.
7. Connect With The Personality
The callee is a personality. And you have to connect with such a person as soon as [s]he picks your call. In doing that, your courtesy must be front, right, and center.
You can say something like, “Are you available now for a brief discussion that can make your company get 5X organic revenue next month?”
Asking whether or not such a person is available is important. It shows that you respect their schedules and they will love you for that.
This will create a nice impression about you and or your company. Like they say, “the first impression lasts longer.” If you can connect well with the callee, you have a higher chance of getting a favorable response.
8. Mind Your Tone and Be Confident
There are subliminal implications that accompany how you talk and communicate with prospects. A slight increase in your voice can turn off the conversation.
Therefore, tone matters during cold calls. First, you don’t need to be unnecessarily formal. Just pick the right tone that you’re comfortable with, and you’re sure won’t bore your prospect.
On the other hand, confidence is a key ingredient that would grab your prospect’s attention. And it should reflect in your tone. It shows that you know what you were saying.
In the bid to show confidence or implement a friendly tone, please don’t be unnecessarily nervous. Calm down. Be yourself. And communicate.
9. Be Ready To Defend Your Product
Depending on the kind of service or product that you’re selling to your prospects, they will always question the credibility.
This is normal in marketing because they expect you to convince and answer why your product should be the only option and not your competitors’
On this note, you must make sure that you have read well about where you work, how you operate, and the technical solutions that your products are solving.
If your product knowledge is shallow, you won’t be able to conveniently defend it and recommend it to your callee. But when you know this, you’re ready to answer every question.
10. Give Case Studies
Nobody wants to hire a newbie or buy a product that no one has bought before. Hence, you cannot underestimate the need for case studies.
In your company, how many technical solutions have you provided for previous clients? How did you go about it? What were the steps you took? What were the eventual results?
Building solid case studies on this will position you as an expert straight away. In choosing the case study to cite, pick the one that is the closest and most relevant to your callee.
Sequel to that, remember that you have a limited time so one—or maximum of two—case studies is enough.
11. Don’t Be Domineering
One of the mistakes people make is dominating during cold calls.
Cold calls are not only about you, it’s a communication between two people.
Thus, you shouldn’t be the only one speaking. Most times, this always happens when people have crammed some so-called cold calling scripts.
When you talk, allow your prospect to reply. If they have a question to clarify, listen and do that. On the other hand, you can also ask them to clarify anything that’s not too clear.
The conversation should be fluid and mutual. That will guarantee the success of your call.
12. Be Time Conscious
If you want your cold call to be successful, you must be time conscious. Your prospects don’t have all day to listen to you. A lot of people don’t pick cold calls at all.
Therefore, you must value it if the prospect picks your call. Ideally, you shouldn’t use more than 10 minutes on a cold call, and you should work towards that.
There are a lot of things you will have to skip for the sake of time. Be direct and sell yourself as beautifully as possible. However, please note that you shouldn’t be salesy. Nonetheless, subtly sell yourself.
But in doing all this, have a flexibly allocated timestamp in your subconscious.
13. Haggle Price and Terms
Now, there are times you might have to discuss this after the cold call; when next you get to talk. Or you thrash everything out in the first call. Either way is fine.
The reason you cold-called in the first place was that you wanted to sell something; maybe your product or service. Therefore, there is a need to reach a compromise in terms of pricing.
Don’t be uncomfortable stating the prices for your packages. On the other hand, be flexible enough to reconcile it with what your prospect claims he can afford.
In a nutshell, balance your interests and that of your prospect; without one inconveniencing the other. Furthermore, you can also talk about cogent terms that your callee must know on time.
14. Send A Follow-up Mail
After you have successfully made a cold call. Don’t stop there. You still have to do a few more things. One of them is a follow-up email.
First, the follow-up mail should appreciate your prospects’ time and availability. This simple appreciation will make your callee feel important and more ready to do business with you.
More importantly, your follow-up email should contain your actions sequel to your earlier conclusions. You may have to give more details regarding what you discussed earlier.
Earlier on, we mentioned under tip 5 that you should have something to write. You can build a large chunk of your follow-up email from your jottings.
15. Hire Yourself First
This last step is optional. It’s only for the people who are ready to go the extra mile.
Jeremiah of Consulting utilized and propounded this tactic. It’s about going out of your way to give the prospect some freebies.
In the above case, after Jeremiah had discussed with the prospect who needed SEO services, he drew an SEO Architecture for the prospect and also gave some thoughtful recommendations. He attached this to a follow-up mail and sent it to the prospect – all for free.
For instance, if you’re a SaaS startup. After a cold call, you can give your prospect a day trial to check out your services. You can do something like this after your cold calls.
Let it be something they wouldn’t imagine you doing. It should surprise them – that’s the magic.
Cold calls still work magic in marketing. And this content has made you see how you should do it well. Having known all this, the nucleus of successful cold calls is being real.
Don’t bother to follow one script or rigid template. If you do that, you’ll be extremely mechanical and won’t be able to connect with your prospects.
Be free and relate with your prospects during calls. Always remember that the person at the other end of the phone is also human. And the conversation between humans flows better when it’s spontaneous and real.
At the end of the day, cold calling isn’t something that is problematic or big. So don’t overthink it.
Having said that, we will encourage you to have a cold calling calendar to track the number of prospects you’ll be calling per month or week.