There is nothing easy about cold calling prospects for new business. The very idea fills many of us with dread. However, there is a reason that this sales method has been working for so long, and there are proven steps you can take to make this practice a success for you and your business.
- Establish your list. Before you ever pick up the phone, take the time to establish your top prospects and learn about them. Pay particular attention to the most current information, such as the section for investors or any recent press releases.
- Set goals. Whether it be setting a certain number of meetings or receiving permission to send out a certain amount of literature, set specific goals for yourself each time you sit down to make calls. Make sure that you have a script, or an outline perhaps, crafted to avoid stumbling over words and fumbling for the right thing to say. With the majority of cold calls, you are going to have only a few seconds to make a strong impression: make every word count!
- Check your location. Make calls in a private location where you will feel more comfortable and less afraid of making mistakes in front of your peers.
- Find the decision maker. Avoid leaving a voice message the first couple of times you call, and instead try to catch the decision maker. On the third call, leave a carefully scripted message that will compel the person to call you back.
- Get to the point. Never ask the person how his or her day is. Instead, say who you are, admit that you do not know each other and, in a few brief words, provide a reason for your call.
- Show the benefit. Have a prepared statement explaining the benefit in working with you.
- Be specific. Give an example of how you have helped another company, further strengthening the point that this person or business can benefit from your services.
Cold calling might not sound easy at first but with some practice it is an art form that can be perfected. Nervousness is the biggest problem for many people. Once you get over this hurdle and realize that you know your products and why they benefit your targeted customers, then you will find increasing amounts of success. Cold calling is but one sales tactic that a marketer should have up her sleeve. If you would like to learn about others, then you might want to familiarize yourself with the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
5 Steps to Making Successful Cold Calls Without Sounding Like a Sales Person (Carolina Newswire)
Getting Your Foot In the Door (Business Know How)