Does the very thought of cold calling make you shudder? You’re not alone. Mastering the art of cold calling does take some practice, but with a little patience you’ll soon be dialing your way to sales success.
The following tips can help you warm up to the idea of cold calling.
- Create a targeted list – You wouldn’t want to call apartment dwellers if you’re selling roofing services. Having the right list of prospects saves you time and increases your chances of success.
- Organize and prioritize – Now that you have your list, segment it into groups based on similar traits or specific needs. This will help you organize your approach and prioritize based on your goals.
- Be prepared – The more you know, the more you sell. Take the time to research your prospects in advance so you can customize your pitch accordingly.
- Get social – Use social media sites to research your prospects ahead of time. Then, if a call goes well, connect on LinkedIn so you can maintain contact and potentially connect with similar prospects.
- Understand your competition – Find out who your competitors are, then research them thoroughly. Know what they’re offering so you can point out what makes your product or service stand apart.
- Take the right approach – Once you’ve researched your prospects, think about what you should say. Create a script as a guide, but do not read from it. Keep your tone friendly, confident, and enthusiastic.
- Take notes – It’s easy to forget important details when you’re making lots of calls, so be sure to take copious notes. Nothing is worse than not knowing what happened and then appearing to be disorganized or inattentive later on.
- Track your results – Was the lead hot, cold, dead? As soon as you hang up, track your progress so you can start the conversation off on the right foot next time you call.
- Listen – Don’t dominate the conversation. After all, you want to get your prospect to open up about his/her needs so you can customize your pitch accordingly.
Finally, remember that cold calling shouldn’t be your only marketing tool. Integrate email, direct mail, and search engine marketing into your overall plan—and drive your message home.