If you work in sales, you're definitely familiar with the term "cold call." Traditionally an early stage of the sales process, cold calling refers to making that first phone call to a potential customer, with whom you have not have any previous contact. First off, there are good and bad cold calling techniques. If you are doing "good" cold calling then you are not just dialing at random in hopes of hitting a receptive lead. Instead, you're trying to connect with leads that you truly think will benefit from the product or service you are offering.
Many experts have tried to nail down the most effective cold calling strategy. And, although there is no magic formula or script to getting a "yes" from the other end of the phone, there are a few tips that can help you improve your technique and increase your potential.
Practice, practice, practice
The first mistake you can do when cold calling is to just pick up the phone and hope for the best. Before you write up a script, look for leads, or start dialing, stop. Go find a co-worker or a friend and walk through the process of calling someone up and making your pitch. Doing this benefits you in a few ways: you get to finesse your script, get practice making calls, and gather feedback from someone you trust.
Have a script prepared, not written
Yes, you should have a script to follow to make sure you hit all the most important points of your pitch. But, it shouldn't be "scripted." Essentially, you want a list of bullet points in the order you want to present your information but the flow of the conversation should be natural, not scripted.
Do your research
The worst thing you can do before a cold call is not research the person or company you're calling. If they're on your call list there must be a reason, otherwise you're just blindly fishing for leads. So, do your research: check out their website, look at their social media channels, or do a general web search. Knowing who you're talking to is a huge asset because now you can tweak your call to appeal to what you know about them.
Don't forget to follow-up
Right after the call, whether it went well or went poorly, send the lead a follow-up email that summarizes your main points. This way, you have an opportunity to thank them for talking to you, provide them with extra information, and get your email address in front of them in case they want to contact you with further questions. A few days later, if you haven't heard back from the email, follow up with another call to make sure you stay top of mind.
Change it up
Don't be afraid to change your tactic or your script if you aren't getting the results you hoped for. But, before trying anything new, go back and practice it again and get more feedback from a trusted friend or co-worker.
Do you have any other tricks you like to use when making cold calls? Let us know in the comments below!