4 best practices to make the most out of cold calling

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Vlad Orlov
Vlad Orlov

Brand Partnerships @ Respona

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4 best practices to make the most out of cold calling

The Wolf Of Wall Street.

I’m sure most of us have seen it. And I would bet that most of us have at least fantasized about landing those several-dozen-thousand-dollar cold call deals. And, even though the movie does romanticize the cold calling tactic just a little bit, it remains one of the most commonly used sales techniques even today.

Today, we will be looking at some of the best practices for getting the most out of your cold calling strategies. Who knows, maybe the next call will land you that sweet eight thousand dollar deal?

But before we do that, we need to address the elephant in the room.

Contents

The problem with cold calling

Cold calling is still an important part of outbound sales, though extremely difficult.

Statistically, only 1-2% of cold calls are actually going to yield a result. That means that 98% of the time, you (or your cold calling team) will be rejected. Sometimes, in an abrupt and rude way, never even giving you a chance to start going through your script or talking about what you’re offering.

The reason for this is very simple — people really hate when somebody calls and interrupts their day to blatantly try and sell them something. Also, it is viewed as a huge intrusion of privacy by most. After all, how did you even get their number?

It doesn’t help that the FTC came up with a program called “Do Not Call”. In essence, it allows people to opt-out of all cold calls for five whole years — essentially ruling out cold calling.

But, you can still use it for B2B needs — and if you manage to get on the phone with somebody important, you might just land the sale, as long as your pitch is cohesive and your product actually helps them with their pain points.

Each sale will take a whole lot of rejections, so if you want your cold calling strategy to bring in results, you need to be really patient.

In any case, let’s move on to how you can achieve that success.

4 cold calling best practices​

Be Careful With Your Script

Besides being an intrusion of privacy, everybody hates cold calls because they are all the same.

And of course, if you have hundreds of numbers to call every day, it is pretty much impossible to do it without resorting to some sort of template or script.

But, if you read it word for word, all that you will accomplish is a dropped conversation or a coarse “Never call me again!”.

When doing cold outreach, it can be easy to forget that on the other side of that phone there is a human being, just like you. Especially when you’re trying to fulfill a sales quota.

Use your script as a guideline for how the call should play out rather than simply reading it off a sheet of paper each time. Talk to your prospect like you would talk to anybody else on the phone.

If they have any questions, answer them sincerely and fully, never brush them off to continue with your script. People don’t like salesmen, but they like other people that are sincere, helpful, and just a little bit funny.

Help — Don’t Sell

At some point, you will be asked a very simple but important question: “Why are you calling me?”.

A lot of rookie sales development reps (SDRs) can get quite anxious at that moment. After all, you can’t straight up say that you need to try and sell them something.

A common answer to that question is “Because I would like to tell you about {product or service}…”.

At that point, one of two things is going to happen:

  1. They drop your call because they recognize the old cold sales technique;
  2. They ask you another question: “Why should I care?”.

And that is the most important question that you need to answer even before it is asked. How exactly does your product or service help the person? Which problems and pain points does it solve?

These are the questions that you need to start addressing as soon as you’re done introducing yourself.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a link building tool, a good idea would be to first ask the prospect about the link building techniques they employ in their company.

This will both show that you’ve taken the time to research their business and help establish two-way communication. After that, you can present your tool as a solution for their problems. Does it make link building easier? Does it help automate the mind-numbing tedium of email outreach?

Always Try To Close

Naturally, the end goal of every single one of your cold calls should be a close. But a close doesn’t necessarily have to be a sale or a scheduled demo of your tool.

There are many little ‘closes’ that you can strive for — it can be something as mundane as just getting a couple more minutes of your prospect’s time, inviting them to attend an informational webinar that you’re hosting, scheduling a follow-up call, or getting the phone number of a more relevant decision-maker.

Don’t write your prospects off if they don’t answer. Leave a voicemail (you can use a pre-recorded one to save time), send an email, pick a time to call again — all the little things can and will contribute towards your ultimate goal.

And, Most Importantly

Don’t get discouraged.

Only about one in every one hundred cold calls will be successful. It is common for SDRs to feel anxious before cold calling out of the fear of rejection.

This fear is something you need to learn to overcome as rejection is a huge part of cold calling. Learn from every single call, note every question that you struggled to answer, and familiarize yourself with countering sales objections.

Conclusion

And there you have it! Here’s our list of best practices for cold calling so you can make the most out of it.

Remember, cold calling doesn’t always have to be challenging. While it’s not always a bed of roses, following these tips can certainly help you learn the ropes of cold calling and gain more confidence! 

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Vlad Orlov
Vlad Orlov

Managing brand partnerships at Respona, Vlad is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.

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