When the number of your weekly calls exceeds several hundreds and you are becoming exhausted, there are several tips that can help you to get the best results from your cold calls.
1. Remember that cold-calling is primarily a verbal type of communication
The caller’s role in it is first of all to listen to what the opposite party says and to respond, so as to then deal with any objections expressed and decide on the negotiating environment.
2. Introduce yourself in a well-articulated way
This should include your name, the company you represent, the product in question or purpose of your call.
Otherwise, the consequences that may arise at the first stage of communication will result in wasting time addressing the wrong people, or them misunderstanding why you are calling.
3. Do proper time management of your calls
This is obviously a tension for both parties that you can avoid by sending your prospective client a presentation letter or planning your talk even with a stopwatch.
None of us would like to have our call rejected because we tried to deliver a three-minute presentation, instead of using PDF supporting materials for reference, or an email alert.
This should help you to construct a structured dialogue, which always looks much better than a spontaneous talk given by an agent. You should not talk too much or too little, but give only comprehensible information to your clients, with a full follow-up presentation by email, printed in colour or delivered in person by appointment.
4. Be ready to hear abrupt, unexplained short responses of “Yes” or “No”.
This may happen for various reasons, including lack of knowledge about the subject or cold-calling itself, a low level of negotiation skills, or an inability to differentiate between ridiculous, suspicious or questionable responses.
This can also happen because the time of a call has been wrongly chosen, or it was answered by a less knowledgeable person in the company.
5. Cold-calling needs a lot of training, preparation and expert coaching
To better understand the subject of cold-calling, it can help to read around the subject in reading material including: Clive Price and Jean B. Dean, Simple Alchemy: Turn Cold Calls into GOLD Ones, and Brian Jeffrey from Quintarra Consulting, Warming up Cold Calls.
6. There are some types of questions the caller should never ask on the phone
For example, questions highlighting the personal opinions of the agents towards the services or goods you offer, as well as their previous experiences in using them, or contacts with other vendors.
7. Types of questions the caller should try to avoid answering
At times, a conversation on the phone turns into self-defence, which is the least desirable outcome of any communication. Not answering certain types of question should help you deal with this problem.
These questions usually cover such issues as characterising the economic sector you represent, scenarios of contingency situations, or the commercial nature of your services. These topics can’t be fairly defended in the course of a 5-minute talk, and should be avoided.
8. Try to develop a more effective and enduring partnership with your client
Even your first call to introduce yourself is the start of cultivating this partnership.
Don’t make your cold call too formal, otherwise you risk alienating your client and missing opportunities to build rapport.
Thanks to Natallia Maaluf, Recruiter at First Consulting Co. Ltd., Minsk, Belarus