Cold calling has changed a lot over the years. Going door to door is out, and virtual connection is in.
But one thing remains true: Cold calling remains an essential step in the sales process. After all, nearly 70% of buyers accept phone calls from new providers over the course of a year, according to research from The Rain Group.
The trick is, you’ve got to nail your approach. When you’re reaching out cold — whether via email, social media or by phone — you have to start by breaking the ice.
Here are five tips to close more business through cold calling.
1. Go remote where you can
Imagine that you could reach prospects all over the world at breakneck speed, distance didn’t matter, and instead of traveling nonstop, you could use that time to reach out to more prospects. Sounds like a sales professional’s dream, right?
That scenario is playing out today thanks to technology. Interconnected tools and social networking allow you to go everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and the future looks to be even more remote: Almost 75% of professionals now believe remote work will become the norm, according to research cited by Forbes.
Remote and digital interaction has also translated to sales. Today, a solid majority of B2B decision-makers have a preference for remote human interactions and digital self-service, while only 20 percent of buyers are looking forward to returning to in-person sales, according to McKinsey & Company.
This phenomenon opens up the playing field, making it a powerful asset for sales and marketing professionals. Leaning into remote outreach allows sales teams to tap new and existing markets with greater efficiency.
2. Balance quality and quantity
There’s a difference between cold calling and spam. Spam is noise. Cold calling is explorative, informative and selective. There should be some nuance to your outreach — a human element prospects can identify with. It should be a positive experience for prospects. When all those elements come together, cold calling can culminate in a sale, whereas spam almost always gets lost in the mix.
To stay on the right side of cold calling, consider prequalifying your prospects. For instance, search your prospects on Google. Try to make sure you’re reaching a decision-maker and not someone in an unrelated department. While it’s unrealistic to expect an instant conversion, it’s best to reduce the number of leaps a customer has to make. Be a little choosy; it helps customers choose you.
3. Video is your friend
In all likelihood, there has never been a technology adopted as swiftly and universally as video conferencing was in 2020. Millions of Americans received the same crash course on how to use Zoom and other tools and had plenty of practice, between working from home and talking to loved ones. Unless your prospect has been living under a rock, they are most likely up to speed on video.
All the mass adoption had an interesting effect: People are attending more meetings. A recent study from Harvard Business School found that people are attending 13% more meetings, and those meetings are about 20% shorter than they used to be. Both trends bode well for introductory calls.
A video call is far more convenient than an in-person meeting, since there’s no deciding on a location or traveling to it, so integrate video conferencing into your approach. Offer a 15-minute video demo or call, and watch what happens.
4. Nail your timing
When it comes to making cold calls, timing is another key factor.
The best times to make a call are from 11 a.m. to noon and 4 to 5 p.m., according to CallHippo, a virtual phone system provider. These hours tend to catch prospects when they’re looking forward to lunch or closing up shop. Experiment with these time blocks in your sales calls. It’s always more productive to talk to someone when they’re in a good mood.
5. Get warmed up with resources
Cold calling is a long-term strategy that takes practice, but you shouldn’t have to start from scratch. A little prep work can make a big difference when it comes to connecting with a potential customer, and outside resources can help.
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BizLeads is a cloud-based tool that enables subscribers to identify and research prospects. Users can search by different markets and view dossiers on more than 19 million private businesses in the U.S., including information such as revenue figures and contact information. This database is monitored and updated in real time, and users can export reports to upload to the CRM system of their choice. This tool brings sales teams the comprehensive knowledge they need to connect with prospects at a deeper level.
Cold calling is hard work, but with a thoughtful approach, you can keep the conversation going and get yourself one step closer to a sale.
Schedule a demo to see the power of BizLeads and find your future clients.