Warming up to Cold Calling
Cold calling, a word many of us dread and have negative connotations towards. However, the truth be told it still remains one of the most important stages of the selling process and as it’s your first interaction with a potential customer, you need to ensure you bring your ‘A’ game. For many SME’s and micro businesses, staff are not pigeonholed to doing one job. They are expected to perform multiple tasks on top of their main job function (we know this all too well at Abbey England) and cold call sales might just fall under that umbrella. Whether you dread the process or feel mildly comfortable with cold calling, we wanted to share Vicki Culverhouse, owner of Straightahead top tips for cold calling on our exchange.
Create a plan and test it thoroughly.
Culverhouse writes ‘One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to gain business leads is failing to create a plan of action – or developing a plan and then not following it through’. Make sure you have more than a list of numbers and a sales pitch and find out what you prospect needs and wants and stick to it.
Never lie about a contact.
When we meet someone for the first time, a mutual contact can be an easy topic of conversation. It’s a common ground both parties recognise. Although Culverhouse speaks of how name dropping can warm up a cold contact, she strongly emphasises never to exaggerate the relation you have with them or the conversation which lead to prospect. You will undoubtedly be caught out and this will ruin the relationship.
Treat every conversion with equal importance.
Speaking to the key decision maker is crucial when it comes down to the sale. However, treating all levels of staff with the same respect is critical when reaching the correct decision maker.
Always keep a level head.
Customer service is key and should be embedded to every call you make. You never know when you will catch someone on a bad day, so if you pick up a sign of frustration in their tone of voice and or body language, then keeping your cool is essential. You don’t want to earn a reputation in the industry you are trying to sell to.
Measure, monitor and record your outcomes.
Cold calling is only effective if you record what you have done, what’s worked well and what hasn’t and adapt accordingly.
We hope this article gives you some helpful tips and techniques for your next cold call – whether it be by telephone, walking onto a stable yard or by engaging with potential customers though online channels.