Preparing for cold calls? Today we will look at ways you can prepare to make cold calls and increase you chances for success.
The Importance of Cold Calling
Cold calling is one of the important parts of your sales process and is often seen as the most difficult to conduct by salespeople. Cold calls can be difficult for a number of reasons which can include but are not limited to, bad reactions from prospects, difficulty connecting with prospects, and lower conversion rates. When working with clients we always include a balanced mix of emails and calls in our sales cadence. This is detailed in the sales fast start plan we prepare with all our clients. Most salespeople can send out an initial email however where most salespeople struggle is the follow-up afterward. 70% of salespeople try to connect with prospects by using the phone as an outreach method at some point in their sales cadence. Another 41% of salespeople say that the phone is the most effective tool they have available to try and connect with prospects. Most sales meetings we book for our clients are made through phone call follow-ups to cold prospects when compared to emails. The truth about emails is that they are easy for prospects to overlook. A prime example is a time I sent an email through HubSpot to a prospect, With HubSpots tracking features I saw that the prospects engaged with the email with more than 5 opens and several clicks. It was clear this prospect was curious about something proposed in the email. Even with this activity the prospect never actually responded back to me by email, instead it took more than 5 different outreach attempts by phone to connect with the prospect. The interesting part was the prospect mentioned he did remember receiving the email and was interested in learning more about the product but had simply forgot to respond back to me. We will discuss more things to consider before making these cold calls to improve your chances of success. Consider this article for more things to consider when preparing for cold calls.
Before You Do Your Cold Calls
Before you begin your cold calls there are several things to consider that will help you be better prepared when you are conducting your calls to prospects. Gathering intel ahead of time can include conducting some research into the prospect you are reaching out to. Having knowledge about your prospect’s job details along with challenges in the industry will help build credibility quickly with prospects and show the prospect you have a product that can help them complete their job. You should be using a CRM system to log all your call notes, we use Hubspot as the CRM system to log emails and calls for our clients. A call script is an effective way to ensure your being consistent with your calls and communication with prospects. One practice commonly used is to have myself and a work colleague work on practicing mock calls based on a call script and see how the conversation flows. When we prepare a call script for a client we also prepare objection handling for commonly heard objections or questions that can come up from a prospect. Planning the time of day to make your calls can also affect your success with your cold calls. Most of the time workers will check their emails at the beginning of their work day or near the end of their work day before leaving for the day. For more information on call preparations consider this article.
Breaking Through Resistance
When making cold calls this could be the first contact the prospect has with your company. Making a good first impression will be important to continue the conversation going forward. You can follow these steps that can help you break through the initial resistance your prospects may have towards you. When making calls it is important to come off as a real person and not a robot reading a preprogrammed script. You want to sound like a normal person making a call, for example when I make a call to a prospect i introduce myself and follow up by asking a question. Usually we are asking if they had a chance to review an email sent to them earlier. Most of the time the prospect will respond that they have not seen the email and this allows the conversation to flow into the value proposition. Consider this article for more information. You can use the call practicing referenced in the previous section to work on this. Prospects initially will not know who you are and want to know quickly why you are calling them. Keep your sales pitch quick and to the point so they understand the purpose of the call. A sales pitch should take between 30-60 seconds to complete and will highlight a quick summary of your value proposition. Consider this article for more information.
Remember practice is always important when planning your calls, don’t be afraid to make adjustments if you feel the conversation is not progressing how you expect it should. If you need help with more tips you can reach out to me.