Cold Calling Techniques



Whole books have been written on Cold Calling Techniques and this section continues the discussion on How To Make Cold Calls covered in the Cold Calling Tips and Cold Calling Scripts pages. Only experience and persistence will make you an expert and enable you to hone your own cold call technique. Don't give up!

Cold Calling is an attitude more than anything else. Everyone talks to people and everyone sells. The only difference is discipline and a systematic approach to making phone calls day in and day out. The key is to always be professional, courteous and knowledgeable when speaking with people and to practice your pitch at every opportunity.

The following Cold Calling Techniques are as much about attitude as anything else. Bring your own personality into developing your own cold calling technique and always use words that come easy to you. Whether you are humorous or more professional, be yourself and remember to have fun!. The hardest part in How To Cold Call is picking up the phone: after that it just gets easier.


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(1) Make It A Game

One of the most important of all cold calling techniques is to get yourself to a point where you enjoy what you are doing. Unless you do this, cold calling will gradually get harder and harder and you may ultimately stop. On the other hand, by turning it into a game and having fun you can keep your excitement alive and continue to make calls every day with the same amount of enthusiasm. Here's how to do that:

Don't Sell: People don't like being sold to which is one of the reasons it is so hard making cold calls. One of the basic cold calling techniques you should pick up in learning How To Make Cold Calls is simply, Sell without selling. Don't freeze up and become a robot when the customer says, "Hello?" Rather, keep it conversational and be warm and personable.

You can accomplish whatever you need to by having a regular conversation with a customer and without sounding like a salesperson. You should be professional and knowledgeable but without sounding like you are trying to force an outcome or are desperate to sell. Rather, tread lightly and let the momentum carry you forward. If the customer is right, engaging and moving forward is easy.

Making cold calls is not hard, selling is hard. As long as you have a solution that provides real value and as long as you are following a well-defined sales process, the rest is up to the customer. Engage casually and let one thing lead to the next which it usually does by itself with the right customers.

Dig For Gold: No matter how the last few days have been, the next call may be your big customer. It is more about them than you and if the timing is right and the customer is right there is almost nothing you can say wrong. Cold Calling is called prospecting for this reason. Keep in mind that there is nothing to lose but a lot to gain.

Focus On Customers: As long as you have a great solution that is going to impact lives you are actually performing a service by reaching out to people. Your attitude and internal thought process should be, "I am doing this for you more than me." Your selfless sincerity will shine through in your voice.

Experience People: Did you know that you can experience people just like you experience a good book or a movie or walk in the park? It's true. Once you get past the urge to sell, sell, sell and once you leave your judgments behind you will begin to enjoy interacting with people and discovering how each and every one of us is truly unique.

Dial For Conversations: Don't dial for dollars and don't pick up the phone just to make sales. Rather, focus on connecting with people to learn and teach. There are few things as satisfying as a great conversation with a complete stranger as a result of a cold call. You just might end up making someone else's day too.

Take An Interest: Cold calling is an end in itself and not just a means to create sales. Think about the fact that you are reaching out to real people with real problems who provide you with an invaluable opportunity to learn about what customers are actually doing and thinking. Even if you don't make a customer, the interaction itself is rewarding.

Research: As well as the people you speak with, you can learn a lot from the organizations you call on. An important cold calling technique is to do your homework when calling on an organization for the first time. What you will find is that the actual research is interesting and rewarding in and of itself as you learn about different companies and experience the market firsthand

Thrive On Fear: It's exciting leaping off a high diving board into the water below or parachuting out of a plane. In the same way, it's exciting to overcome your fear and continue making cold calls. All the cold calling techniques in the world cannot help unless you can overcoming your hesitation and initial nervousness. Fear means you are alive.

Keep Light: It's easy to get caught up in all the negatives and crucial to let it go and stay focused. Equally important is not getting caught up in cold calling techniques and just pick up the phone and call. Clear your mind, take a breath, smile and dial. Laugh off unexpected ups and downs and take a break to stretch when you need to.

You're On TV: This is one of those cold calling techniques that is hard to explain and that you will not find anywhere else, that is, fantasize and use your imagination. Think that you're on TV and it's just an act or that you are calling your dentist. Pretend you are making prank calls if that puts you in the right mindset. Get yourself out of the mindset of "I'm making cold calls and it's hard!"


(2) Ask Questions

Once you have introduced yourself and have permission to speak you should begin asking questions in order to give the customer the opportunity to speak and engage with them meaningfully. Asking questions is a fundamental sales technique and with regards to develop your cold calling technique you should talk about whatever interests the customer.

While it is important to keep the conversation on track and directed towards a certain goal and outcome, you should genuinely listen to what customers have to say and respond according. You will sense at times that a particular point is important to a customer so take the time to stop to dwell on it by asking a question. It doesn't all have to be business either. If the customer mentions their alma matter or family or favorite team, stop and ask.


(3) Use LAMA

Cold Calling Techniques



Asking questions is a basic rule in how to make cold calls and you can further that by using LAMA. LAMA is a fantastic cold call technique for generating great conversations. LAMA stands for: Listen, Acknowledge, Make A Statement and Ask A Question. LAMA is simple to implement once you get the idea. For example:

Customer: "We've had a really slow year."

You:

[Listen]

[Acknowledge:] "I see."

[Make A Statement] "I guess a lot of companies have been affected by the market."

[Ask A Question:] "How are you planning on recovering going into next year?

LAMA can be used in conjunction with other cold calling techniques to develop interactive discussions in almost any setting. Practice LAMA with your friends and co-workers. In the beginning you will hesitate as you think it through but once you get the hang of it, it will be an invaluable aid to conversations and a gold cold calling technique.


(4) Plan Your Attack

It is vital to prepare before each and every call and planning is a fundamental rule in cold calling techniques in general. Planning means thinking about the customer and thinking about the process. Your sales process should consist of concrete, repeatable steps from introducing a customer to a solution to making a sale.

Where is this customer at and what is this conversation going to be like? What is the ideal outcome I am shooting for? What is the next step in the overall process that I want to guide this conversation towards? Sales is a process and your specific sales process should be well-defined and mapped out. Know where you are and how to proceed at each step of the way.


(5) Overturn Objections

You'll often hear in sales that "objections are good" and that objections mean that a customer is engaged in what you are saying (better an objection than a "not interested"). You can take this a step further by realizing that every negative is a positive and that any objection or obstacle itself can be a reason to buy.

With a little thought you can turn any objection into a compelling reason to buy. Whatever a customer says by way of objection simply reply, "Well, that's exactly why you should consider our solution." If they don't have money, you can save them money. If they are too busy, you can save them time. Whatever they say, you can insist that your solution will better there overall situation.

In the same way you can turn an objection into a reason to buy, you can turn any weakness into a strength. If you feel like you are too small to compete, you offer better service than big companies. If you feel you don't have enough customer references, that's because you offer a market-leading solution and why you can make such a great offer.


(6) Be Polite

There is a saying that, "compassion is the best revenge" which is a useful thing to keep in mind when learning How To Make Cold Calls. Not everyone you speak to will be inclined to give you the time of day. Some people will be downright rude, unfortunately. Don't let it get to you. The easiest way to brush off negativity is to be super-polite.

While one of the fundamental of all cold calling techniques is to be yourself, in actual fact you should be your best self. Learning How To Make Cold Calls is an opportunity to shine and really develop your personality and people skills. Be nice, be sincere and don't let the occasional offhand remark get to you and throw you off. Cold calling will teach you how to connect with people in the best way if you allow it to.


(7) Make A Friend

The most successful of salespeople are the most personable but they didn't all start out that way. Success comes slowly and what you see in the polished, charming approach of the "super salesperson" is merely the result of years of diligent effort coupled with the sincere desire to reach out and connect with people in a meaningful way.

As long as you have the customer's best interests in mind you will find that people will open up to you sooner than you expected. After the initial hesitation, most people like having an intelligent, meaningful conversation with a caring consultant. Use the friendly neighbor approach and seek to connect.

A corollary cold calling technique is to speak with customers like you are speaking with a friend. In fact, think about a good friend of yours and have their picture in mind whenever you feel hesitant in speaking with a customer. You'll hopefully find that you loosen up, relax and just talk without being too conscious of yourself. Try it, it really works.


(8) Be Assumptive

Confidence is key to creating customers and you should practice being assertive and asking for the right person or the next step or whatever else you need when speaking with people. This is not one of those things where you have to change your personality or become another person. That is neither possible nor required in order to successfully learn How To Make Cold Calls.

Being assumptive means, speak like you are already working with the customer or like what you are saying is matter-of-fact and an item of business. Asking for the secretary's boss like you know the fellow as a good friend. Proceed with confidence and people will usually open the doors and be willing to take the next reasonable step with you.


(9) Vary Your Approach




There is no "one size fits all" cold call technique that will let you master How To Make Cold Calls overnight. This is especially true when interacting with various people at various levels within the customer organization. Your tone and style will vary depending on whether you are speaking with a gatekeeper, executive or busy managers.

A carding rule in cold calling techniques is to mirror the other person in tone and style. Some people are fast talkers and other are more laid back. Some are super-professional while others may use slang and even the occasional cuss word. Be yourself, let the other be themselves and just talk. Your cold call technique will improve with time over the course of many conversations.


(10) Set Goals

A classic cold calling technique in setting goals is to break down your sales target into the number of calls you need to make each day. The way to do this is via simple calculations that you will refine over time. If you need to make 30 calls to speak to 10 people to get 2-3 sales leads, how many calls a day must you make to build a healthy pipeline of sales opportunities?

Your goals do not have to be hard numbers, simply whatever works to keep you on the ball. You may simply want to have 5 conversations a day or 10 contacts via phone or e-mail. Whatever the case, be consistent and methodical in making sure your level of effort bears fruit.


(11) Follow Up

A primary failing of many salespeople is that they do not follow up consistently. Ideally, you should touch base with an interested prospected within a week of initial contact. Do what you promise in terms of providing additional information or getting answers to their questions. As well, keep moving forward with the sales process.

Following up faithfully is your chance to build relationships with customers. Take every opportunity to connect the dots with statements like, "I remember you said... so that you can solidify your friendship with each conversation. Demonstrate that you really care about the customer and that you are at their service.


(12) Take It Easy

Don't rush. Don't say everything all at once. Take your time, leave things for future conversations and go with the flow. In mastering cold calling techniques you will come to realize that every customer is at a different stage in the sales process and has a different mindset. Understand their needs and proceed accordingly.

Nothing happens with one phone call and your purpose is simply to solidify your relationship and take the next step. The next step may not be your next step but something the customer needs to do as part of their buying process. Slow and steady is How To Make Cold Calls. Don't jeopardize your relationship by rushing. Just talking is progress.


(13) Keep Talking

Strange things can happen in the "heat of the moment" when you are on the phone with a live customer. You may find yourself stammering uncharacteristically despite your best efforts. Or you may find yourself saying ludicrously long phrases that don't seem to make any sense in your mind. It's a result of subliminal pressure and it happens to the best of us. Relax. Keep talking.

While you may not be so forgiving with yourself your customer will generally be more so. Also, as long as you keep the basic thread of the conversation going, the customer will be able to follow you and make a decision about whether or not they want to engage. Customers will understand when you are nervous and it's okay. Just finish what you are saying, ask another question and move on.


(14) Exit Gracefully

No matter how a cold call goes, there is a certain satisfaction to be had by ending the call on a good note. The last of the cold calling techniques is therefore to end on a good note. Your feelings are transmitted over the phone as well as you words and to end the call respectfully regardless of outcome is the sign of a great cold caller.

It doesn't matter what the customer says to you in terms of their being interested or not or even polite or not. You will feel good about yourself and develop your confidence and cold call technique when you leave a good impression. It's the best way to diffuse any "bad energy" and goes hand in hand with being polite and courteous at all times.


Get help with cold calling techniques for your business!

GO TO:
Cold Calling TipsCold Calling Scripts TemplateFree Sales LeadsBusiness Sales LeadsSales Lead GenerationQualifying Sales LeadsUsing A Sales Lead SheetSales Lead ManagementAn Effective Cold Calling RoutineProspecting TipsSales Process ManagementCold Calling Techniques Consultant




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Cold Calling Blues 
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