The Thawing of the Cold Call
Cold Calling. Not many people jump at the thought of picking up a phone, dialing a number and yes, having to speak to the voice on the other line. What people forget is that when done correctly, with just the right amount of finesse, cold calling can actually one of your greatest tools in your marketing tool belt. As with most things in life, business doesn’t just fall into your lap, you have to go out and search for it, you have to earn it. And one effective way to earn it is to pick up that telephone and dial. So here are some tips to help you warm up that cold call and make it one that’s effective rather than tedious.
Focus on the right goal when calling.
What are you trying to do with this call? Make a sale? Wrong. Well, kind of. Yes, you want to make a sale, but you don’t want to do it over the phone. The goal of the phone call is to win a meeting with the prospective client. Making a sale in person is much more effective than trying to pitch your product or service over the phone. If you aim for the goal of setting up a meeting, the person on the other end of the line will be less likely to treat you as another pesky telemarketer and rather, a respectable business contact.
Don’t write a script.
Unless you are a thespian actor, a script is going to sound like…a script. Instead, formulate an outline of speaking points and topics you want to cover. Have an opening line, a few brief points to bring up, and an idea of how you want to exit the conversation (see next tip about meetings). This outline allows you to put your own personality into the conversation, because that’s what it should be, a conversation, not just a robotic voice rattling off facts.
Have a specific date and time in mind.
When requesting a meeting “Wednesday at 11am” shows much more confidence than “Could I possibly meet with you sometime next week?” It also shows the prospect that you really do want to commit to this relationship and gives them a more structured request so they are less likely to blow you off.
It’s just a phone call. If you sound tense though, you better believe those phone lines will pick up on it. So stop thinking of it as asking your “crush” to the prom way back in high school. If you get a no, you didn’t lose anything and your friends won’t mock you for taking your cousin. Remember, the goal of a cold call, is to get a meeting, the goal of the meeting is to try and get business. It’s better to have tried and lost 10 minutes than to not have tried at all because it does work frequently. So relax, there’s no other way to put it.
Now that the ice has been thawed around that telephone, go pick it up and start calling!