Deriving sales and landing top-notch clients is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially through cold calling. But some sales executives never fail to land their dream client, and you are going to find out how.
What is cold calling in sales?
Cold calling is a form of telemarketing in which the sales executive approaches the probable clients through calls who have not shown any interest in the seller’s product.
It is one of the most crucial steps of sales. In generic terms, the client is not expecting any calls, so it is even harder to land them. Although it has a bad reputation as some people find it disturbing or an intrusion of privacy, one must not forget that it is also the first step of the sales process.
When it comes to cold calling, it is a common fear among the salespersons that they might interrupt the prospect, which ultimately leads to rejection. Well, it is fair enough to feel this way but, you have two options: either take up the task like a boss or change your career path. The choice you make will determine where you land up. Cold calling is a difficult process but it yields quality results. Let’s find out how.
Is cold calling still beneficial?
Many questions this in the era of abundant resources: Will the traditional method of cold calling work? It is a big YES! Even Forbes has mentioned that cold calling is effective even in the 21st century. The only thing now is that salespeople are apprehensive about this as they fear interrupting a prospect and ultimately getting rejected. Social selling through cold calling might not be as prevalent as before but it is still an efficient method to approach and land clients. All you need to do is understand the tricks of cold calling that really work and master this art of sales. Let’s dive deeper into some of the most effective tips from field experts.
First thing in cold calling: Make your mind your weapon
It might seem absurd to some of you but, the key to having a great cold call is mental preparation. You must know that there is a big difference between a personal call and a professional one, especially when it is unexpected by the client. When it comes to cold calling, attitude matters a lot. Sitting behind screens and sending email is an easy job but making a call in real-time and convincing someone to buy what you sell is a tough task. The thought of approaching clients through a cold call makes many reps tremble. The right way to deal with this is to change your mindset.
If you have faith in your product and service, nothing should stop you from dialing a cold call. If you think that you will interrupt people, then it’s your choice to make if you want to give wings to your career by interrupting or putting a halt to it succumbing to your thoughts. Prepare yourself mentally before any cold call by assuring yourself that you will deliver your best pitch and won’t get overwhelmed by emotions like nervousness and irrational fear. Being able to control your emotions helps you stay motivated and deliver your best pitch. Every time you make a cold call, you should remind yourself that you are offering them the best. Your self-confidence is everything, don’t forget to boost it now and then. Your brain is an amazing entity, learn to use it, and you’ll see wonders happening.
Get started with cold calling: How to do cold calling?
A perfect cold call incorporates the following components:
It is important because telling the prospective client about yourself adds a personal touch to the conversation.
Reason for calling
Also known as a connection statement, a logical explanation for calling is extremely necessary. You must do your background research before calling a client.
Ask and offer
Before you begin, it is a good practice to ask the client what their company’s goals are and then offer your service to fulfill them.
Keep this in mind before cold calling and then top it up with the following cold calling tips.
23 expert cold calling tips
Cold calling tip #1: Let your pitch do the talking
Nothing can be sold in 30-35 seconds. But a trying-to-quick-sell pitch can act as a deal-breaker. One of the most noteworthy cold calling strategies includes telling the clients about your company, what it sells, and how your services can benefit them. Most importantly, never forget to add some extra spice by telling the client how distinctive your product is.
If you are cold calling a prospect you must know that many of your competitors are too. You need to stand out from your competitors to convince your prospect to even schedule a second call.
For example, I get calls from several banks to choose them over others. All of them give me reasons why I should open my account in their bank. But they never tell me how they are different from other banks. Even when I raised objections, they failed to convince me.
So if you want to land a client you need to be specific about the exclusive features of your product that make you different from what is available in the market.
Cold calling tip #2: Address the needful
The most crucial tip for cold calling is to remember to ask the right and relevant questions. Ask the client about their expectations and offer them the best option which caters to their needs. Most importantly, never forget to explain how your service will add value to their business or work.
For instance, if you intend to sell sewing machines to a clothing business you must directly jump to how your sewing machine will help their business. Is your machine different from the conventional ones available in the market? Is it easier to use than others? Does it help in stitching faster than the traditional machines? Can it run on all kinds of cloth types?
These are some queries that the business owner will have. So you must drop to the needful directly and let them know all the features. Addressing the needful during cold calling will also give a reason to your prospect that they should schedule a follow-up meeting or a call with you.
Cold calling tip #3: Use the right tone
This is an underrated tip and only veteran salespersons understand its importance. Using the right tone with your customer is as important as your pitch. Your pitch might be perfect and undeniable but if it isn’t presented the right way then it’s futile. Your tone must be bold yet polite. Friendly yet professional. It should be convincing but not pushy. You shouldn’t sound like you are just reading your pitch. When you present you should take care of voice modulation as well and emphasize the important points.
Your tone ought to be confident as well. Because when you will showcase confidence in your product only then you will be able to gain your prospect’s confidence.
Cold calling tip #4: Do not stop questioning
Curiosity is the way to win over any prospective client. Showing interest in their work and making efforts to know about their goals will keep the conversation going. Moreover, when you will know about their needs and goals, you will be able to judge better what service they need and provide them with the best options. A sales call is a paradox, it is simple yet a tough nut to crack, and only good knowledge about your client can help you land them.
Cold calling tip #5: Say more with few words
Indeed, keeping conversations crisp and to the point always fetch extra points. It is suggested to always use small sentences as they are easy to understand and will not annoy the customer, ultimately keeping them interested. You need to learn the art of saying more with fewer words.
Cold calling tip #6: Be strategic about timing
Being a salesperson means making about 60-80 calls a day. But before making any call, you must note if it is the right time or not. You are already choosing to interrupt them by making an unexpected call. It will be appreciated if you do that strategically and avoid hours such as early morning, lunchtime, or after office hours.
Cold calling tip #7: Formulate your process
Before making a cold call, there needs to be a process for it. This process includes crucial steps such as writing an engaging cold calling script or learning a pitch as well as trivial tasks such as optimization of timings of your cold calls. The catch here is that everyone has their process, and you need to figure out what works the best for you. Given below are few steps of a sales call process which will come in handy while formulating your process:
- Find out your prospects.
- Verify those prospects.
- Do your research about the prospect.
- Design a customized cold calling script.
- Cold call and introduce yourself and make your impact.
- Present your pitch.
- Handle objections.
- Conclude the call by scheduling a follow-up call.
Cold calling tip #8: Contact the right person
When you are on cold calls, make sure you are reaching out to the right person. A person who is in a position to consider your offer. It means you should prepare before the call, so you know who your client is, and what they need. Never go for a call before you have researched. Background research enables you to know about the current needs of the prospect, and that way you can offer them what they need. Also, picking up some personal details will increase your chances and warm up the conversation.
In case your call is not picked up by the one you desired, be straightforward and politely ask them for their contact like this:
“Thank you so much for your time, can I get the contact number of Mr. XYZ?” Or “Can you please arrange a call with Mr. XYZ if possible, it’ll be a great help.”
If you will be polite and you will be able to convey that you will be helpful for their brand then no one will refrain from fulfilling your request.
Cold calling tip #9: Start with thanking them!
Thank them as soon as they pick up. By doing this, you’ll give them an illusion of the power they hold. Mannerism always makes you stand apart from others, thanking them will give a boost to their ego, and you’ll be able to make your way to a conversation politely.
Cold calling tip #10: Grab attention
No, you don’t have to do anything bizarre to do that. You have to engage the customer in the first 30 seconds of the call so that you do not lose their attention later. This way you can stand out by making a favorable impression.
Cold calling tip #11: Know your words
This implies that you must remember your opening before the call. Knowing what you are going to say will always give you an edge as you’ll be to the point without any irrelevant small talk. Make a relevant introduction that highlights your company’s work, values, and previous clients and customers you have served. This will keep the customer engaged, and you will give a professional impression.
Cold calling tip #12: Use the script but not too much
An engaging cold calling script and the right outgoing calling solution is your best friend if you have to do cold calling. Everything is simply right there in front of you, and you have to read it like a pro. But here’s a catch: you should not sound like a robot who crammed a script adding emotions and taking care of voice modulation will be your job to make it clear that a real person is talking. Scripts should only be a reminder for the points you don’t want to miss out on.
Cold calling tip #13: Don’t be hesitant. Cut to the chase.
Do not, I repeat, do not hesitate and cut straight to the point. Customers do not have a lot of time because of obvious reasons, so they appreciate the professionalism when someone directly puts forth what they want to say rather than stretching it. This gives a professional and bold impression and shows that you have confidence in your product.
Small talks are a turn-off for customers as they also know that you haven’t called to ask how they are doing. Cut to the chase and let them know what you need.
Cold calling tip #14: Listen more, talk less!
It is a fact that a customer only cares about their needs, and that is fair as well. So, all you have to do is listen to them, know about their requirements, offer solutions, and reply whenever they raise any objections, as it implies that you are confident about your product. Knowing your product’s strength will take you a long way.
Knowing about their needs will also give you a chance to explain how your product will be beneficial for them.
Cold calling tip #15: Using technology the right way
Cold calling has a bad reputation in the market, and it is difficult to change that narrative but it is not impossible. Incorporating technology in your sales calls is a smart way of dealing. There are many cold calling techniques available in the market. For example, the MyOperator Dialer App solution makes it easy for sales professionals to make trackable cold calls using their smartphones while working from anywhere. The built-in business call management features of the Dialer App helps sales do more than just make calls like call recording, integration with CRM, connectivity to virtual numbers, and win more clients in the end.
Cold calling tip #16: Do not run from rejection
Being brutally honest right now, you cannot convert every cold call in a client. Then why not simply accept the fact and move on? Many salespeople forget that cold calling is a part of their job and they have to give their best, but that does not mean that one rejection means you are not good at it. You need to learn to handle rejections boldly and embrace them. However, do not give up without giving your 100%.
For example, if a prospect says “I am not interested,” then you can simply say “Thank you for letting me know, however, may I please know the reason?” This way you will learn why your product wasn’t a right fit for them or why they do not want to buy it and then offer some other alternative. However, if they do not show any interest in other options as well then you have your answer. All you need to do is embrace rejection and learn from it.
Cold calling tip #17: Avoid sounding like a machine
One mistake a lot of salespersons make is sounding like a robot. Not altering your conversation according to the person and company you are talking to will make it seem that you have just crammed the script, and you are now reciting it. It will not only annoy the customer but also make them reject your product, no matter how good it might be. Similarly, using a general script will also make things seem unnatural. Both of these will decrease the probability of a customer wanting your product as they understand that no efforts have been made from your side.
- Use voice modulation while presenting your pitch.
- Use a highly customized script.
- Sound natural.
- Do not go over the board with words, use a simple and easy-to-understand vocabulary.
Cold calling tip #18: Listen to them enough
As we have previously mentioned customers, only care about themselves. They are looking for someone who can fulfill their requirements. If they like your product, they will opt for it. If your product is not feasible for them, then it won’t matter to them at all. The key is to listen to them and understand what they need. You need to focus on engaging the prospect and give them a chance to speak too, or else blabbering is of no use. You must always listen to what your prospect has to say, as sometimes they might give you valuable information which might come in handy for the next calls that you have to make. Moreover, when you listen, the prospect feels heard and respected.
Cold calling tip #19: Never ask: “How are you doing?”
Asking “how are you today?” is a classic mistake you should avoid. This is an overused phrase that kills a conversation rather than building it. One can answer this with only a single word such as ‘fine’ or ‘good’, and this will then leave you in a very awkward place. The better way to start would be thanking them for taking your call and then getting to your point.
Cold calling tip #20: Don’t ask if the time is right
“Is this the right time to talk to you?” – Asking this is one mistake that many salespersons make while making a cold call. While asking your prospect if it is a good time to talk, you will most probably get a “NO!” Especially when someone is getting an unexpected call. By asking this, you give them a way out, to leave the call right there without even listening to you, and that’s when you lose a prospect. A better thing to do would be to thank them for picking up your call and then straight off jumping to your point after introducing yourself.
Cold calling tip #21: Don’t apologize too much
To be polite, some salespersons say “I am sorry to bother you.” But this is not the right way. Of course you are bothering them by calling from an unknown number but you do not have to mention that as it seems that you are not confident enough. You should be confident about your product and service and must be confident about making the cold call as well. When you will seem confident to the prospect, they will also gain faith in your product.
Cold calling tip #22: Ramble is a gamble
Some salespersons fail to stick to a point. They take the conversation here and there which, sometimes even deviates from the product they are offering. You need to make sure that you are not rambling. Always over-prepare or even learn, if you have to. Master what you are going to say on your cold sales calls. You get only one chance to impress, and you should not blow it off by talking about irrelevant stuff.
Cold calling tip #23: Pen down a solid cold calling script!
Why do you need a cold calling script?
Sales would not flourish without a balanced mix of cold and warm calls. Warm calls are easy to make as well as handle but cold calls demand a lot more. Taking the initiative and reaching out to customers and clients is a daunting task. You have to make sure that you are choosing the right time so you don’t disturb them. You have to be mentally prepared for all kinds of objections, and most importantly you have to be professional yet amicable.
As aforementioned having the right script for cold calls is very crucial to make an impact. A script helps you in being better prepared and confident. Also, it makes calls easier as they come in handy whenever you are forgetting a part of your pitch. But here’s a catch, mastering a cold call script also isn’t that easy. Don’t worry! We are here to give you a hand for the same.
How to write a cold calling script
Without a second thought start writing your cold calling script by keeping an objective in mind. Unawareness about your objective for making a cold call can land you in trouble. You don’t want to sound perplexed to a big client and then puzzle them too about your purpose of calling. Customers appreciate straightforwardness, confidence, and clarity. The only way to provide them all three is by putting forth definite objectives in your cold calling script.
This brings us to the second step, which is, what exactly should your objective cater to. Your objectives can differ from client to client and sometimes they can be very complicated to put your best foot forward you must break them into pieces. Your cold calling script’s objective must have the answers to the following questions:
- Who are you/ your brand/ your company?
- Why are you reaching out to that particular customer/client?
- How will you be able to benefit them?
- What do you want from them in return?
Once you will be clear about the above four questions you will have the objective of your cold calling at your fingertips. When you are well versed with your objectives, it gives you confidence and also makes it easier for you to explain things clearly to your clients.
Asking for their time
Bold yet polite- that is what your cold calling script must be like. Imagine getting a call out of nowhere and you hear someone talking about their company and industry and why you should invest in them. I am sure you wouldn’t enjoy that and might even disconnect the call in between. That’s exactly how your client would feel too if not greeted properly and appreciated for taking your call. Make it a habit to add one-liners such as “ Is it the right time to talk?” or maybe “ Can I have 2 minutes of your time” in your outbound calling scripts. Use whatever goes best with your brand language but always ask your client for their time.
Introduce yourself and be respectful. In case they say it’s not the ideal time, politely ask them for some other time of the day and schedule the call accordingly. Pushing a receiver to listen to you even when they said they cannot take the call right away, is a practice that you must refrain from. It showcases desperation and is also disrespectful to the customer. Furthermore, it damages your brand’s reputation.
Know their pain points and needs
One of the reasons you should always do profound research on your client is because that will help you in finding out their pain points and their needs. Knowing their needs will help both you and the customer understand how your product will solve their pain. If you are unable to have a firm answer for the same then your product is irrelevant for the client and it is better not to approach them.
While making a cold call many sales representatives often make the mistake of bombarding the client with information about their product. Eventually, this results in them losing the client. You need to ask questions from your client, know their needs, and then convey how your product will cater to them. Ask relevant questions that will make your client feel that you are concerned about their brand and not just about selling your product.
For instance, if you provide delivery partner support to restaurants then you need to know from the client if they are facing issues with delivery. Or are their customers happy with their delivery services? Only after listening to their problems should you put forth a solution by telling the prospect about your products and services.
Pitch but precisely
Pitching is important but pitching precisely is even more important. Your client must know about your products and services as a whole but not just yet. This phase involved telling the client how your product will benefit their business and nothing more than that. Giving a detailed account of your product along with trivial details will just bore the client. This will also drift them away from the focus point i.e. how the product will help them. So play-wise, concisely present your proposal and you can give the details later when you know you have landed the client.
End on an unambiguous note
This is the last and the most important step of any cold call. You should make sure that you have a conclusion in your hand before ending the call. Either you get to know that the client is interested and then schedule a follow-up call and meet or you know that they won’t go for your services. Clarity is always better that you will know your next steps. Leaving things hanging in between won’t do any good to either you or the client.
Cold calling script examples
Cold call script
Hi, __________, this is XYZ from Vistas (or your company name). Thank you for picking up my call. I know we haven’t had any conversation before but I wanted to reach out to you because while I was surfing through your website/business portal/LinkedIn, I felt that our product can be a match for your business.
Is it the right time for us to talk?
(If they give a heads up).
Thank you so much for your time.
I have read that you are a homegrown business and you have your clothing label. You must need a fast and affordable delivery service for your apparel. (Build a base for your pitch and also let them know that you have done your research)
Our company helps businesses like yours to get fast delivery services at minimal costs. A proper verification process is done to hire our delivery partners, therefore, they are trustworthy as well. Furthermore, we also offer 1-day delivery options which will facilitate your customers. ( Always start your pitch by telling them what your product can do for them. Then top it off with something distinctive that makes your product or service more preferable.)
(After your pitch listen to what the client has to say and then answer them and their objections accordingly)
(To find your next step always conclude on a clear note)
So should I schedule another call to explain the details or would you like me to set up an in-office appointment instead? (The client’s reply to this question will give you a conclusion).
Is it the right time for us to talk? – (If they say they are busy).
Sure understandable, please let me know a time when it will be convenient for us to talk. (Make sure you always ask for their time and reschedule the call so you do not miss any opportunity).
Now that you have managed to schedule another call with your client, it is important that this time you finalize the deal or at least put your company’s name for consideration on their mind.
Hi,_____________ This is XYZ from Vistas. After our last conversation, we decided to have another call today. So, I would like to know more about your business in-depth.
(Listen to the client explain actively, ask questions to portray that you are interested in knowing more, and give solutions for their problems.)
After this call, I believe that it would be profitable for your business to partner with us. We will be able to fill all the loopholes that your business is facing right now. Our partnership will help you take your customer service a notch up. Please let me know what should be done to get you started.
I will mail you the proposal, so you can review and know everything about us, and we can get started after that. Let us get in touch again after you have reviewed the proposal and discussed it further.
(In case the client seems uninterested, but you feel that you are compatible with their brand, and can help them with their problems, then)
Thank you for letting me know how you feel. But I would request you to at least read our proposal once and then make your final decision. You can know about us and our products/services in detail and figure out if we are compatible. If you do not mind, shall I share the proposal with you?
(Sharing the proposal with the client gives you one more opportunity to connect with them and explain to them better how to land them. Keep it subtle though. Don’t be too pushy)
Let cold calling work for you
Cold calling is a difficult way to land clients. Many salespersons are apprehensive about it because they have fear of rejection and fear of the unknown. To them, it seems a waste of time but it is the opposite. If you make cold calls strategically, keeping the above things in mind, and by writing a solid script then there is no way that you won’t get favorable results. Keep going!
Thanks for this in-depth and detailed guide on cold calling. Am sure it will help me and many others to make cold calls warm and do calls better.