Are cold calls your least favorite part of the job? They don’t have to be. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about cold calls? You might be thinking of rejection, or tedium, or something similarly negative. But cold calls don’t have to be the most dreaded part of your schedule. Cold calling helps you expand your network, and engage with new prospects: Close sales fast… if you do it the right way.
If you want to step up your cold calling game in 2022: I want to help you! Here are my top cold calling tips to help you generate more sales this year.
Can Cold Calling Tips Make You Like Cold Calls?
The short answer, in my opinion, is yes. Most of the frustration surrounding cold calling stems from one idea: Cold calling doesn’t work. And, sure, if you approach cold calls unprepared and unmotivated, that statement is true. But that’s true for anything. If you approach mowing your lawn without a lawnmower and without the motivation to do yard work, you could say mowing your lawn doesn’t work.
Success—and enjoyment—in cold calling comes from an indomitable mindset and your sales toolbox. The right cold calling tips (like the ones you’re about to read in this post) can help arm you with the right skills and equipment in both of those areas.
1. Shake Your Fear of Rejection
Don’t over-research and fall into call reluctance. There is no reason to fear a prospective client telling you they don’t want to meet with you. They are not rejecting you personally. They are rejecting the value proposition for the meeting you requested. Every good thing that happens to you in sales is the result of meeting a stranger. Your research should be limited to the person’s name, title, contact information, and a review of their LinkedIn profile.
One tip for shaking your fear of rejection is to gamify rejections with the rest of your team: Everyone faces rejection on the job, compare rejections and create a scoring system for the funniest or most aggressive rejection to help make it sting less.
There is a certain class of person we can describe as “grouchy” or “grumpy.” They may have low blood sugar or have too much stress at work. The first contact I ever cold-called hung up on me, saying: “Call me back when you don’t need a script.” You might have someone yell at you or tell you to never call again, but this says something about the person’s current state. If you don’t occasionally get hung up on, you are not making enough calls.
2. Timing is Everything
When you’re choosing the right time to cold-call, trigger events are key. (Is the executive you’re calling a new hire? Is the organization expanding? Did they just get new funding?) Trigger events are helpful, especially when the event is something that allows you to provide the contact and their company with the type of help they’ll need.
In the industry I spent most of my time in, a new company breaking ground was a trigger event that indicated they would need what I sold. But you have to be careful with trigger events because the trigger that caused you to call was also seen by others. Not to worry, as most of your competitors will send an email.
The time and day of your call also impact your chances of success. There are a lot of superstitions about the timing of cold calls, with some believing they can’t call on Monday, and others believing Friday is off-limits. The research shows that any time Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM produces the same result. For my money, I like 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM for call blocks.
3. Embrace The Power of Voicemail
80% of cold calls go to voicemail. You are calling on busy people, the kind that are in meetings, on phone calls, and solving problems. Few are sitting next to their phone hoping for a cold call from a salesperson. Because this is true, you are going to need a strategy for leaving a message.
Leave a compelling, clear message. Don’t ask for a callback. The reason decision-makers don’t schedule meetings with salespeople is that the value proposition is weak. You want to leave a message that speaks to the value you can create for them in a conversation. Don’t ask your prospect to call you back, as they are not pursuing your business. You are pursuing them.
Promise to follow up at a later date, and then follow through on that promise. Instead of begging for a callback, leave a message that you will try them back the next day at 10:00 AM. Doing this more than once will likely have the contact taking your call, even if it results in them telling you they aren’t interested.
4. Use a Script
I’m a big believer in sales scripts when they’re used organically. Don’t deliver your script robotically, use it as cues to show you how to advance the sale. You don’t want to sound scripted. You do want to use powerful scripts that result in a conversation and a scheduled meeting. The best way to not sound scripted is to memorize your talk tracks and rehearse them with someone on your team. The best way to use a script is to memorize it, removing the need to read the words to your prospective client.
Your script can help you prepare to overcome any objections. There is only one real objection you will hear when you are cold calling, no matter what language the contact uses to say it: “That sounds like a waste of my time.” Unless and until you have a value proposition that creates value for your contact, they are right to say no to your request. If a contact’s concern is that you are going to waste their time, telling them what you intend to do with their time and how it benefits them will move them towards a yes, as long as you believe you can create the value you promised.
Scripts can help you stay on track and avoid distractions: Your script will lead the conversation toward a single goal. It’s important to remember your goal in cold calling. Some need a conversation now, and others need to schedule a meeting. In either case, stay on track and work towards your goal.
5. Let Them Speak
Our last tip to make great cold calls? Talk less. Ask open-ended questions to let your prospect talk. When you are trying to start a conversation, asking questions can create engagement. The more the client talks, the greater your chances of moving forward in the conversation. When you are trying to schedule a meeting, open-ended questions can help your contact disqualify you before ever having a conversation.
Use collaborative language to show your prospect you see this as a conversation, not just a pitching opportunity. The direct and soft language like, “Can I share with you what we are seeing in the market and how we believe it is going to impact your industry and what we believe you might do to address these new challenges?” This language suggests you have the ability to create value for your contact, making it easier to move the conversation forward.
Top sales pros only speak 43% of the time they’re on a sales call. You learn more by listening than by talking. People want to be heard. Being a good listener is a superpower for salespeople. The more room you make for your contact to talk, the more you learn and increase your chances of booking another meeting.
Putting Cold Calling Tips To Use
Cold calls are more than just chances to pitch your product or service: They’re opportunities to make connections. Following these tips will allow you to make confident, productive cold calls that can help you build your network and close more sales. But to level up your sales game altogether, cold calling tips are just the beginning.
You have the ability to crush your sales goals and become the sales leader on your team. The secret to unlocking that potential? Just a little guidance.
Check out my Sales Accelerator program. I provide modular training sessions and materials to help you hone your skills, mindset, and more. Look into the Sales Accelerator today to see how I can help you become the MVP of your sales team.