Cold calling can be daunting but it can yield amazing results if done right.
While it hasn’t had a great reputation, cold calling isn’t dead. This survey by Rain Group has shown that 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who proactively reach out. A cold call done with the right techniques can indeed attract buyers.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is a sales strategy where businesses call prospects who have previously not indicated interest nor interacted with their business.
It helps you identify the needs of your prospects, reaching out to them with your services or products that can solve those needs of theirs and getting them to patronize you. Cold calling can be difficult but it is certainly not impossible to master.
Cold calling in 2022 might look quite outdated: many businesses have switched to other social media platforms to generate leads and sales. But, cold calling still has a place in our time and age.
Benefits of Cold Calling
Cold calling can be frustrating, but it holds great benefits for people who are willing to implement it in their businesses.
1. Gain Insight
Cold calling is a good way to access information and learn new things. Learn why your techniques aren’t really working or why you’ve recorded very little progress.
Unlike cold emailing, you get to interact with a human being, get real-time feedback, try out different techniques, know what works and what does not and get better at what you do.
You get to establish human connection, and while on the call, you might find information that’ll be useful for you in the course of time.
2. Instant Feedback
Cold calling affords you the opportunity to get instant feedback from your customers. With cold calling you get instant reviews from your customers regardless of their location.
This helps you to adjust where necessary. With cold emailing, your message might end up in the spam folder or even get deleted before your intentions are known but cold calling puts you right in front of your customers and you get access to feedback instantly.
3. Increase Conversions
The more people you reach out to through cold calls, the higher the possibility of converting them.
Cold calling helps you to inform a wider audience about your business on a personal basis. Even if you have a slim 1% close rate and you reach out to 1,000 prospects in a week, that’s 10 new leads who’re interested in your product!
This can lead to an increased number of people buying from you. However, in order to increase conversion, you must be fully trained on what works and what does not in cold calling. This helps you to apply the right technique and achieve your desired goals.
4. Master Your Sales Pitch
Whether you’re a newbie or you’ve been doing sales all your life, you will definitely need to sharpen your skill regularly. Cold calling helps you to master your sales pitch and improve on it.
You find out if you’re monotonous, chatty or extremely salesy, which can get your prospect uneasy and unresponsive and you get to make the required adjustments. This way your skills are refined and you get to make more successful cold calls.
Disadvantages of Cold Calling
Cold calling is exciting and thrilling but it has some drawbacks you want to be mindful of.
1. It Can Annoy Prospects
Have you ever put a call through with all the courage and charisma you can muster only to be shut out and rejected before you could even make your intentions known? Frustrating right?
Cold calls can be really annoying for some prospects either because of the timing, tone or because of the fact that scam artists usually adopt the same method.
Some people find it intrusive and discomforting, and don’t have the patience even to let you introduce yourself.
2. It Can Be Time Consuming
Cold calling might yield results but it is definitely time consuming. This research by Revenue.io shows that the most successful sales prospecting calls average 14.3 minutes in length. Imagine when you have to speak with twenty or more prospects a day. More so when you do not know if these prospects will eventually buy from you or simply drag you on for nothing.
Not only is cold calling time consuming, it can be tiring especially when you get rejected time and again. It requires resilience and tenacity to keep on going despite rejections.
3. It Can Be Difficult To Handle
Thing is cold calling entails reaching out to humans and humans can be individualistic. You cannot fully predict how your prospect will respond to you especially given the fact that they’ve never expressed any sort of interest in your product. This makes cold calling arduous.
Some prospects politely decline, some do so rudely while some even resort to verbal abuse. And remember it’s not just about the prospect, don’t forget employee experience. Simply put, with cold calling there are so many uncertainties to deal with and it can be difficult to handle.
4. It’s Not a Sustainable Prospecting Method
Cold calling requires that you make many shots before finally getting one right. It is clearly not an efficient method of gathering prospects and making sales.
The uncertainties that come with cold calling can make record keeping difficult and can put your business in financial jeopardy.
It also means you have to spend several resources on prospects that you cannot really count on. It can be exhausting when you reach out to several prospects daily and you can hardly close a deal or even move to the next step.
7 Tips for Successful Cold Calling
Here are some tips to help you make the most of cold calling.
1. Every Call Is a Learning Channel
Cold calling is one way to refine your prospecting skills as quickly as possible. Use call recording. Learn from every call. Note what works and what does not. Get to understand what individuals are likely to respond better to and step up your game.
Unlike other sales channels, cold calling gives you feedback and reviews – instantly. This helps you to make more informed decisions and you get to improve.
2. Rejection Is a Great Teacher
You can’t avoid rejections – and many of them. You might get a lot of ‘no’s before you finally get one person who seems interested in your business.
Learn to handle rejection by firstly learning from it. Ask yourself important questions. Did you sound intrusive, did you sound salesy? Did you sound rude? Or was it just an unfortunate match?
You have to learn to not take anything personally. Whether you engage in cold calls or not, rejections will always be a part of life. If you let them get to you, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
3. Show Value First
Cold calls are unscheduled and unsolicited for. You’re basically stealing people’s time. This means you have to go the extra mile in order to grab the attention of your prospect.
A sure way to achieve that is by highlighting what’s in it for them, why they should spend their valuable time (and then also money) on you – as soon as possible.
Doing so increases your chances of retaining the attention of your prospect.
4. Prepare an Outline
If you’re new to cold calling or sales, then you’ll feel a bit anxious handling your first few calls. This is where an outline becomes necessary.
Preparing an outline for a cold call is important as it gives you a guideline to stick with, especially in a case where you’ve forgotten a line or two. Note that the outline is what it is – an outline that guides you. You should not read off an outline like an actor rehearsing a script. You’ll only bore your prospects.
Your outline should contain things like FAQs and key points so that you’re not caught off guard in a situation where your prospects ask questions you’re not familiar with.
5. Do Your Research
Research has shown that 27.3% of sales reps’ time is wasted due to incorrect B2B contact information.
Doing your research is by far the most important aspect of cold calling. You don’t want to go about calling people who have no need for your products. You’ll wear yourself out, get rejected and waste the time of your prospects. You might even end up with a bad company image.
You want to ensure that you’re onto the right person before clicking away on the dial. Ensure you have adequate information concerning the product you’re about to pitch to your prospect so as to avoid getting in a messy and tense situation or being a nuisance to your prospects. Acquiring basic information about your prospect will make things easier than expected.
6. Don’t Focus On Selling
Your prospects don’t want to know how good your products are, they want to know how it can help solve their problems. Prioritizing sales ahead of giving value is like placing the cart before the horse, you’ll get nowhere.
Even when a prospect has declined your product, you can still offer them information or tips to look out for when purchasing such products elsewhere. Make them feel acknowledged as individuals not just as sales figures.
7. Follow Up
Follow up with prospects who’ve indicated interest in the products you pitched to them, regardless of the outcome of the call.
You can send an email, thanking them for their time and attention. Another tip that will make your follow-up productive is to offer some form of value.
You can refer to an article or inform them of discount offers but by all means, do not make it excessive or your prospect will loathe you . These are all follow-up tips that will increase the chance of converting a prospect into a customer.
Cold calling has proven to be effective even in our digital world.
Certain mistakes however can hamper the success you wish to achieve. All it takes is tact and commitment to the right procedures in order to reach out to decision makers and start closing deals.