Make no mistake, cold calling can be daunting. But in the digital age where the decision makers you want to reach are maxed out with hundreds, and even thousands, of emails a day, a phone call can cut through the clutter. With a strategy and a methodology, cold calling can still be targeted and effective.
Maybe there is no “perfect” cold call. But there are many commonly-used tactics and strategies for effective cold calls that can achieve the ultimate goal – generating leads and opportunities to set up appointments. Here’s a round-up of seven successful cold calling strategies.
Create a targeted list. Plan ahead and do your research on who you’re calling to develop personal connections and common interests or networks. Determine your target centers of influence so you have identified the right prospects. Look for prospects with the right profile, prospects who have bought in the past or have traits (industry, title, region) that might help you position your product or service.
Have a script, but don’t sound scripted. With a limited amount of time to get to the point and deliver your call to action, be compelling and grab attention. You know your product better than anyone, so show value but don’t sound disingenuous.
Incorporate questions. Open-ended questions give you the chance to engage in conversation, build rapport, gain insight and most importantly listen. Create opportunities to close an appointment.
Anticipate objections. Create a list of commonly used objections, responses and strategies. It’s effective to address objections and say you will address them later in the conversation. Embrace the objections and use them as an opportunity to promote your service. Make sure to listen and provide solutions.
Keep track of the gatekeepers. It’s valuable to make the right contacts, gain scheduling information, and be professional yet courteous with your initial point of contact. It will make your time more efficient and allow you to prioritize your calls.
Timing matters. Experts suggest the best time to reach busy executives is early in the morning and at the end of the day, on each end of daily meetings. Know your clients and keep track of what times of day are effective.
Follow up and stay in touch. Develop a follow-up system that keeps track of your calls and progress. Utilize emails, newsletters or social media to stay top-of-mind with your potential clients.