Even with the advent of the Internet and inbound marketing channels, cold calling remains one of the most popular business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategies. As you may already know, it involves calling and soliciting a product or service to a prospect with whom you've had no prior contact.
One all-too-common misconception is that calling more prospects will result in more sales. In some cases, this may prove true. However, cold calling isn't all about call volume. You need to optimize your cold calls to connect with the prospect and encourage him to buy your product or service. So, don't focus strictly on call volume. Instead, find a balance between the quantity and quality if your cold calls.
Don't assume that any phone number you come across in the business directory of a phone book (or elsewhere) is a potential customer. You need to think about who specifically is interested in buying your products or services. To do this, you should analyze the demographic information of your company's existing customer base. Using this information, you can cold call the right prospects.
The primary objective of cold calling is certainly to make a sale, but this doesn't necessarily mean it's the only objective. Even if a prospect initially rejects your offer, he or she may still be interested in it. Therefore, you should capture that prospect's information, following up with him or her at a later time. Furthermore, some prospects may spread the word about your company and the products or services it offers, assuming you treat them kindly during the cold call.
A critical cold calling mistake made by B2B salespersons is not allowing the prospect to talk. They assume that it's best to "control" the conversation by doing all the talking themselves. As a result, the prospect's thoughts begin to drift elsewhere, reducing the chance of a successful conversion.
Finally, some B2B marketers assume that they must manipulate prospects into buying their products or services when cold calling them. Prospects -- especially B2B prospects -- value truth and honesty. If you're upfront about your offerings and why you are calling, you'll have an easier time converting prospects into customers.