Warming up a cold call – increase your cold calling success

Cold calling. What comes to your mind when you hear of this term? Was it the frustrating call that interrupted your precious lunch break yesterday? Or was it the countless rejections you received when you were doing the dreadful job?

Indeed, most of us dislike cold calling and view it as hard sell and annoying. As much as everyone dislikes it, almost every salesperson knows that having a personal conversation over the line is one of the most effective and direct ways to close a sale. In fact, cold calling has triumphed for the past decades and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Here’s the 101 on cold calling and a little hidden secret at the end.

1. Have a Plan

As the saying goes “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. The first step to success is to have a proper strategized call plan by drafting up a rough script of the call.

Here is an example of how the script might be:

  1. Introduce yourself and the company
  2. Show that you have done your research about prospect company
  3. Politely ask if there are any challenges that the company may be facing
  4. Close.

However, scripts differ based on your company, industry, and purpose of your calls. If you are using call plan templates online, do remember to taper them to your company’s objectives and style.

2. Do your research

It is important to know what you are doing. Going in a cold call blind reflects very badly on both you and your company. Always do prior research on the industry you are targeting and understand the general business processes. This information will be useful, allowing you to engineer your conversation to be about your prospect rather than you. You will sound more confident and convincing when you show you know their business well.

Take note that your research will not cover 100% of the company’s business and hence, keeping an open mind during the call is important.

3. Question when in doubt

As mentioned, your research may not be fully accurate, so you will have to ask questions to clarify and learn more about the prospect. Asking questions will also give the prospect a sense that you are trying to help solve their issue rather than just hard selling the product or service.

Sometimes asking questions directly to your prospect will give you answers that you never expect to get.

4. Do not sell immediately

Always remember, your product is not your prospect’s priority. Starting off a cold call by trying to sell your product immediately is not going to be productive.

Instead, focus on your prospect and show that you are genuinely trying to help them rather than just selling. It is possible for you to gather information on the first call, and get back to them in the future, so you can better tailor your product to their needs. Alternatively, you can use the first call to build rapport and only start selling your products in subsequent calls.

Not trying to sell on the first call also creates a professional image of you and your company where your purpose is not to readily sell off products or services to anyone.

Nevertheless, your first call should include what you and your company do, so if in any case before the second call happens, and they realised they need your help, you will be the first to come to their minds.

5. Have a real conversation

Although a cold call, it is still a real conversation. Reading off a script will make you sound monotonous. Furthermore, every customer’s needs are different. Therefore, it is imperative to be flexible when communicating instead of reading off the script.

You can ask other questions to warm them up before diving straight into your objectives, like “How was your day so far?”. This will help break the ice between you and the person and momentarily distract him/her about your objectives.

6. Confidence is key

Lastly, it is important to be confident. Imagine listening to a stuttering salesperson. Would you be convinced to buy his product? Most probably no. Indeed, it is difficult for one to have faith in a product when the seller himself is not confident about it. This also applies to you when you are cold calling. Hence, if you need to practice your cold calling skills, please do so. Remember, practice makes perfect.

One more thing – how to warm it up.

Instead of a cold call, sometimes it’s good to have a warm call. That’s what Novocall’s about, by prompting a customer to call you first.

In conclusion, cold calling is indeed more of an art than a science, but there are steps you can take to ensure your cold calls are a success for your business!

Written by

JJ Huang

JJ is the Co-Founder of Novocall. When he’s not busy building the Novocall brand, he spends his time watching crime shows and documentaries.

Written by

JJ Huang

JJ is the Co-Founder of Novocall. When he’s not busy building the Novocall brand, he spends his time watching crime shows and documentaries.

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