The sales industry is one of the largest industries in the entire country. There are approximately 13 million people who work in sales positions day in and day out.
If you’re one of them, there is a decent chance that you’re going to be asked to do some cold calling at some point. And if you’re not prepared for it, it can be one of the most stressful parts of your job.
So, what is cold calling? Well, it’s essentially picking up the phone and calling someone who isn’t expecting to hear from you for the sole purpose of trying to make a sale. Cold calling in sales comes with the territory in many cases and is unavoidable.
Fortunately, there are some cold calling tips that you can use to ensure that you’re able to turn yourself into a cold calling expert when everything is all said and done. Check out our ultimate guide to cold calling below to see how you can get the job done.
Learn How to Love the Sound of the Word “No”
The vast majority of people have a very real fear of rejection. They can’t stand the thought of someone saying “no” to them.
This is a big part of what makes cold calling so difficult. You’re going to hear people say “no” over and over and over (AND OVER!) again. They’re going to say it way more than they say “yes.”
This is something that you’re going to have to deal with on a daily basis. There’s not going to be any getting around it, so you’ll have to learn to live with it and even love it to some degree.
You might hear “no” 99 times in a row. But it’ll make that “yes” on the 100th time even sweeter than it would be otherwise.
Make Sure You’re Cold Calling the Right People
No matter who you call when you’re cold calling, there’s a good chance that you’re going to get a door slammed right in your face. But you should know that you can increase your chances of hearing “yes” more often by making sure that you call the right people.
You should think about what it is that you’re trying to sell and consider who might be interested in buying it. Then, you should attempt to compile a list of the names of the people who would be more interested than others in buying whatever it is that you have to sell.
You might even want to go as far as to hire a company like SalesHive to do lead generation for you. Their cold calling services will make it easier for you to find the people that you should be calling about your company’s products.
Look for the Right Times to Cold Call People
When you’re scheduled to do some cold calling, you might be tempted to kick off your workday with it. The early bird gets the worm after all, right?
Maybe. But there are also a lot of people within the business world who are very busy when they first get into the office. This might make them a whole lot less receptive to whatever it is that you’re trying to sell them.
With this in mind, you should avoid making cold calls early on in the day and save them for later on instead. In a perfect world, you should try to catch people when they’re coming back from lunch and looking for any reason to put off getting back to work for a few minutes.
You might also want to wait until all the way at the end of the day to make cold calls. People won’t always have the strength or the energy to reject you outright and could be more willing to listen to what you have to say.
Seek to Educate the People You Cold Call as Opposed to Simply Selling Them on Something
From the second that you start cold calling, you’re going to be trying to sell people on something to some degree. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be in 100% salesperson mode at all times!
In fact, you don’t want to sound like you’re trying to sell something to people the entire time that you have them on your phone. Instead, you want to make it seem as though you’re simply looking to educate them on what your company’s products are all about.
When you take this approach, you’re going to find that people will be a lot more likely to listen to you. They won’t mind sitting and listening to your spiel for a few minutes. And this will provide you with the perfect opportunity to swoop in and really sell them hard through what you’re able to tell them about your products.
The more time that you’re able to spend on the phone with a potential client, the better off you’re going to be in the end. It sure beats hearing someone slam the phone down right after they take your call.
Stick to Your Script—But Don’t Be Afraid to Put Some of Your Own Self Into It
One of the good things about cold calling is that you’re often going to have a script that you’ll be asked to use while doing it. This will make the entire cold calling process so much less stressful for you. You won’t have to worry about what you’re going to say every time someone takes a call from you.
But here’s something you should keep in mind: You don’t have to stick to the script exactly. You should actually try not to do that since it’s going to make you sound robotic when you’re trying to make a sale.
That’s also not to say that you should deviate too far from your script. You’re going to be asking for trouble if you do that.
You should, however, try to inject some of your own personality into your script. When people realize that they’re talking to a real human who has real thoughts, they’ll typically be a little bit more respectful and, more importantly, a little bit more open to what they have to say.
Avoid Being Too Pushy During Your Initial Cold Call With a Person
Most of the cold calls that you make aren’t going to last any longer than 10 or 20 seconds. People are going to hear the first part of your script and say, “No, thank you,” before hanging up.
As a result of this, you might find that, if you’re lucky enough to keep someone on the phone for a minute or two, you should strike fast and try to close a deal with them. But you’re going to be making a big mistake if you do that.
While you do obviously want to try to make a sale at some point while you’re speaking with someone on a cold call, you don’t want to be too pushy about it. You want to work through your introduction, provide them with some information about your product, and then let them dictate where the conversation goes next.
If they don’t sound interested in whatever it is you’re trying to sell, pull back a little and avoid losing them altogether as a customer. Let them know that you would simply appreciate the opportunity to reach out to them again in the future to gauge their interest in your products.
Try to Get Someone to Commit to Staying in Close Contact With You
If you’re able to make a sale during a cold call, awesome! You’re going to feel amazing about it and be glad that you took the time to make the cold call in the first place.
But if it doesn’t sound like someone is going to buy something from you, the least that you can do is get them to commit to keeping in touch with you. You should ask them if the number you called them at is the best way to reach you. You should also see if they would mind giving you their email address.
You might not be able to make a sale during your initial call with someone. But forming a connection with them could be just as beneficial for you.
Steer Clearing of Wasting Anyone’s Time (Or Your Time, For That Matter!)
As you begin to make cold calls, the simple sound of the word “no” is going to make you want to hang up the phone fast. You’re not going to want to sit and try to sell someone on something when it’s clear that they’re not interested.
When you start to get used to hearing the word “no,” though, you’re going to be tempted to stay on the phone to prove that you can sell people on whatever it is that you’re selling. And while there’s no harm in doing this every now and then, it’s not going to be a good idea to get into the habit of doing this.
When you continue to pester someone who clearly isn’t interested in your company’s products, you’re going to be wasting their time. You’re also, in turn, going to be wasting your own time when you keep barking up the wrong tree.
A minute spent trying to sell to someone who doesn’t want to be sold to is a minute that could be spent selling to someone who does. You should steer clear of wasting anyone’s time throughout the cold calling process.
Celebrate Your Cold Calling Victories All Along the Way
As we alluded to earlier, you’re not going to enjoy consistent success when it comes to cold calling. If you cold call 100 people, you might only get one of them to buy what you’re selling.
This is going to leave you feeling defeated a lot of the time. But it’s also going to give you every reason to celebrate when you’re successful in making a cold call.
You should come up with some kind of small reward system for yourself and use it whenever you make a sale through a cold call. Even if it’s something as simple as treating yourself to a donut or a cup of coffee, it’ll keep you hungry and make all the unsuccessful cold calls well worth it.
Always Remain Open to Learning More About Cold Calling
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been making cold calls for a day, a week, a month, or 25 years. You can always pick up new pointers as far as improving your cold calling skills is concerned.
The person who is answering a call from you isn’t going to know how much experience that you have with cold calling. So they’re going to react to you in unpredictable ways and say things that you may not have heard before.
You should take what you’re able to learn from each cold call that you make and use it to your advantage as you move forward. You’ll be able how to handle yourself on all kinds of cold calls when you remain open to learning.
You should also try passing on what you’re able to learn about cold calling to those who might be coming up behind you. This is a great way to stay sharp when you’re trying to perfect your cold calling skills.
Start Enjoying More Success With Cold Calling by Putting These Tips to Good Use
There are very few people who enjoy cold calling. It’s the worst part of the job for many salespeople.
But you should know that you don’t have to love cold calling to be successful at it. You just need to know how to go about doing it in the most effective ways.
Utilize the cold calling tips found here on your cold calls from now on. They should help lead you to more success and allow you to sharpen your skills as a salesperson at the same time.
Would you like to learn more about becoming a better salesperson? Browse through the other articles found on our blog to get some great advice.