Cold calling may be one of the most maligned sales tactics out there. The name says it all. You’re calling someone cold. You don’t know the person on the other end of the line, and you have no idea how the conversation will go — let alone if it will lead to a deal.
And like any hard experience in life, cold calling is a useful teacher.
It teaches sales professionals to establish personal connections from scratch — and to do it fast. It’s also a great way to build a database. Whether you’re starting out or venturing into new markets, consistent, live interaction with prospects is time well spent. Even though it may seem like an outdated technique, cold calling works, not every time but often enough to make it worth your while.
Today, technology has changed the game. With social media, web tracking and other tools, companies can have more information on prospects than ever before. And that makes cold calling a lot warmer to the touch. Here is our advice for making cold calls work for you.
Outreach opens doors
Sales is a lot like baseball. You’re guaranteed to strike out once in a while. But every now and then, you connect. And your odds increase the more you practice.
Nearly 70% of buyers reported taking calls from new providers in the last year, according to the Rain Group. Granted, getting someone on the phone doesn’t always translate to a win, but it’s a step in the right direction. You can learn from a conversation. You can develop a relationship. In other words, a call can lead to something more, like an in-person meeting or a proposal.
Preparation is key
Calling someone cold, with no pre-existing relationship in place, doesn’t absolve you of preparation. If anything, cold calling makes preparation even more important. You have to give your prospects a reason to stay on the line and listen to what you have to say. To do that, you have to add value.
That begins with a thorough understanding of your prospect. Search the company and the individual on social media. Learn about their goals and priorities. Then, tailor your pitch accordingly. When customers feel understood, they’re much more likely to buy.
Make the most of instant feedback
The most dreaded part of cold calling is also its biggest asset. After all, few moments in sales give you the chance to experience immediate and uncensored responses quite like the cold call. And that feedback offers a powerful opportunity to learn.
For instance, if a prospect says they don’t have time to talk to you, take a moment to think about that. Maybe they don’t. But perhaps opening immediately with a value proposition, in lieu of pleasantries, would have struck at the heart of the problem and earned the prospect’s attention. The cold call has now given you an opportunity to test, learn and iterate, making you better as you go.
You don’t have to start cold
The more you understand a prospect’s needs, the more value you can provide. That requires information.
Earlier this year, American City Business Journals released a tool to give sales teams that competitive edge. BizLeads is a cloud-based platform built around a database of information on more than 19 million private companies across the U.S. It empowers sales and marketing teams with complex insights on business owners and companies within specific markets so they can integrate that information into their CRM systems and sales strategies. Users can use a map-driven interface to identify key prospects in their area or different markets. The platform is also updated in real time to provide the most relevant employee contact information and revenue numbers, giving you everything you need to engage in a powerful conversation.
Opportunity doesn’t always come knocking. Sometimes, you have to do the knocking yourself. Cold calling is a great way to boost your sales acumen and — with the right commitment and approach — your bottom line.
Schedule a demo to see the power of BizLeads to find your future clients.