It’s 2023, and despite what others would have you believe, cold calling ain’t dead. In this blog, we explain why cold calling has withstood the test of time, along with our most actionable cold calling tips and techniques to help you improve your win rates. So let’s start with the basics.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is an activity in sales when reps reach out to potential customers who haven’t expressed any interest in the offered products or services. Over the years, cold calling has developed from a spray & pray approach into a target-driven sales communication tool. In other words, salespeople target the right prospects to boost their success rate.
Rejection is a necessary part of all sales activity, from prospecting through close, inbound and outbound. No one closes 100% of their prospects. Here’s how to get over your fear of rejection:
- Share your experiences with other team members, you’re not the only one who’s been rejected before. You’d be surprised what the worst thing someone said in place of “No, thank you” was.
- If someone says no, but is nice about it, ask why not.
- Run practice calls with your colleague and have them shut you down in the rudest way possible. Every time you get told no afterward, remind yourself that at least it wasn’t as bad as those practice rejections!
Focus on Immediate Learning, NOT Immediate Sales
Cold calling can’t be mastered overnight, so set a goal to learn something in every conversation with a prospect, good or bad. Start with a script and don’t deviate (yet). Figure out where you consistently get stuck in the script. Rewrite that section of your script until you stop getting rejected. Then, repeat this process until you can get through your entire script.
Also, be sure to analyze your sales calls. Specifically, listen to the answers prospects give to your open-ended questions. Record your learnings in a journal (physical or digital) so you don’t forget how much good came from early failures. Don’t forget to share your learnings with your other co-workers – whether they are struggling or not, everyone should be open to learning something new.
Create a Targeted Prospect List
The burden is on you to build the most targeted list of people to contact so you’re not wasting time on every call figuring out whether you can help the person who picked up. You’re going to get rejected a lot less if you’re smart about who you reach out to. Be sure that you are only adding companies and contacts to your prospect list who you believe you can help.
If you call someone who doesn’t fit your ideal criteria, you’re stealing their time. If you call someone who can benefit from your offer, you’re helping improve their life and business. Don’t spend your precious time trying to reach people who don’t need what you’re selling.
Follow your Scripts Like an Actor, NOT Like a Robot
Cold calling is a performance. You need to be able to get in a zone just like actors do. Don’t just read your lines; instead, use real human emotion and talk like an actual person. It’s easy to get great at utilizing a script in cold calls if you’re willing to put in the work.
First, memorize your introduction and value proposition. If you know how to explain who you are and why someone should care, you’ll be better able to adapt to the conversation without going totally unscripted. Then, write out open-ended questions that will unlock your conversations. When you ask these, you have to be prepared to listen, not just wait for your turn to talk again.
Next, come up with clear answers to common objections. When you’re first learning to cold call, you won’t be great at these on the fly, so, write them out word for word. Finally, practice until you’re blue in the face. Get someone else to pretend to be the buyer. If you’re in the same room, close your eyes so you can only hear them, not see them. Ask your assistant to slowly increase their level of resistance to your script. Eventually, you should practice handling up-front objections like, “I’m not interested,” and end of call objections like, “Just send me an email.”
Make the Right Ask and Set Proper Next Steps
You’re not looking to close a deal on a cold call — but you do need to make an ask. When you do, set clear next steps so both you and the prospect agree on how to proceed. Prospects don’t want to be ushered through your selling process. You’ll have better success if you instead help them through their buying process. Getting your prospects agreement on next steps, and even letting them adjust and give feedback early can make a big difference in deal flow.
Need Help? Call ebs/Growth!
Ebs/Growth works with teams that have decided to outsource their sales development strategy. We will validate a list of 2,000 of your ideal prospects and guarantee that we have at least 300 conversations to gain market insights to equip your team with the information they need to sell.
Our messaging session with your team will build an effective call framework, follow-up call framework, follow-up email, workflow, FAQ answers, common objections, and build effective rebuttals. Your sales team can also have the opportunity to shadow our professional callers to pick up tips and tricks to teach your in-house team.
If you’re ready to take the first step in elevating your sales process, give us a call!