Even with all of the new inbound marketing techniques that are available, cold calling remains one of the most effective ways to connect your product or service to prospective customers. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Unfortunately, many salespersons choose the latter, resulting in few-to-no sales. If you are thinking about cold calling to boost your lead generation efforts, here are some tips to maximize your efforts.
Use a Script... But Personalize it
Some salespersons are reluctant to read from a script, believing it will scare prospects away. But a script is an excellent tool that allows you to hone and optimize your cold calls. Keep in mind, however, that you should still personalize your script according to the prospect, tossing in his or her name and other relevant information when deemed appropriate.
It is helpful to think of a script as a general guideline or process map for each call. Following the map, but don't be afarid to improvise when appropriate.
Target the Right Prospects
Want to know the secret to successful cold calling? It's targeting. Starting with the right prospects will make all the difference in your results. A marketing automation software company probably isn't going to be successful if they're targeting purchasing contacts , nor is an industrial construction company going to be successful targeting accounting firms. You need to target people who have traits that suggest they will be interested in your service, which in this case is companies looking to grow or expand their operations. Try using firmographic and demographic data to gain insights on specific prospects or companies.
Sales Leads' custom lead generation solutions can help improve your sales team's efficiency with targeting and custom prospect insights.
Turn Cold Calls into Warm Calls
Not every prospect whom you cold call will buy your product or service– and that's okay. Even if they decline the offer, you can still follow up with them in the future. With a little bit of nurturing, you can turn those cold calls into warm calls. And then you can turn those warm calls into sales. The bottom line is that you shouldn't assume a sale is lost just because the prospect says “no” during a cold call.
Make Conversations 2-Way
Don't make the mistake of doing all of the talking when cold calling prospective customers. While this may seem harmless enough, it disengages the prospect, which can hurt your chance to score a sale. Instead, make the conversation a 2-way street by asking questions and engaging with the prospect. If he or she declines your offer, ask why. Identifying the prospect's concerns allows you to address them directly.
Keep Sessions Short
Longer cold calls don't necessarily translate into more sales. In fact, studies show that the average person's attention span is just 30 seconds, after which he or she will lose focus. Therefore, it's best to speak for no longer than half a minute at a time, stopping to let the prospect on the other end speak.