Do you run a business? Yes, you do.
I mean, that’s why you’re here.
And running a business means you’ve got to call people. So that’s one of the ways marketers and sales reps attract the prospect’s attention.
Cold calling prospects is both a science and an art, and I’ll tell you why below.
What is cold calling?
Cold calling, or making sales calls without first determining whether the prospects are warm leads, has been practiced since a manual by John Patterson was published in 1873. Patterson had not even created the telephone yet at the time
Instead, Patterson’s manual focused on making personal cold calls to prospective clients. When the first telemarketing company was established in 1957, cold calling took off as a sales strategy.
Since then, cold calling has developed a bad reputation among sales reps and customers.
Today’s consumers are rarely receptive to an unsolicited sales pitch, and many salespeople consider cold calling a complete waste of time.
However, using the appropriate cold-calling tips, your sales team can seize profitable opportunities.
Myths And Fallacies Regarding Cold Calling
People frequently inquire whether cold calling is prohibited or not.
The art of cold calling is legal. However, different nations have put restrictions on how, when, and to whom salespeople can place a cold call. So, this is the situation with cold calling.
I’ll address some of the cold calling myths that (for some reason) persist, then afterward, we’ll discuss my best advice and methods for cold calling.
1. Cold calls are made at random
Many believe cold calls are made to random phone numbers without qualification or screening.
The truth is that effectual cold calling involves targeted outreach and is most successful when salespeople focus their efforts on their ideal clients.
Even though a cold call is made to prospective clients, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t carefully selected based on information about their demographics and pain points.
As we’ll discuss below, the key is for sales representatives to capture the prospect’s attention with a customized pitch that demonstrates their due diligence.
2. Only the success of cold calling should be used to evaluate sales reps
Some businesses place excessive value on how adequate sales reps are at cold-calling clients, a strategy that has been demonstrated to fail frequently.
So much so that regardless of how well sales representatives perform on other channels or during other sales process stages, they won’t be considered for promotion unless they can close deals directly via cold calls.
Actually, it’s crucial to refrain from applying excessive pressure to cold callers to get the desired outcomes. However, we know this approach doesn’t always produce the results that sales teams desire.
Instead, businesses should see cold calling for what it is: a challenging but worthwhile strategy that can be made much more successful with the proper sales training and intentionality. Check out the guide about sales pipeline stages.
3. No one wants to receive a cold call
If consumers had a complete lack of interest in cold calling, the practice would have long since vanished. However, data suggest that a subset of the audience will be open to the message, but of course, this would depend solely on your cold calling strategy and how well you prepare.
Suppose your jump straight on the cold call with a prospect. In that case, if your cold outreach lacks process or preparation, most of the people you contact will be annoyed, but that’s an unavoidable situation.
4. No one wants to receive a cold call
If consumers had a complete lack of interest in cold calling, the practice would have long since vanished.
Data suggests that a subset of the audience will be open to the message. Of course, if your cold outreach lacks process or preparation, most of the people you contact will be annoyed, but that’s unavoidable.
What Does Cold-Calling Accomplish?
One-on-one interaction with prospects through cold calling can help move them to the next stage of the purchasing process.
In the past, cold calling meant employing a “spray and pray” strategy, making intrusive calls to people you didn’t know in the hopes that someone would be receptive to your message.
However, that is no longer the proper method. Not only does it waste time and effort, but you also encounter more rejections than you would otherwise, which can quickly cause burnout.
Cold calling works best when combined with techniques like sales qualification and prospecting. It’s also particularly effective when used in conjunction with the inbound methodology.
In inbound sales, prospects “opt-in” and turn into leads voluntarily after coming across your website or campaign.
Digital channels may not always be sufficient to close the sale because prospects frequently need to be persuaded to take action.
They require a “cold call” from you in which you introduce yourself, your services, and a more detailed explanation of your value proposition.
By integrating your telephone sales with your other digital channels, a modern enterprise communication solution can assist in streamlining your outbound communications.
Additionally, you might not always have a surplus of inbound leads. However, with enough preparation and research, sales reps can make a cold call so that it is no longer considered “cold.”
Cold Calls Are Still Popular Amongst Modern Sales Professionals
Now that we’ve covered the myths surrounding cold calling and what cold calling is not, let’s look at what effectual cold calling entails.
Cold calling is an outreach that is highly targeted in its most valuable form.
Finding the people most likely to be interested in your product or service can be done in as little as 5–10 minutes of research using modern sales software and conventional prospecting techniques.
Assume your sales team can access a $100,000 business intelligence tool to find the best enterprise prospects. Simply put, there is no reason to call a nine-employee business cold. Your sales pitch will never persuade such a company to buy your goods or services, not even by the most persuasive salesperson in the world.
By spending more time on this, companies can boost the value they receive from cold calling while eliminating unnecessary pressure on sales reps to make a certain number of dials daily.
9 Best Cold Calling Tips For Sales Professionals
You can become the highest-paid sales rep at your company if you master the art and science of cold calling.
Poor cold callers are simple to identify, just like all other prospecting types. As a result, if you’re outstanding, you’ll stand out from the crowd compared to your rivals. And doing that will help you succeed.
These foundational cold-calling tips are all you need as a sales rep to use cold calling to close more deals, assist more people, and earn more money as follows:
1. Avoid calling if you’re unsure of what to say
Making cold calls without first writing an effective sales script is frequently worse than not calling because it’s almost certain to fail, and you risk coming across to potential clients as unprepared and unprofessional.
Because of this, it’s crucial for a sales manager to carefully train their reps in the art of cold calling and make sure they have access to premium, customized cold calling scripts, and templates.
Sales managers should ensure a sales rep doesn’t pick up the phone if they aren’t ready to start a personalized sales conversation after the initial “How are you?”
Below is an example of a cold call sales script that works and does not work;
Cold calling script that works
Sales rep: Hi Sally, this is Henry Ohaegbulam from Sloovi. I’ve been reading up on your business, Shirp, and I’d love to know more about how you keep track of sales and develop leads.
At Sloovi, we work with individuals like you to assist them in achieving all of their sales objectives by ensuring the right leads are continuously pumped into their funnel by utilizing the best sales tools and sales techniques.
Do you think this could help solve your current Shirp problems?
Option 1: Interested
Great! [At this point, you will ask them to take the next steps in your sales process, such as attending a demo or speaking with an Account Executive.]
Option 2: Uninterested
I totally understand. Can I send you a follow-up email for you to review whenever it’s convenient? I can then get back to you tomorrow.
Send the email and set a reminder if the answer is yes. If they say no, thank them for their time and ask if they know of any other people you can get in touch with. A request to continue the conversation should be made and resources that clearly explain what your company does should be included.
You can edit and use the above as your standard cold calling script template. This cold call script has worked for hundreds of sales calls, your sales call won’t be any different if you combine this with the rest of the cold calling tips.
With this cold call script, you will notice that as you already narrowed down your list and did some research before picking up the phone, you might have noticed that you aren’t cold calling any longer but simply having a sales conversation that would pique your prospect’s interest.
My friend, I assure you that the additional work will be worthwhile.
Cold calling script that does not work
The prospect’s telephone chimes.
Rep: Will from Intercity here; hi Smith.
(Pause for 5 seconds)
What are you doing right now, can we talk for a minute or two?
I’m calling about Outbound Company’s software, which assists you in strategically implementing some of your most pressing issues.
Do you think this is important to you right now?
Prospect: Actually, now isn’t the best time to…
Rep: Would you like to see a product demonstration showing where we fall in the magic quadrant? We’ve received all of these honors.
Prospect: We’re not interested.
Rep: Who makes the decisions here? We can get started if you give me two hours unless you don’t have a budget.
2. Don’t call individuals who aren’t a good fit at this time
As we’ve already discussed, targeted, purposeful cold calling techniques and outreach are much more effective than a “spray and pray” approach to cold calling. Before making cold calls, you should at least partially qualify your leads. Otherwise, you are likely wasting everyone’s time.
Returning to the business selling an enterprise solution as an example.
The sales representative would have no reason to approach small- to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford such a significant investment because, if they did, they would almost certainly not get past the gatekeeper to the decision-maker of the business.
Likewise, if a business selling services catered to small businesses, like Do-It-Yourself payroll processing, contacted large corporations, they would be barking up the wrong tree. They almost certainly already have a whole department of accountants taking care of that, or they may even be outsourcing their payroll to a business solution.
A little lead scoring can ensure that the time and money you spend on cold calling isn’t wasted, regardless of what you happen to be selling.
3. Look for ways to break the mold and surprise people
Most people who answer a cold call initially act almost automatically. They read the first few sentences of a message on LinkedIn from a stranger, fully anticipating it to be either a salesperson or a recruiter.
This means that the moment they stop being interested in your pitch, they’re usually prepared to stop hearing from you and move on to the following message. So the best sales advice for cold calls, regardless of the platform, is to break this pattern by going against the norm, what customers have come to expect from a cold call.
For instance, you could begin a cold call over the phone by telling the recipient that you are aware of their busy schedule and giving them the option to call you back. Then, request an email address so you can contact them in the future. This lead generation technique illustrates how a distinctive cold calling script or template can assist you in surprising people and naturally extending the sales conversation.
4. Make calls at the most appropriate moment
Making cold calls to potential customers at the wrong time can instantly kill deals that otherwise might have started. Yesware discovered that cold calling is most effective on weekday afternoons after studying over 25,000 sales calls.
The majority of sales calls lasting longer than five minutes, or those with the most excellent chance of success were made on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., according to Yesware’s analysis.
This information is an excellent start if you want to time your cold calls as effectively as possible.
The best advice for cold calling is to ensure that your sales staff is adequately trained to attract prospects’ attention and turn them into hot leads.
Your salespeople will receive the specialized training they require through our outstanding sales training certification program, including lead prospecting, cold calling, and pitching.
5. Avoid spoofing your phone number
When making cold calls, it has become common practice for businesses to spoof their phone numbers so that the prospect thinks the call is coming from a nearby area code. It is so typical that many potential customers will recognize it before they call. Maybe there was a time when potential customers would be more curious to answer a call from a local area code. But most consumers are aware of this scam and steer clear of it.
By spoofing your phone number, you are only likely to come across as dubious and dishonest, which is not a good start to a potential client relationship.
6. Leave a voicemail when necessary
Over 90% of the time, cold calls end with a voicemail. You are not the norm. Even so, it’s still unusual for a prospect to pick up the phone. So, perfect the craft of leaving a voicemail that gets a response.
Decide first on your approach to pique the prospect’s interest in the voicemail. Remember, the objective is to pique their interest enough to call you back rather than to begin selling your message.
How to leave the right voicemails that provoke curiosity
As aforementioned, your cold call aims to get your prospect’s attention. Answers that lead to more conversations are what you need at this point. Your prospect’s time is precious to them, so do not waste it.
Follow these steps to leave good voicemails for your prospects.
Determine what you want the prospect to know after hearing your message in Step 1. For example, have they been recommended by someone you know? Can you assist them with a challenge you are aware they are facing now? Or perhaps all you want is for them to know your name.
You should avoid leaving lengthy voicemails by deciding on just one message to deliver. Additionally, since you won’t run out of pertinent things to say, it helps if you need to leave a second, third, or even fourth message.
Write your scripts next. This is different from the cold call script you have prepared. You ought to be prepared with a few scripts, each conveying a distinct, focused message.
You might, for instance, want scripts that evoke each of the following feelings:
- “Someone you trust highly recommends me.”
- “I am aware of your difficulties, and I can assist you.”
- “I believe I can solve the issues you’re having for you because I’ve done it for others.”
- “I need to talk to you right away about something important.”
You can leave messages. Your preparations are complete. Here, execution becomes essential.
The following are key points to bear in mind:
- DO limit it to 20 seconds or less.
- Don’t forget to speak positive, amiable, and enthusiastic manner.
- DO add a sense of urgency.
- DO use your name, your business name, and your prospect’s name.
- In the voicemail, DO NOT attempt to sell.
- Please DON’T make yourself appear frantic by informing them of a deal, exclusive offer, or discount.
- NEVER only leave a voicemail once.
Now that you’re consistently leaving excellent voicemails keep a record of the scripts that perform the best.
Test them out, and keep making improvements!
7. Ask the right questions
The goal of a cold call is never to close a deal. Instead, what you want to do is get to noticed by the company. To achieve this, you do need to ask the right questions.
When you do, specify the following steps so that you and the prospect are on the same page. The selling process should not be rushed through with prospects. You’ll be more successful if you assist them in purchasing instead.
You can make a significant difference in deal flow by getting your prospects’ agreement on the following steps and even letting them adjust and provide feedback early. According to Gong.io, sellers with the highest deal velocity discussed the following steps for 53% longer.
8. Create a list of targeted prospects
You are responsible for creating the most detailed list of people to contact so you don’t waste time on each call determining whether the person who answered can be of assistance. You’ll get rejected less if you’re smart about who you reach out to.
Be sure to add companies and contacts to your prospect list who you believe you can help.
What to look out for in a company:
- Sector Size (revenue, employee count, number of branches)
- comparable technologies
What to look for in contacts:
- They use equipment to do their job.
- Whom they answer to
- Who is answerable to them
You are wasting your time and their time by calling someone who doesn’t meet your ideal criteria. When you call a potential customer, you’re assisting them in bettering their life and business. Spending time and money trying to reach people who don’t need what you’re selling wastes time and money.
9. As much time as you can afford
You have five seconds to earn five minutes after your prospect responds.
Cold calls that are successful last almost twice as long as those that are unsuccessful. You have a better chance of getting that product demo meeting the longer the sales call lasts.
It’s not just your responsibility to capture a prospect’s attention during a cold call; you also need to keep it throughout the entire sales conversation.
Your advantage is that you have made this cold call countless times. The “paths” of a conversation can be predicted, as can how to proceed down each one. You have the ability to think through every action you’ll take in advance.
Every word you speak should entice the listener to hear what you have to say next.
Here’s how to be frugal: Imagine you have $100 to cut out any words that aren’t necessary from your sales conversation.
What ones would you take away? Kill those.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you structure a cold call?
Typical Cold Call scripts contain five sections. First, is the welcome section before your name is introduced, then the description of benefits and the appointment, and then you answer your frequently faced objections to the product.
How many hours a day should I cold call?
How many cold calls can you afford daily? An inside salesperson could easily handle 10 calls an hour if you keep each short and straight to the point and of course if your prospect is receptive.
What is important for effective cold calling?
You don’t want any kind of negotiation with Cold Calls. Obviously, it will require a Q and A session if the prospect says that long. When you get there, make the next step clear for your prospect. Prospective buyers do not want to go through your sales process without being introduced. Check out the guide about sales prospecting.