I’ve had several people reach out and ask me about my cold calling success. They just don’t understand how it can be productive. They think I’m crazy when I tell them it’s fun. Cold calling is one of the most cost effective sales channels. Stop wasting your time meeting prospects that aren’t ready to buy! You can start having great conversations with companies across the world, today.
Here are 5 cold calling tips to get you started
Do your research
Find out everything you can about the company, prospects and industry. I heavily rely on LinkedIn, Google and company websites for my research. People appreciate when you take the time to know who they are and what their company does. When I focused on oil and gas I would read industry blogs for the latest news every morning, which led to great conversations.
Ask for the person by name
I typically only ask for prospects by their first name and unless the secretary asks for their last name. This reduces obstacles and saves you time. There’s nothing worse than struggling with a “gatekeeper” then talking to a prospect when you’re frustrated!
Straight to the point
As soon as the prospect answers the phone I introduce myself and ask them a question. I don’t tell them anything about my company other than the name unless they ask. When I was in M&A Advisory I would say to prospects, “Hello (Prospect’s first name), My name is Nicholas Thickett and I’m with (Investment Bank). Are you looking to grow or sell in the near future?” That simple phrase started great conversations and opened the door to relationships with companies across North America.
Listen more than you talk
Use questions to guide the conversation. Don’t wait to talk, listen! If you’re waiting to talk then you’re not absorbing what they’re saying. Pay attention to their word choice, tone, and pace. If you match their tone, pace, and word choice, it builds a stronger understanding. To change the topic simply ask a question or make a statement and they’ll respond. People enjoy sharing and talking about themselves. If they like talking to you then they’ll want to work with you. Remember sales is all about building and managing relationships!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There would be times when I was dealing with a company that had very little information on the internet. It would be almost impossible to do research without a little help. I would call the mainline and say to the secretary,” I need your help!”Never underestimate the knowledge of a secretary. They know the ins and outs of the business, better than anyone. I’ve had several occasions when the secretary became my internal champion. They helped gather information and push the sale forward.
These 5 simple tips will get started on the right track. They have helped me develop my career and build great relationships. Your prospecting skills are the difference between a good career and a great career!