Are you an introvert who hates the thought of making cold calls but you have to do it because it’s your job? If so, you’re not alone.
Many people find the idea of cold calling to be highly anxiety-provoking. I mean, you’re calling a stranger you’ve never met, asking them for their time, and trying to sell them something, hoping they’d buy it from you eventually.
The tons of rejections and rude replies that follow aren’t exactly helping your anxiety either.
With that said, let’s take a look at 12 tips to help you get over the anxiety and ace cold calling!
Before you even pick up the phone to dial, you should be clear about your goal. Why are you calling this person? What do you want to achieve?
Having a specific goal in mind helps you stay focused and motivated during the call. This allows things to flow more naturally because you’re hyper-aware of what you’re trying to achieve by the end of the call.
While the ultimate goal of cold calling is to ‘close’ the prospect, ‘closing’ doesn’t always have to mean selling your product, especially not on the first call.
Whatever your goal is, remember: be clear on what your goal is and stay focused on achieving it.
Failing to prepare before the call is a recipe for disaster. You’re essentially diving in headfirst without knowing anything about the person at the end of the line.
Know who you’re calling, what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to convey the information.
Do your due diligence in thoroughly researching the person you’re calling — what’s the prospect’s name? What’s their business model? What are their pain points? It will also help to do a competitive analysis on businesses in their industry to better understand exactly how you can benefit them.
Preparing a script will help you feel less anxious because it acts as a checklist to make sure you remember to cover all the important points during the call. Knowing you have a ‘safety net’ to fall back on will help the conversation flow more smoothly.
Ever heard of the saying ‘fake it till you make it’?
If you’re still feeling the jitters before the call, pretending to sound confident can certainly help to set the right tone and mood for the rest of the call. If you sound bored or scared, your prospects can tell and they probably won’t be inclined to buy.
After all, if you, the person selling the products, can’t be enthusiastic, why should they?
And speaking in an unenthusiastic way will definitely not convince your customers to buy.
People trust people who know what they’re talking about. Signal to your prospects that you are highly knowledgeable in the industry.
Practice your pitch before the call and prepare answers for potential questions they might ask. This way, you won’t be caught off guard and stammer during the call.
If you’re still having trouble pretending to sound confident when you don’t, picture yourself succeeding and meeting your goal to give you that confidence boost.
See yourself smiling, relaxed, and in control, which will help you feel more confident when you’re on the phone, and it will show in your voice.
Remember, sounding confident makes it easier for your prospect to trust you.
When you’re anxious, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your head and start thinking about all the possible scenarios that could go wrong.
But one useful tip is to picture your prospect as a friend, and you’re simply reaching out to them to help them with their problems and give them some advice.
Think about their likes and dislikes, what they do for fun, what their job is like, and more. This way, you’ll be more engaged in the conversation and less likely to get swamped in negative thoughts.
When it comes time to make the call, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re just talking to your friend. Just relax and have fun with it!
Engaging in small talk during the call can help to ease the nerves and make it easier to build rapport with your prospect at the same time.
Building rapport before getting into the more serious business matters can help you establish a connection between you and the prospect. They will be more likely to listen to what you have to say when it comes time for business talk, and they’ll be less likely to hang up on you.
Take the time to build a relationship first — because people are likely to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Also, they’ll be more likely to initiate the conversation by asking questions and be more receptive to follow-up calls.
Be careful not to focus too much on the unnecessary chatting though, as this can make the prospect truly wonder if you’re just calling them to chat about their day (aka, wasting their time).
Make sure that you get to the point quickly and don’t waste too much of your prospect’s time.
Remember, they may be busy with other things and don’t have time to listen to you ramble on about your product or service. Be clear and concise so that they understand what it is you’re trying to say.
If you find that you’re getting off track, pause for a second to collect your thoughts and then continue. This way, the other person won’t get lost, and they’ll be more likely to understand what it is you’re trying to communicate.
Dealing with common cold calling objections is one of the reasons why many sales reps dread it.
The long awkward pauses between each question are enough to make people shudder.
However, if you’re well prepared for them, you’ll be less likely to get thrown off guard.
Make a list of potential objections and come up with rebuttals ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to waste time thinking about what to say when the other person throws an objection your way (hence, the awkward pause).
You can also practice saying your answers out loud so that you sound more natural when you’re speaking on the phone.
Part of feeling less anxious about cold calling is that you feel ready for the call. And that takes a lot of practice.
If possible, get a colleague to role play as a prospect and get them to ask potential questions one might have during the call.
It would be even better if you can record the conversation so you can replay your roleplay and monitor your pitch. This can help you identify loopholes in your script that you didn’t notice before and prepare you better for real-life conversations with your prospects.
If you get rejected, don’t take it personally. Remember, the other person may just be busy, or they may not have any need for what you’re selling. It’s not a reflection on you.
Take this as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and improve upon your sales pitch for the next time. Depending on the mood of the situation or the tone of the prospect, try to prod a little deeper and find out why they’re rejecting you.
This can help you better understand how you can cater to future prospects of a similar background or situation.
Of course, they don’t owe you a reason, so if the atmosphere seems tense, just thank them for their time and move on to the next prospect.
Not everyone has the multi-tasking skills to speak and write down notes at the same time. And, we wouldn’t encourage this even if you could manage because you could seem disconnected from the conversation while penning down your notes.
Furthermore, trying to multi-task can cause you to be more flustered than you already are, with the need to engage the prospect, mention key points, and jot down notes. There are just too many things going on!
A good cold calling practice would be to record your calls. As we mentioned earlier, recording your calls allows you to replay them anytime to monitor your tone, pitch, and pinpoint important details that you might have missed out on during the call. This helps you adjust them accordingly to ensure your next call would be even better.
Also, recording your calls can give you deeper insight into what worked and what didn’t, how many calls it took before someone became a customer, or the concluding call or magic phrase that turned them into a customer (and vice versa).
Having all this information at the tip of your fingers gives you an idea of the effort needed for subsequent calls and how you can better close these prospects.
Finally, if all else fails, relax before the call.
Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths. Find a quiet space in your office or at home where you can speak freely without feeling like all eyes and ears are on you.
It’s best if there aren’t any distractions so you can stay focused during the call. Silence helps you collect your thoughts and better plan what you’re going to say next.
Calling a stranger out of the blue will always be daunting and send your nerves through skyrocketing the roof — especially if you’re one that dislikes speaking to strangers or even talking much at all.
We hope that these 12 cold calling tips will help make the process a little less intimidating for introverts out there! Remember to stay calm, confident, and practice your pitch until you’re comfortable enough.
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