Here are 7 key ways to jump start your cold calls:
1. Research Your Market
Before you start your cold calls it's important that you’re prepared. This way, your prospect feels you really do understand their situation. Research the company you are calling, identify what issues they are having based on your other clients in their same industry and ask others in your company the main reasons why people buy your product or service.
The better prepared you are about discussing you prospect's issues, the easier it will be to allow the conversation to flow.
2. Change Your Mental Expectations
Traditional selling has always taught us that our main goal of the cold call should be an appointment or a sale. With that mental focus, our mind is focused on the end goal before we even have a conversation with the person we are calling.
This creates conflicts because you will be trying very hard not to use words that make you sound like all you care about is the sale. And if your prospect senses you are focusing on the appointment or sale, they will immediately be defensive.
Change your mental expectations to focus on building a conversation first. Once you have generated a good dialogue, you can determine if you are a fit or not with your prospect. Be careful not to mentally "jump the gun".
3. Understand Your Prospect
Take a few minutes to think about the focus of your call. Think about how you are going to approach the conversation. Put yourself in the mind of your prospect.
How would you want to be approached? Certainly the last thing you want to hear is a sales pitch from someone you don't know.
Instead, begin the conversation diffusing any mystery as to who you are with "Hi, my name is Jim and you and I haven't met yet". This removes the mystery of who you are and allows you to begin talking about how you can help them solve a problem, rather than you having to default to a sales pitch.
Think before you speak.
4. Build Trust Through Conversation
Learning to build a conversation is the key to cold calling success. Engaging in a conversation should be as natural as calling a friend. Your objective is to build trust on your call so that your prospect feels comfortable conversing with you rather than trying to focus on getting you off the phone.
How do you build trust? You build trust by removing any elements in your approach that connect you to the negative "salesperson" stereotype.
5. Ask A Question
Begin your cold call with "Hi my name is John, maybe you can help me out for a moment?"
Yes, that's really all you have to begin with because in the next few seconds you will hear "How can I help you". That is how you can build a two-way dialogue rather than having a one-way talk.
The truth is you are asking for help because you don't know if you can help them yet, right? Until you have the information you need about their situation, you can't determine if you are a fit or not.
6. Eliminate Pressure
Pressure is the main reason most cold calls turn into a negative rejection-filled experience. It doesn't have to be that way.
If you can become aware of things you are doing that trigger pressure on your prospects, you can turn cold calling into a very productive and enjoyable experience.
The key is to never force your sales pitch, engage only in a natural conversation, and most importantly let your prospect talk. By doing all three you will eliminate pressure from the call and your prospect will be more open to the idea of what you have to offer.
7. Learn To Determine A Fit
So how do you know if your prospect is a fit with what you have to offer? You need to ask them this question towards the end of your problem solving discussion "Is solving your problem a top priority or something that is on the back burner for now?"
By determining the answer to this question, you can see if you can decide if your prospect is worth pursuing or not. You will also be able to determine their time frame which helps you better adjust your expectations.
Make no mistake about it, if you really want to be successful cold calling you'll need to let go of traditional sales thinking. Try these strategies and watch how cold calling can be fun and productive.