Making cold calls can be downright unpleasant. You need to have an excellent plan to make it work. Of course, you should recognize if something has gone from bad to worse.
When Does a Cold Call Become Extra Difficult?
Again, cold calls have the potential to be rough. You don’t want to sound pushy, but at the same time, you can't just sit back and wait for something to happen. You need to make a sale.
When a prospect is talking too much, sometimes it can be challenging to insert your own thoughts. At the same time, you have many details to incorporate into the call. After all, you must make each client feel special.
Listen for other signs that the cold call is somehow going down the drain.
1. The target has already identified their problem
If this is the case, the prospect may have already sought other solutions. If they know a problem or need but haven’t called you, perhaps they have already talked to your competitors.
2. They have taken steps to improve their problems
This indicates that the prospect may have already discussed the issue with somebody else. In this case, you must be able to present a more affordable and effective solution.
3. They are not clear about what the problem actually is
On the other hand, the company may not even acknowledge that there is an issue. You must be able to point it out without sounding like you are attacking their methods.
Can You Provide the Prospect with a Service They Need?
For you to be chosen as the service provider, you should be able to provide the prospect with their wants or needs.
Needs are the most important. Once you hear the prospect talk about needs, see if you can provide for them. They are more likely to buy a product or service that will help them survive their operations.
Some will not use the word “wish,” making it more difficult for you to understand whether they need anything at all. Therefore, if you feel that a want, need, or wish is being expressed, you must confirm that with follow-up questions.
Ask the Right Questions
One of the most essential things you need to know about the prospects' wants and needs is the reasons behind them. By understanding their challenges, you can better provide a solution.
Being a problem solver is always a challenge. Therefore, you need to know how to listen well. You should also know everything about your products and services.
Of course, you can also equip yourself with strategies to prepare yourself for the cold call. Like any other endeavor, you can't dive in without knowing what you are doing.
Conduct Your Pre-call Research
Before you even call someone, you should know if the prospect will benefit from your products and services. If not, it will all just be an awkward and unnecessary call. You will also waste the time you could have used to connect with someone who could be interested.
You won’t be able to reach those who will purchase what you are offering because you’ve spent more time on trial and error. Customizing each call is essential so you can immediately connect to the prospect. They will feel seen and heard, which is suitable for making a connection.
Being prepared will also help you convey a professional and reliable persona, which will help you win more clients.
Create a Script for Various Possibilities
Preparing a script can also help you go through the cold call more smoothly. It is not easy to talk to a wide variety of people daily. More likely, you have to call several a day.
Having all the information in front of you will relieve some stress. You should have a script for every type of call:
- The smooth-sailing one with quickly established camaraderie
- The one with a lot of questions involved
- The one with rude prospects
- The one that does not sound like it’s going anywhere
Of course, having a script doesn't mean that you must sound rehearsed. You just need a guide that can help you react spontaneously.
You should have a list of clients’ Frequently Asked Questions, for example, to help you respond naturally. A prospect will not like you to stumble on answers to their questions; they expect you to know what you're talking about.
A checklist of things that must be discussed can also help. By having one, you don’t have to sound like you are reading something, but you can still manage to present what needs to be mentioned.
Finally, you should know how to deal with rude and aggressive customers. By being more prepared, you can at least have a higher chance of changing their minds. However, don’t feel terrible that some will not change their attitude.
Time Your Calls Well
Another part of your research should include knowing when to call a prospect. Which times will label you as a nuisance? For example, do you think it’s good to call early Monday morning? Would it be acceptable to call anyone during their lunch break?
Most prospects do not like dealing with a sales call early in the morning. It is time for them to prepare what they need for the rest of the day. Others might also not appreciate being called during noontime when they have their lunch break.
If you have been making cold calls for some time now, you can take an educated guess to determine which days and times your calls get answered. You might waste less time by scheduling your calls at those times and connecting with more potential clients.
Be Ready for Opposition and Additional Questions
More prospects will likely respond with, “I’m not sure,” “I don’t know,” or “I’m sorry.” People are trying to learn from their past investment or purchase errors. Since information can spread more easily in this digital age, people think they know better. Sometimes, they are right, too.
People now know how to say “no.” They are no longer willing to spend extra money on something they don’t need immediately. They will more likely refuse if the cost is higher than what they can afford. If they already have something similar, they don’t believe it is wise to go for your product or service.
This wisdom is good for the clients but not good for you. So, you should consider how your offering can genuinely serve them.
Know how to persuade potential clients to consider your product or service. You should do so with patience and understanding. While you want to make a sale, you must also consider your prospect’s budget and overall situation.
Meanwhile, it is possible that you won't make a sale. Making cold calls is stressful enough. You should learn to take rejection in stride as well. Move on to the next prospect.
Let the Prospect Talk
Your prospective clients must feel like you truly see them and listen to what they say. Remember that you are not a recording. Making a cold call means that you are about to engage with somebody else.
Calls are meant to facilitate two-way communication. Some sellers make the mistake of talking non-stop without letting the prospect talk. That is not how sales are made.
When you prevent the other person from speaking, you are subconsciously telling them that what they have to say is not essential. The latter will undoubtedly raise your chances of winning over some
Pause for a while. Do you want to be thought of as pushy? Or, would you rather have the clients feel like you are genuinely interested in solving their problems?
Don’t Be Pushy with Your Sales
In relation to the point above, don’t be pushy. Don’t start your call with your sales pitch. Yes, that’s what you are supposed to deliver. However, you also need to know if the person on the other end of the line is in the right frame of mind.
Do they have time to listen? Do they require your particular product? Find out some of these details first before diving into your pitch. You don’t want them to be annoyed with you. When they start getting antsy, you have probably lost the opportunity.
A prospect will more likely listen to you if you are willing to listen to them. Clients want you to investigate what they actually need. You may be worried about being on the receiving end of rudeness. Still, you should also be wary of your own behavior.
Don’t Give Up Too Easily
Being polite doesn’t mean you will just give in and give up. Of course, you don’t want to seem pushy or naggy, but you should also make sure that your message has been delivered.
You need to make a sale to the right people. Once you’ve recognized these potential clients, follow up. One follow-up is half-hearted. Remember that these clients may also be very busy. Send them reminders when needed. You can probably combine various forms of communication – calls, emails, and voicemails.
The key here is balance. While you cannot bombard them with calls and emails, you should find the peak times they would be more likely responsive. Take note of the statistic that says most closed deals happen after the sixth call. You may be missing out on that.
Leave a Voicemail
You can also try voicemails. With many prospects busy, it may be hard to catch them through a call. Some prospects may also have a rule against answering calls from unknown numbers, which is pretty understandable.
So, leave a voicemail to get through while also not risking getting blocked. Through a voicemail, get straight to the point and leave your name, company, phone number, and the reason you are calling. If you get a callback, it is more likely from someone interested in what else you have to say.
Keep your voice message between 20 and 30 seconds. This way, your prospect will more likely listen to everything you say. It is also easier if you have a script to help you limit your call to the correct length.
Try Other Options
You can also try other options, like having a mailing list. Perhaps, some prospects are more likely to communicate through a format they can respond to at their chosen time. If you can provide all there is to know about your offer, they will call if they genuinely need your product or service.
Even for customer service assistance, some people choose text chats over calls. You should consider that.
Moreover, you can also see if you can talk to someone else. Were you speaking to the decision-maker or the one in charge? Would it be easier to switch departments? These details should be part of your research and preparation.
Use Automated Sales
You are wasting time if you are still using manual means of recording your calls, leads, and more. It is also easier to lose such information.
Using a database that can help you schedule follow-ups and dial numbers shortens the time it takes to connect with a prospective client.
Using an automated tool will come in handy. Those with analytics can also provide you with a shortcut to understanding what has gone wrong or right. This way, you can deliver higher productivity with less stress.
Most cold calls are difficult. However, some seem to stretch the limit. Using the right strategies can make it more effective and easier for you.
Don't be discouraged when a cold call becomes more challenging. You can still find ways to persuade your potential client to purchase your product. Never give up if you see a good indication of a future sale. However, you should also recognize when a client is wholly opposed to your offer. More likely, it is time to move on to the next prospect.
If you want to know more about making efficient cold calls, check us out at Verde Strategies.