Cold calling is a crucial skill but man, oh man, can it be tough. In fact, if you’re reading this article, you probably have some experience in how hard it can be. But even with so many social channels available to us, complex and sophisticated sales funnels and CRMs, with email and automated marketing campaigns, lead generation and more, cold calling remains a necessary and impressive way to win new clients and speak with more great candidates.
Here are four easy ways to make more cold calls:
1) Make less. Crazy right? but in order to make more cold calls, you first need to narrow your scope. If your organization is not already using an ideal customer profile, consider doing so. Only calling those customers and potential candidates that fit your ideal profile makes picking up the phone that much easier. Culling your database is not only intelligent but efficient. AJ Kumar of Persuasive says:
One of the biggest factors in the success of your cold calls is how well you’re targeting the people you’re contacting. If you’re seeing a low success rate with your communications, it could be that you’re delivering your pitch to the wrong people.
2) Put email in its place. If you are using email as your primary communications means, stop it. Sales suffers when email is not put in the right place. Call, call, email, call. When put in it’s proper place in the cold calling cycle, email is tremendously useful, when relied on as a crutch…not so much. Email can be ignored in ways a ringing phone cannot. The Inside Sales Expert Blog’s Trish Bertuzzi says this:
You can’t control the sales process if you don’t have the ability to ask relevant questions, handle objections and position yourself against the competition. You don’t need a pen pal, you need a qualified prospect.
3) 90 words or less. When I first began cold calling, voice mails were my worst category. Relieved when I got a machine, all my nervousness spilled out in long rambling sentences, wherein I repeated my name and phone number at least twice, very fast, amidst a great many “ums” and “ahs”. It was a disaster. Finally, I learned that the most effective voice mail messages are short and sweet. 90 words or less is a great rule of thumb.
4) Prepare yourself but keep it casual. I get asked all the time about what I do and it’s always easy to answer, yet somehow when tasked with cold calling, I would get tongue tied and frustrated and feel like a scam artist. Had I prepared myself properly (yes, with a script for reference) and spoken like I would with a friend, I’d have been much more comfortable. Letting someone know about a solution to a potential issue is never a scam, particularly if you’ve sufficiently qualified everyone in your database. As Brian Hoff says in his blog on Design Cubicle:
Time is of the essence, so cut right to the chase. Save the long, detailed conversations for the appropriate time. Keep your messages and conversations short and sweet, until you feel they would like to hear more.
Cold calling never gets easier but it can be much simpler. Making more calls results in more business and until that changes, getting good at making cold calls puts you head and shoulders above the competition.