Confused about cold calling? You’re not alone. When it comes to this classic sales technique, even the experts have different opinions. Some say cold calling is still relevant, while others recommend using social networking instead. Some say a cold calling script is essential, others believe that scripts will only slow you down.
Whether you just got your first leads list or you’re getting back into the game, all this conflicting advice can be aggravating. When it comes to cold calling, do the experts agree on anything anymore?
Thankfully, they do. If you want to make sure your next round of cold calling is effective, here are three things you must have.
There are hundreds of people out there who swear there’s a system to cold calling. That if your first sentence contains the prospect’s name, you’ll be able to land the sale. Or that callers are 10% more receptive if you smile throughout the entire call.
Advice like this assumes that each caller is a lockbox. That they’re just waiting to be unlocked, and with the right combination you can turn anyone into a guaranteed sale. But you’re not going to ace 100% of your calls. Experts say that if you land 2.5% of your calls – that’s 25 sales per every 1000 calls you make – you’re doing exceptionally well.
Even with the right strategy, the right words, and a smiling face, you don’t know what your callers are going through. They could be looking for a missing dog. Their family member could be in the hospital.
There’s thousands of reasons why they will be absolutely uninterested in listening to your pitch. So dealing with failure is the first thing you have to get used to.
The good news is that once you accept failure as part of the process, your success rate will increase dramatically. So learn what it takes for you to shake off rejection and make that next call. Because the next call is usually the one that gets you the sale.
There’s a lot of value in a cold calling script. It keeps the conversation on track and gives you answers to frequently asked questions. But when you stick to a script, you can sound distant or uninterested in the person you’re talking to.
Don’t waste time and energy trying to memorize a script. Instead, do some serious research on the products and services you’re offering. Ask yourself: if you were explaining what this was to a close friend, what part would get them interested in buying? What questions would you have if you were the person on the other end of the phone?
Once you’re ready to start making calls, use your script as a guide not a map. Don’t be afraid to test the script, and make changes as needed. Notice when multiple leads are asking you the same questions, and make sure you’re ready with the right answers.
And learn how to avoid any places in the script that trip you up. Even uninterested leads are more likely to give you a chance if it sounds like you know what you’re talking about.
Most people will listen to a stranger talk for 5-10 seconds before they end the call. That means you only have about 5 seconds to convince your leads to stay on the line.
In those first five seconds, you can’t dive right into an artificial sales pitch, ask about how they’re doing, or brag about your company. If you do, you’ll come off as dense and patronizing.
Instead, you’ll need to find your own way to engage your lead and get them interested in what you’re going to say next. Some people say the lead’s name over and over again in a confused tone until they respond. Some people give their first name in a familiar tone and ask if the lead has a minute to talk.
Different techniques work for different people, so you may have to try a couple out before you find the one that works for you. But if there’s one thing cold calling can give you, it’s plenty of people to talk to.
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