Is picking up the phone and making a cold call the best way to win new business?
Ahh the dreaded cold call. You may be wondering if this is still a necessity in the world of sales? Some will say yes, others will say no. Let’s talk about some of the benefits to see how you can make cold calls work for you.
My Experience with Cold Calls
10 years working in sales, and I still cringe at the process of picking up the phone and making a cold call. What if they don’t answer? And, even worse, what if they do? Because then you need to craft your conversation to not sound too “sales-y.” A lot of worry and panic can go into these calls, and they don’t always get you the response you’re looking for.
So why do we continue to do them? Because they do – at times – work for putting new connections in your network and new leads in your pipeline. Not every call will lead to success, and not every call is going to immediately lead to booked business.
Here’s what to keep in mind –
A cold call is a small part of your overall outreach efforts.
The biggest thing to remember when working in sales is that follow-up and regular outreach is the best way to win new clients and grow your business. Most sales professionals are successful because they continue to follow-up.
Think of this first outreach call simply as an introduction. You’re not trying to make a hard sell on the first call. Your intention should be to introduce yourself with the goal of scheduling time to talk further at a later date. A simple hello, a brief summary about the value you can offer to your prospect and an invitation to talk further.
When you can keep in mind that this is simply one call, it helps take the pressure off, and picking up the phone all of the sudden becomes a little easier.
With that being said, an initial call to a new prospect can be an effective way to make an introduction, when done properly.
A Phone Call Can Help You Stand Out
Understanding that many sales professionals are not picking up the phone to make outreach calls, this immediately helps you stand out amongst your competitors. Others may focus on emails or other forms of outreach that can easily get lost in the mix. A phone call is certainly something that will help you connect more effectively with your prospect, while also giving you realtime feedback to see if there is indeed the opportunity to do business.
Practice Only Makes You Better
When talking with potential new customers and clients, it can be hard not to ramble on about all of the wonderful things your product or service offers. On the other hand, it may be difficult to know exactly what to say. Each outreach call gives you the opportunity to improve – your script, the way you’re talking with people and exactly what you are saying to make it worth while for the other person on the phone.
While it takes some practice, this is practice that can directly benefit you in all aspects of your role. So go in with a positive attitude and know that you have the power to learn and grow with each connection you make.
New to Cold Calling? Hang in there!
- Do your research on the company and the person beforehand. Is this someone who can benefit from the service or product that you’re offering? If so, go for it and do your best to connect as a resource for them.
- Set aside time each day to complete your calls. Not every day needs to be consumed with making cold calls. There are many ways to effectively connect with prospects, but commit to an hour or two each day where you can focus on getting these done.
- Take Notes. If a call doesn’t go exactly the way you want it to, no worries! Give yourself some feedback on what you would have said differently or how you would have liked to approach certain responses. Write it down, and use it on your next call to help you improve.
- Don’t get discouraged. I even tell myself now that you may make 25 calls a day to leave messages or not connect with the right people, but persistence pays off. Always keep in mind that your new business opportunity could be on the other end of the next call!