Whether you are a newbie to the world of cold calling, or have been through the process multiple times and have had your share of failures and successes with it, a few jitters and some nervousness will still be there at the beginning of every call. And the thing about cold calls is that they are generally short so you have very little time to please your customer. Statistics show that an average failed cold call lasts anywhere between two to three minutes and an average successful cold call lasts anywhere between five to six minutes. This means that even if they like you, your time period to impress them and take the conversation to the next stage is very, very short.
Here are four things that we think you should absolutely and thoroughly be prepared with before reaching out to any prospect for the first time to ensure a higher success rate:
- A thorough prospect research:
Researching about your prospect may seem like advice given by Captain Obvious but the distinguishing factor lies in what points you cover in the research. Their career history, months/years in current role, decision making abilities or their relationship with the decision-maker at the company are some of the important aspects you should know. As far as the company is concerned, the more you try to get to know about their pain points and the challenges they are facing, the better position you would be in to drive the conversation in the right direction and provide solutions. LinkedIn proves to be a great platform for this research since it has amazing organic and inorganic tools to help you out. To ensure that the prospect falls in your company’s exact target group, it is very important that you do an exercise to identify the right TG first.
You can read more details about how to go about it here.
- A 30-second introduction about your company:
Your company’s introduction in just a few lines is the most important thing to keep ready before sales calls, be it a cold call or any other call of the sales process. A finely crafted introduction can help create a really good first impression. Who you are, what your story is, what makes you different than your competitors and why you’d be a good fit for the prospective client are some of the points you should cover in this introduction. It is important that you keep it informative, crisp, short, and deliver it in a way that it exhibits your positivity and confidence.
- Defined goals for the call:
Having a well-defined structure and end goal for the call will help you make the most efficient use of the time you have at hand. This would ideally be a mix of you asking the right questions to get in-depth details of the client’s situation, and them sharing their shortcomings and pain points (if you ask the right questions). Why it is extremely important to set an overall agenda for the call is because you need to be fully aware of when the conversation is going off-topic and bring it back on track politely, yet firmly. After all, you are on a tight schedule, too, and have other prospects to cater to. So make sure you stick to the subject line and ensure that the client does that too.
- A warm and confident tone of voice:
Fumbling with your speech, using too many ‘a’s, or repeating yourself too many times are all signs of anxiety, so you should try to avoid all of these during a cold call. You need to show the client that you are a warm, confident and positive person who knows what they want to accomplish at the end of the call and are determined to get it. The positivity and vibrancy will reflect in the tone of your voice and your client will automatically be drawn to consider your proposal. Achieving this may seem difficult in the first few calls, but the more calls you make, the more comfortable you will get with it and your flow will get better.
Using this simple guide in the right way will really help refine your cold calling approach and give better results. While these are things you will follow on paper, your instinct and gut feeling, the ability to judge your prospects, and the foresight to understand which person deserves how much time, are few other things which will make you better at the process and provide you with a better success ratio.