Cold calling tips

Jon CunninghamBusiness Development, Cold calling, Sales, Telemarketing, Telesales

Cold calling tips

Cold calling: despised by some, venerated by others - it's the indisputable success factor in many of the businesses I've worked with over the past 16 years

But since you're here - you know it works - and you're probably looking for a few top tips to make you even more successful.

OK, fair enough - big respect is due to you for pushing yourself to do better! Before I start - I've made a couple of important assumptions:

  • You enjoy calling and speaking to people
  • You either research who you're calling - or have enough understanding of who you're calling (and the skills) to successfully navigate a call with them

But anyway, you came for tips - not chatter, so let's go:

  1. Use your time wisely. Cold calling is hard enough.
    • Are you calling the right person? Do they have the authority? Will they/their firm likely have a need for what you do?
  2. What do you want to say? Now forget that.
    • Focus on what the prospect will care about - and how can you truly help - how does your service/product solve their pain?
  3. Don't assume.
    • Just because you understand the typical CMO's pains - it doesn't mean that the CMO you're speaking to is experiencing them, so be careful not to assume; ask them - at the right time.
  4. Differentiate your offering.
    • Being really good at what you do is NOT a true differentiator, being focused is NOT a true differentiator, 'caring' about your customers is NOT a true differentiator - at least not to the prospect, because almost everyone says those things!
    • If you can learn more about what your competitors do and how you’re different, why people choose you, then you can share that with future folk.
  5. If you can't differentiate your offering - differentiate yourself.
    • Sometimes you’ll work for a painfully undifferentiated business – that’s life - and I have been there too. You could always get a new job - but in the meantime, differentiate yourself.
  6. Respect your prospect and their time.
    • You could warble on at 600 words/minute about your offering with NO thought for the prospect or their time but surely speaking to this person at a convenient time for them makes more sense? Ask them if now is a good time - you'll lose very few people if you do it in the right way - and the ones you speak to will be so much more engaged.
  7. Respect yourself.
    • Far too many salespeople, cold callers, SDRs act like they're 'less than' the prospect they're calling - work to achieve parity in the call ASAP - or sooner.
  8. Be honest.
    • Lying is for fools - are you a fool?
  9. Do what you say.
    • If you say you’ll do something by a certain date – do it. If you forgot, hold your hands up to it.
  10. Don’t argue.
    • Good objection handling is NOT saying ‘you’re wrong’. It’s about acknowledging the person's perspective or belief and intelligently sharing an alternative view; perhaps another client’s experience, or some stats. If you argue or get into a conflict you may well 'win' the objection battle, but you’ll lose the relationship.
  11. Listen – and not just to the words.
    • Listen to the tone, to the inference, to what isn't said, to the questions they ask, to the level of engagement - they can all tell you something.
  12. Ask intelligent questions.
    • People spend a lot of time guessing what they should do in a situation but don't ask the prospect what works for them - try it: What pains do you feel? How would I stay front of mind? When is the right time for me to be back in touch with you? What's the best method of reaching you?
  13. Think before and after you call.
    • What worked, what didn’t, where did things go well, or badly, what could you do next time round?
  14. Quality and quantity matter
    • It’s a numbers AND a quality game. Make one exceptional call or hundreds of awful calls and you’ll likely get nowhere fast, you need to blend quality with quantity.

There's plenty more where this came from - so check back soon!