WOOOO! Gonna Make Some Cold Calls Today!

I am a fan of cold calling. There I said it.

Cold Calling is not as sexy as social selling, life cycle messaging, or content marketing. – And despite what any hipster ‘client success advocate’ tells you…

Cold Calling is NOT dead.

Before I disrupt the force and anger every mobile marketing Jedi in the galaxy… I want to make it clear that this article is more about the prospecting discipline of cold calling than it is about how to build a brand or where your leads come from. I am also not saying that social selling, drip campaigns, referral prospecting, and SMS marketing are an urban bohemian flavor of the month. These are very necessary and effective selling tools that have a definite place in customer engagement and prospect solicitation.

What I am saying

is that while there are several valuable ways to acquire new customers, I ardently believe that cold calling should be the centerpiece of new business development.

If you call a lead that it is not referred to you and you have never spoken with them before, it is a cold call. Maybe I am an inside sales Neanderthal; or just plain old school; but, I think in order to have material growth, you have to roll up your sleeves and find new customers; before, your competition does.

Cold calls are the oxygen of your business. You can survive without oxygen for a short time; but, if you go too long without it you will not make it. Cold calls are the same way.

I’d like to think that everybody knows this; but I do not think that many have the discipline to do it regularly and that number appears to be growing. A quick Google search will demonstrate just how many sales pundits are tolling the bell for cold calling. Indeed the world is changing; but, cold calls are certainly not dead. Sales acceleration plug-ins like Connect And Sell, Inside Sales.Com, and First Rain are revolutionizing not only cold calling; but,the go-to-market strategies of thousands of organizations. Dare I say that sales acceleration tools such as these may even be giving cold calling a little bit of swagger.

Whether you’re using a CRM or a pencil and paper, your cold calling needs to be a regularly scheduled and structured selling time for you to find new customers. It’s scheduled so that no matter what happens you always get your dedicated selling time in. Here is how to do it.

Prepare.

Schedule your reoccurring outbound calling time in your calendar. Have your call list prepared in advance. Have your pens, paper, whatever you need ready. Pre-call plan – know the outcome you want before you pick-up the phone. Get excited. Psyche yourself up before you start calling. If you’re not sure how to do this think of the Ickey Woods Geico commercial. Just substitute: “Cold Calls” for “Cold Cuts”. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFrsR9NByc4)

Make The Calls.

Self-explanatory right. What I mean is, you need to have focus without distractions. Put an out of office on your e-mail, turn off your cell phone, don’t ask questions to those around you and do not check e-mail. Make The Calls. I know it sounds easy, try it.

Establish A Rhythm.

Make calls for an absolute minimum of 45 minutes. Your need to have a cadence and tempo. Any shorter than 45 minutes and you’re not going to get enough calls in to establish a rhythm. This is will help you facilitate your call process. (i.e. – Dial, speak, call disposition, etc.) I addition, try not to ferociously dial for longer than 2 straight hours. (2.5 hrs. tops) If you are truly keeping a savage cold call tempo, it does not take long to burn out. After a couple hours, stop, and take a few to return some e-mails, etc… Give yourself at least a 45-minute rest, so that you don’t tire and end up just ‘going through the motions’.

Don’t Waste Time.

Don’t go on a wild goose chase. – If you are placed on-hold more than two minutes, hang-up and move on. – If you’re told that you have to call the ‘corporate office’ and you don’t get the name of someone specific move on. It’s not worth your time. If you really think it’s that important you can call back later after your cold calling session is over. Once you end a call, make your notes, schedule a call back and move on quickly. I recommend doing any post call work afterwards. (i.e. – Sending follow-up e-mails, preparing proposals, etc..) Doing these tasks during your cold calling session will just distract you, throw off your intensity and make you less effective.

Have A Personality.

It’s no secret that people do business with people they like. – You don’t have to be glib or silly… Just be yourself. Be somebody that someone would like to talk to. Sound upbeat and have confidence. Nobody wants to talk to somebody who’s boring. Using words like, New, Special and Exciting will help.

Be Respectful.

Treat whoever answers the phone with respect. – You do not know who they are or what influence they have. Please understand they are doing a job just like you are. Your job is to speak to the decision maker and theirs is to make sure you don’t. If you approach your call with a positive attitude like your calling a friend to do a favor, instead of making a commission, you will have more success.

Move Around.

When you are selling stand up occasionally, particularly at the beginning of your calls. Walk around if necessary. This will help you sound more excited. Selling is transference of emotions. Having your customer feel the same way the way about your product as you do.

Make Progress.

While we all would love to end each call we make with a first order or a brand new opportunity it’s typically not that easy. I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen; just not enough to make a living on it. However; each time you put down the phone your relationship with this prospect should be further along than it was before you dialed.

  • Find out the purchaser’s name.
  • Identify who their incumbent is.
  • Solicit a referral.

Whatever it is, make sure that you hang up with more than you started with. If you are prepared and know the outcome that you are looking for prior to making the call, it makes this step easier.

There you go… It’s not fancy. Cold calling is very much alive and is very hard work. I still make cold calls. When I do, I follow these steps. I win, I lose and I leave voicemail. Take the time to develop a scheduled cold calling discipline. Protect this time. If you can make the time to cold call new prospects regularly without fail, you will dramatically, increase your sales success.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.



Source by Tom Whalen