While many business-to-business (B2B) salespersons have transitioned towards "inbound marketing" techniques, cold calling remains a time-tested, effective way to acquire new prospects and generate more sales leads. But if you're thinking about cold calling prospects, you should follow the tips listed below to create a stronger connection.
According to a report by Lattice Engines/CSO Insights, approximately 42% of sales reps don't believe they have the right information before calling. And if you don't have the right information -- or enough information -- you won't be able to address the prospect's concerns and funnel him or her through the sales cycle. So, research the prospects whom you intent to cold call, learning as much as you can about their company, budget, and what they are looking for.
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You can perfect your cold calling pitch by recording yourself speaking it. Do you sound friendly? Are you making mistakes like saying "um" too many times? By practicing in the microphone, you can hear your cold call pitch from the perspective of a prospect, allowing you to make any adjustments as needed.
You typically only have about seven seconds to capture the prospect's attention, so make sure your opening dialog is capable of doing so. If the prospect isn't engaged by the end of the first seven seconds, he or she may hang up. So, how do you grab prospects' attention in such a short period of time? There are a few strategies that can work, but for B2B sales, it's usually best to get straight to the point: let the prospect know why you are calling and how you can help his or her company succeed.
When a prospect doesn't answer his or her phone, you should leave a voicemail asking them to call you back. Because cold calling is all about volume, however, you'll probably end up leaving dozens of voicemails per day. Rather than leaving them manually, you should consider leaving a pre-recorded message. This can save you tons of time, allowing you to focus your energy elsewhere.
A good rule of thumb to follow when cold calling B2B prospects is to explain the value of your product or service before its price. Far too many sales reps throw out the price first, only to scare away the prospect. If you tell the prospect how your product or service will benefit their company first, however, he or she can then decide whether it's worth the price.