Cold calling is not dead. Yes, I rarely cold call to get clients but often have to cold call to get speaking engagements. One way or another, cold calling is inescapable. Here are some things to avoid so that you stop looking like a nervous rookie when you do pick up that phone.
1. Use manipulative tactic
Although connecting with key decision makers is difficult, reputable sales professionals never resort to lying or using manipulative tactics to connect with their prospects.
2. Mispronouncing your prospect’s name
It is inevitable that you will encounter names that are difficult to pronounce especially in today’s multi-cultural business environment.
However, a person’s name is very important to them so it makes sense that you figure out how to pronounce it BEFORE you make that call.
3. Trying to close the deal on the first call
Trying to close a deal on a first call is a rookie mistake. The purpose of a cold call is to determine if there is a potential sales opportunity and when there is your goal is to get an appointment.
4. Pitching an inappropriate solution or offering
This is still one of the most commonly made mistakes and it is usually a result of failing to conduct any pre-call research before making your call.
5. Spending too much time talking
Although you do need to open the call, spending the first 45 to 60 seconds talking is far too much speaking on your part.
6. Leaving a long, rambling voice mail message
Most voice mail messages I hear are too long, unfocused and filled with ums and uhs. If you plan to leave a voice mail when making your cold calls, you need to ensure that it is precise and concise.
Your message must give your prospect a clear reason why they should return your call.
7. Talking too fast
It is frustrating for someone to listen to a voice mail message several times in order to capture the caller’s telephone number. Remember, people don’t process information and record it as quickly as you can say it.
My personal tips to add to this article is to *67 before you dial (if you’re in North America) so it can block your id and allow you to multiple call a lead without looking like a stalker. Also, never to leave a voicemail unless you’ve failed to connect on multiple times. Lastly, do the Call-Mail-Call routine where they hear your voicemail, get an email related to the voicemail and then you call back to follow up on the messages.
Happy cold calling!
- It’s Only Cold-Calling If You Think It’s Cold-Calling (thecustomercollective.com)
- How to Improve Your Cold Calling Techniques (customerthink.com)
- Cold calling percentages (prankingtelemarketers87ways.wordpress.com)