You can almost hear the sound of eyes glazing over when the subject of cold calling comes up. Cold calling is essential to sales success but it’s also the most dreaded task of any sales person.
Every one of us can relate to the frustration that a cold call recipient feels when he or she answers the phone. Who among us hasn’t been interrupted during a conversation, a meal, a date, to take a call from someone trying to sell us something? Jerry Seinfeld took a unique approach most of us would love to have the guts to do someday.
But what about when you are the person placing the cold call? You dial the numbers and listen for the phone to ring, hoping the person who picks up will at least be polite. You’ve hit the jackpot if that person expresses interest in your product.
Cold calling is not for the faint of heart but following some guidelines may make this gargantuan task more manageable.
Have Thick Skin
You’ll inevitably call a rude person every now and then. Whether it’s their innate personality or you just happened to call at the wrong time, give them a little grace. Make a note of their reaction, brush it off and move onto the next call.
Create Cold Calling Goals
Any salesperson can tell you how important goals are – they give you a focus and a measurable account of your success. So why limit it to just a quarterly or yearly monetary amount? Set a cold call goal for yourself and monitor it throughout your dial session. Determine how many calls you want to make or decide that you can quit once you’ve booked a certain number of meetings. Keep focused and always moving forward.
Have a Follow Up Plan
Call, leave a voicemail, and wait for the reply almost never works. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for prospects to return every sales call they receive. So try doing the work for them. Call, leave a voice message then immediately send an email. Create a reminder to call again in 48 hours and then again in a week. Be persistent without being annoying.
Keep a Schedule
If you are making cold calls every Tuesday at 10am, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Just like you like to stick to a predictable schedule, so do your prospects. Tuesdays at 10am may be the time of an office’s standing staff meeting. Or the day when the advisor gets in late because she had to take her kid to school. Avoid these kinds of things by varying your schedule. Call in the mornings a couple of days a week and in the afternoons another couple of days. And then flip-flop that the following week. Mixing it up a little will expand your chances of getting the right person on the phone.
The ESA Advantage
Executive Scheduling Associates takes the pain out of sales calls. Using the data and metrics you provide, we dedicate our dial sessions solely to our clients. Our executive schedulers are trained to minimize distractions in order to get in more calls, working an average of one hour on your account every single day. We will work with you on scripting and follow-ups, being politely persistent until we get the meeting on your calendar. We’ll even vary our schedule to make sure we are reaching your prospects when they are in the office.
Don’t be left in the cold – give us a call so we can help you with your calling routine.
Share your favorite cold calling technique in the comments below.