5 Tips for Improving Cold Calling Techniques
According to recent research, over 280 billion emails are sent globally every day - with this, already colossal figure, set to increase by almost a fifth (18.5%) by 2022. The battle for attention in email inboxes is constantly growing, and it’s becoming more and more likely that a high number of sales pitches are getting lost in the noise.
To cut through this crowded sea of messages, it can be a better idea to make direct contact by picking up the phone and cold calling potential leads. This once dominant sales method is seen as one of the most challenging techniques to master in the digital age. However, like anything, you simply need to adapt it for today’s market to make your sales approach work. When done right, cold calling can garner red-hot leads and open a lucrative sales channel for your business.
Follow these five tips to utilise the power of the telephone and improve your company’s techniques.
1. Invest time in cold calling training
Specialised cold calling training is the foundation for success. There’s a finite number of people who are born with the skills for selling over the phone, however, many budding professionals can be easily trained up to achieve excellence in this area.
Invest time in sales training courses to unlock this potential and fine-tune the cold calling sales skills of your team. Equip them with knowledge of different verbal techniques and allow them to build up their confidence through role-play. Upon completion of cold calling training, you’ll find your employees are more confident in their capabilities, more eager to pick up the phone and more successful with their sales and lead generation.
2. Introduce mentoring schemes
In addition to external support via cold calling training, use mentoring schemes to make the most of your team’s existing knowledge of cold calling sales. Pair up employees with varying levels of telesales experience and encourage them to allocate half an hour of work time per month where they can talk about their experiences, share tips and ask each other questions.
The knowledge can flow both ways – senior members shouldn’t approach the mentoring scheme as a one-way project. Junior professionals coming in with fresh eyes can often suggest bright ideas and new ways of doing things, which more experienced salespeople might not have previously considered. This will help your team develop, regardless of their seniority.
3. Champion flexibility
Sales scripts have their benefits, but personalisation is the key to success in today’s world. Consumers know what a generic sales pitch sounds like, and it’s becoming less and less effective in all mediums, from social media to telephone sales.
Humanisation and the personal touch are essential when warming up cold calls. Every consumer is different, with a unique personality, and your telephone pitch needs to reflect that. You must be adaptable and intuitive to the needs of the potential lead on the other end of the line. Storytelling might work really well with one consumer, whereas another might be receptive to a more professional tone.
When you’re confident that your sales staff are equipped with the necessary cold calling training, loosen the reins and encourage them to put their own spin on the framework.
4. Reduce the sales push
This is the golden rule of cold calling. Owing to preconceptions around telephone sales - namely impersonal spray-and-pray pitches and pushy sales people - avoid pressurised conversations at all costs. The moment you veer into a sales push or try to close a deal too soon, you’ll likely hear the lonely sounds of the dial tone and lose your lead.
Be willing to invest time to build a rapport with the person on the other end of the phone. How long this will take is unique to the person you’ve called. Show an interest in them as a person, rather than just a potential customer, and you’ll find cold calling can become much more lucrative.
5. Encourage small talk
Linking back to humanisation and personalisation, small talk is often the best way to warm up a cold call and break down that initial barrier. Consumers, whether B2C or B2B, ultimately want to feel like you’re invested in them as a person. The stronger this sentiment, the more likely they’ll invest their money in your business.
Resist the urge to leap straight into your sales talk. It’s a red flag to the person you’ve called and will immediately make them think they’re just another nameless face on your list. Instead, encourage your team to engage in professional small talk. Ask the consumer how their day is going or perhaps what they have planned. It might take longer than typing an email, but if you seize your opportunity to build trust with potential leads verbally over the phone, you’ll sail past your competitors as their pitches sit ignored in an overflowing inbox.
Pareto Law is the expert in profitable sales training, with more than 90% of attendees reporting an uplift in sales after coming to one of our bespoke sessions. Find out more about our telesales training course and see how you could harness the potential of cold calling for your business.