Basics Of Sales 8: Cold Calls

cold calling advice oliver gwynne

“Not Cold Calling!” I hear you screaming. People bemoan the amount of ‘nuisance’ calls they get everyday, and its mere mention springs to mind low paid workers with long lists simply trying to get through as many numbers as possible. They perforate your quiet existence with annoying persistence and don’t seem to understand the work no. Yet if done right, it can be a great tool for your business.

Don’t Act Like A Criminal

The simple things really do matter. Where are you calling from? Why are you calling? It sounds stupid doesn’t it, but some companies in the B2C sector are almost too afraid to tell you less you report them before they’ve gotten through their sales pitch. Worst of all are the companies calling under the pretence of ‘research purposes.’ People see right through these tactics and it reflects badly on your company. Oh and if someone says they aren’t interested…that’s not code for ‘call me again tomorrow’ it should be at least 3 months before you try them again! When they ask, you take them off your list.

Take Your Time

The first way to improve the outcome of cold calls is to put in some solid research about who you are calling and why. Try and find out as much about who you think you need to call, what department they are in etc, this is of course harder for B2C but even a bit of google mapping can bring up a good talking point. “Mrs Bond, You live next to an alley, I bet that’s costing you a fortune to heat.”

Small List

Keep your call list small. It is better to have 10 good conversations than 20 mediocre. You will very quickly burn out if you overburden yourself/your staff if you give them 100 names to call by 5pm. This will reflect in their tone. This will reflect on your business.

You Don’t Need To…

I would suggest in a first phone call, find out who is the right person to speak to, see if your service/product is suitable and then take an email. People are much more likely to give you an email then pass you through. You can then send them some material and call them to make sure they’ve got it/see if you are useful and if not get rid of them. It’s a no pressure sale. Insisting you must talk to someone is a sure fire way to get yourself on the nuisance list. Relax, if they really want your X they will come to you.

Roboto No No

I want to cover scripts in more details next, but generally the aim of any sales effort is not to sound like a robot. It’s not easy if you’re saying the same thing over and over all day and although you should be ‘professional’ it’s also important to let your own personality shine through. People buy from people and building a relationship takes a long time!

To sum up. Keep pressure low, keep numbers low, keep yourself human and cold calling can be very effective. There are a lot of elements that you simply don’t have control over, so don’t worry. Desperation is the fastest route to self-destruction.