5 Tips to Help Improve Your Cold Calling Techniques

Written by: Russ Sharer
Cold calling Technique
Anybody in the marketing field knows about cold calling, at least by name; this sales technique is notorious among marketers and consumers alike.

Consumers may famously hate cold calls. Nobody liked an unsolicited sales pitch during matters involving their personal life.

Even the most seasoned sales reps might get annoyed by a cold call in the middle of their workday or while trying to enjoy dinner with their family.

However, cold calling wouldn’t be so prevalent if it didn’t work.

However, this does not mean cold calls will pay off every time; to properly utilize a cold call, you may have to follow a particular set of guidelines.

Much like anything else in the world of sales, you can make your sales calls in just about any way you see fit; however, you can utilize some specific methods that will increase your chances of making successful cold calls.

Cold Calling Tips

In this article, we will lay out some of the best cold-calling tips to ensure a successful cold call.

If you feel the need to increase your chance of a cold calling success- and, after all, who doesn’t want to take their sales game to the next level- read on to learn more about these fantastic cold calling techniques!

What is Cold Calling?

In marketing terms, cold calling is when sales reps make an unsolicited sales call, whether via telephone or in person, to potential customers who have not previously interacted with a company, such as by clicking an online ad.

Even though cold calls target consumers who have not had prior interactions with a certain company or its salesforce, most marketing professionals will not dial a random number out of the blue.

In this world of modern technology, a sales rep may receive a list of numbers or addresses of people who may be interested or are in the area of somebody who has been confirmed as interested, as registered by a sales communication tool.

Turn Cold Calling into Advantage

Cold calling aims to engage with customers who managers and sales professionals would otherwise write off as uninterested and a waste of time and effort.

However, there is enough evidence to indicate otherwise; while cold calling is challenging and unwelcome, it can be a particularly lucrative marketing strategy.

This lucrative factor increases exponentially when you consider advancing home technologies and increasing levels of remoteness in the personal and business lives of your potential customers.

How to Boost the Sales Process?

If you want to optimize your cold calling and produce the best results possible, consider our IMPACT Selling Seminar.

This excellent seminar can boost your sales process, whether in-person or online, and result in a higher success rate.

Cold calls may be lucrative and bring in plenty of potential sales, but squeezing the most out of your cold calls is no easy feat. Cold calling is notoriously challenging!

Let’s take a look at some of the most notorious challenges that make achieving successful cold calls a feat in itself.

Challenges of Cold Calls

While cold calling can be a powerful tool in the arsenal of any sales team, it faces a wide variety of challenges that can make effective cold calls almost impossible to pull off.

Is It Legal To Make a Cold Call?

One of the main issues with cold calls is their legality. Let us be clear right off the bat; cold calls are entirely legal.

However, there is a circulating misconception that cold calls are illegal.

This misinformation can make your job far more challenging than it should be as, on top of selling your product or service, you must sell your prospect on the legality of your contact.

Do People Like Cold Calls?

Additionally, there is a significant level of negativity around cold calls; consumers seem to despise receiving a cold call.

This negativity can make your cold calls challenging to complete or even to start, and it may initially seem like a cold call is not even worth the investment.

However, this line of thought can help make your cold calls far more effective.

With so many poor cold callers out there, many sales and marketing divisions will not bother with cold calling as a marketing tactic.

You can take advantage of this and utilize the power of cold calling to turn your marketing department into a sales powerhouse.

Many Cold Calls Feel Robotic

Here’s a major issue with cold calling; so many cold calls feel automated, even if there’s a real person on the line.

Many so-called sales professionals who utilize cold calls fail to show any passion or interest in their prospect; they stick too closely to their cold calling script and do not care enough to act like an actual person.

If you’re a minimum-wage worker in a call center, this approach makes sense; however, if you’re a results-oriented sales team member who makes their livelihood off sales, you want to be more personable.

However, these robotic callers pose an issue for the rest of the industry; one bad cold call can ruin the reputation of all cold callers for the prospect.

Continue with Warm Leads

Suppose you are dealing with a potential customer who has recently been on the receiving end of a robotic, unpersonable, and outright annoying cold call. In that case, you will certainly face a challenge!

It is important to keep your attitude with warm calls to deal with such challenges.

Experts Think That the Cold Call Is Dead

Here’s the kicker; many experts proclaim that the cold call is dead.

With so many companies abound, rising levels of technology, and how many spamming calls a consumer receives a day, your prospect may quickly recognize cold calls and hang up on you- or outright refuse to answer in the first place.

While the cold call is far from dead, many companies and consumers follow what they believe is the death knell of cold calling.

However, they are incorrect! Cold calls are just as alive and viable as ever, if not more.

Use the Correct Cold Calling Tip

This absence of cold calling may harm some marketing companies, but for those who know how to use it, it can be a benefit just as much of a challenge.

Think about it this way- with fewer callers in the field, customers have more time to listen to you, and you have more prospects.

Thankfully, the perceived decline of cold calling is not the only thing that works in favor of cold calling.

Next, we will take a closer look at how you can optimize your cold calls and your cold-calling approach to make cold calls that will result in more sales.

If you want to know how to cold call, these cold-calling techniques will be some of the most vital tools in your arsenal!

Building Cold Call Selling Techniques

Cold calling sales strategy
While you certainly will face a challenge when trying to close a sale via a cold call, you must recognize that utilizing the proper cold calling strategies can increase your success rate and make a strong sale.

Here you can find some tips to help you build the best cold-calling techniques for your business.

While these tips will work for cold calls both in-person and via the phone, more than half of your buyers want salespeople to pick up the phone and call them rather than knock at the door.

Find the Right Cold Calling Tip

We get it- nobody likes a stranger showing up at their house unannounced.

For this reason, you might want to consider using a phone to cold call, as your prospect will be less upset off the bat; however, an in-person visit can lead to a higher success rate.

No matter which method you elect to utilize for your cold calling, you will find that these cold-calling tips can help you close the deal more than you ever suspected.

Let’s get right into it; here are some of the best tips to build your cold calling technique, make cold calls, and produce great results.

Do Your Research

As with anything else in life, you can only achieve strong results by doing your research beforehand.

This step may seem somewhat obvious; you need to know who you’re talking to, after all. No successful cold calls start with asking your prospect’s name- you should know that beforehand.

However, research goes far beyond knowing the name and job of your prospect. You must ensure that your prospect is a potential customer; they must be somebody who actively wants to solve a problem you can help with.

For example, if you are selling a program that will help contractors better organize their clients, you don’t want to go about calling their clients.

Additionally, if they are set in their ways and happy with whatever their solution to their current problem is, the chances are low that you can change their mind.

In these cases, it is best to save your effort and cold call another potential customer.

Hopefully, you can see why it is vital to research your prospect’s interest beforehand- putting in some more effort in advance can help save you plenty of time and effort in the long run!

Know the Product or Service

This step may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many cold callers don’t fully understand their product or service.

These unknowledgeable sales teams are the minimum-wage employees making cold calls in a call center- they are relying on sheer numbers. If you make enough calls, somebody will surely show interest eventually.

If you want to go that route, best of luck- however, the most successful cold calls come when the best sales reps know the intimate details of the item they are selling.

You don’t want to get caught with your pants down. If your prospect asks a question about your product or service and you don’t know the answer, you will quickly lose your prospect’s attention.

Thankfully, you can avoid this by doing a little more research. This time, however, you will not research your customers; instead, your research should focus on your product or service.

By learning all you can about what you’re selling, from each step of the manufacturing process to every possible use and application, you can ensure an airtight pitch that won’t leave you looking like you don’t care about the product.

Hopefully, you understand by now; the fact is that more research means more sales. It’s a direct correlation!

Product choice for cold calling

Schedule Wisely

When it comes to cold calling and building a strong cold calling technique, very few factors prove themselves as important as timing.

Scheduling is important in any aspect of corporate life, from the sales manager to your bookkeeping department.

Scheduling is just as vital for your potential customers as it is for your internal operations. Therefore, you must ensure that you are placing cold calls at the proper time.

Many experts and analysts find that weekday afternoons may be the best time to make cold calls.

If you made a list of your existing customers and made that first call to them, you may find that the first call occurred somewhere between 3 and 5 PM on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

These times are the ones that result in the highest success rate.

On the other hand, the early morning is not a good time for making cold calls; many people do not like to be disturbed in the early morning and will react poorly to your sales pitch.

Keep a Goal in Mind

When making a cold call, you must do so with a sense of purpose. Before you even pick up the phone, you must recognize that you are here with a goal. That goal is to sell, sell, sell!

However, it may not be wise to go in expecting a sale and only a sale; cold calling can be an excellent resource for many other things, such as information.

An excellent goal for any cold caller is to learn something new in every call.

This information can be anything, whether it is a way to improve your cold calling process from the ground up or simply a way to get a sale or a meeting out of your current prospect.

Keeping a goal in mind is one of the most vital of all the cold-calling tips you will read about.

Everything you do should be with a purpose; your sales process will flounder if you simply talk aimlessly.

Some prospects may appreciate the endless light conversation, but it will not result in any sales for you!

Don’t Waste Time

Speaking of endless light conversation, you don’t want to waste the time of your prospect. Remember the basis of cold calling; this is unsolicited contact.

By cold calling somebody, you are inherently disrupting their afternoon. While you may have a rough idea, you don’t know what your prospect’s day looks like.

When you call, you could be calling in the middle of a workday- which could be to your benefit, depending on your product- or in the middle of dinner, which could ruin your pitch.

No matter what, a cold call is a disruption, and you must quickly prove your value to your potential customer.

Experts estimate that you have ten seconds to prove yourself when making cold calls. Take full advantage of this by respecting your prospect’s time.

Utilize your pre-call research to make a connection with your potential customer and prove that your knowledge can help them fix a problem.

You know that you are intruding on your prospect’s day; don’t upset them by wasting the time you’ve already taken!

Listen for Trigger Words

During your pre-call research, you may have dug up plenty of trigger events, such as a recent promotion for your prospect or a major project they have completed.

We will cover that in more depth later, but for now, there is something that you may not initially have access to, which can be a better ‘in’ than any trigger event; trigger words.

Trigger words help you gain insight into your prospect, whether in their business or private lives.

Once you get your prospect talking, listen for anything that may indicate an opening for your company and take advantage of it as best as possible.

These trigger words can come in any variety of phrases but will typically indicate an upsetting issue that your prospect wants to be fixed; this is your greatest opportunity to make a sale or schedule a meeting!

Use a Script as a Resource

When you first set out to make your cold calling strategy, the first thing you should make is a generic cold call script.

When it comes to cold-calling tips, formulating an effective script is one of the best moves you could make!

Your script should have a basic structure, if not fleshed-out dialogue. First, you should prove your value; tell your prospect that you can fix a specific issue.

Once you’ve gotten their attention, appeal to ethos, logos, and pathos, using techniques such as brand recognition and social metrics, if possible, to help entrench yourself with your prospect.

A cold calling script can be a valuable resource for most sales reps. However, many callers make the mistake of relying too heavily on their cold-calling scripts.

As you make more sales, you can adjust your cold call script to implement factors that you find more effective in solidifying a sale.

For example, people are inherently opposed to salespeople; to this end, you will face many sales objections.

Objections and their responses are a form of negotiation. Consider our excellent negotiation training course if you want the best responses to negate any objections!

When these objections come up, you must put them to rest; furthermore, you can include your responses to them in further editions of your script to help develop your sales strategy.

Ultimately, your cold-calling scripts should be a resource, not a set of unchanging instructions.

Consider your favorite actor; they may have a script for their movie or TV show, but they may improvise and alter the script depending on what the scene requires to work at its best.

In this case, you are the actor. Let your inner Hollywood out and get a dialogue between you and your prospect!

Outline Your Major Answers

When you are writing the skeleton of your cold calling script, you should focus on answering the main questions that your prospect may ask:

  • Who are you, and why should I care?
  • What can you do for me?
  • What do you ask for in return?

Your prospect may not outright ask these questions unless they’re particularly blunt- however, they form the essence of the persuasive argument at the root of all sales.

If you want to up your cold calling strategy and take it to the next level, your outline must answer these questions in a way that you can work into a conversation.

Once you’ve got your script, take a deep breath and pick up the phone!

Maintain a Conversation

Let’s face it; nobody likes when somebody talks to them. This is not a college lecture; you’re making a sale!

Don’t go into your cold call expecting to give a sales pitch; consider making a sales conversation instead.

If you can get your prospect talking, you can get them comfortable and make them more receptive toward a sale or a meeting.

To engage in a conversation, ask open-ended questions to ensure your conversation is not one-sided.

If you ask a simple yes-or-no question, your prospect may feel like you are talking too much or that they are excluded from the conversation; hence, open-ended questions are preferable.

For example, consider asking about your prospect’s business operations.

These open-ended questions will be on a topic that they are knowledgeable about and can help you locate pain points that your product may help with.

Consider Call Goals

When making a sales conversation, you are there to make a sale; nobody has any illusions otherwise. However, you may have other goals, as well.

You want to gather information, such as locating pain points in the company and identifying who a decision-maker is in any given department.

Strong Opening Line

By now, you know that you have ten seconds to make an impression on your prospect; this small time frame means you need a strong opening line.

Use your research to generate the best possible opening line for your cold calls. Open your call with something about your prospect rather than espousing the virtues of your company.

Mention something that you have found about your prospects, such as a project they worked on or something that they have recently achieved.

When it comes to cold-calling tips, you will be hard-pressed to find anything more important than a strong opening line!

Don’t Let Rejection Get You Down

Rejection comes in many forms. Perhaps you have called an underling, and they refuse to give you the contact info of a decision maker.

Alternatively, your prospect simply may not be interested or found a company they prefer.

All the cold-calling tips in the world will mean nothing if you get disheartened after one rejection.

There are plenty of potential customers; just because you’ve lost one doesn’t mean you’ve lost all of them. After a rejection, it is important to sound confident.

With a powerful presence and a can-do attitude, you can bounce back from any rejection!

Stay Motivated

When it comes to sales, more is always better. It does not matter how much revenue you are bringing in. Does anybody want to be “happy enough?”

No matter how many times you’ve made the same cold calls, you must stay motivated to maintain your success rate.

Kind Voice & Tone

In cold calling, your tone is one of the most vital things about your cold calling technique- a bored or condescending tone can lose you a sale faster than anything else.

You want to sound confident but not arrogant. You must find a balance between being knowledgeable, confident, and kind.

You don’t want to just make a sale- you want to help these people with their issues, and you want them to know that!

 

Turn to The Brooks Group for Sales Training Solutions

Now, you know the best cold-calling tips to help your selling process reach maximum efficiency.

By following these sales tips, you give yourself the ability to get ahead in the world of sales and cold calling.

If you’re looking for an even more significant boost to your marketing power, consider any of our sales training programs here at the Brooks Group.

We provide these programs to help your entire team reach new heights and learn vital sales techniques. 

We understand that sales techniques are not one-size-fits-all. No matter your needs in the world of sales, our team is here to help you!

Contact us today or schedule one of our thorough sales assessments to learn how the Brooks Group can take your sales team to the next level!

Written By

Russ Sharer

Russ Sharer is a Chief Sales Officer at The Brooks Group. Russ combines his 30+ years in B2B Sales and Marketing with his in-depth facilitation experience to connect the dots for program participants with a practical, “easy-to-learn” approach.
Written By

Russ Sharer

Russ Sharer is a Chief Sales Officer at The Brooks Group. Russ combines his 30+ years in B2B Sales and Marketing with his in-depth facilitation experience to connect the dots for program participants with a practical, “easy-to-learn” approach.

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