By Megan Fallis, Vice President of Marketing
Cold calling is very hard. After getting knocked down with’ no thanks’ or hang-ups, it takes resilience, mental toughness, and grit to power through calls. Rather than lying face down in the ring and losing the prospecting fight altogether, we wanted to share a handful of cold calling tips we’ve found success using in the ring, where we saw a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
Stepping into the ring requires confidence
Confidently delivering your pitch and addressing the prospect’s objections is one of the most important sales skills to master. Sometimes it isn’t all about what you’re saying, instead of how you’re saying it—confidently delivering a message is sometimes enough to move to the next step in the process.
Put in your mouthpiece, make sure your boxing gloves are tight. Build confidence while you’re in the ring with these cold calling tips. DING!
< Que song “Eye of the Tiger”> “Rising up, back on the street ………”
Use a script
One way to help build confidence is by using a script/call guide. The purpose isn’t to memorize the words on the page 100%; it’s about having the right tools to support the call’s goals. Like a telephone, a well-crafted script is necessary to help gain confidence for cold calling.
Practice, practice, practice
Rocky trained hard to win. We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect. This statement is true for anything we do such as playing sports, an instrument, or writing. This statement is also exceedingly true for salespeople. Don’t use prospects as practice; use peers, managers, even your friends.
Consider role-playing with different sections or snippets of the script rather than the entire script, which can be overwhelming. Learning and practicing with bite-size chunks supports the various type of learning styles. The microlearning approach tends to be less overwhelming for most learners.
Out of all the cold calling tips, learning how to overcome objections appropriately is essential to help build confidence. It’s vital to respond naturally to objections the prospect may throw your way rather than clamming up. Remember, don’t lose sight of the goal and purpose of the call. Find the confidence needed for overcoming objections through practice.
Listening & evaluating calls
When a salesperson listens to the calls, they have placed it has a positive impact on building confidence. Taking the time to dissect the good, bad, and ugly with recorded live calls allows honing what needs to be improved to succeed with the cold calling objectives. It’s like Rocky watching the tape of his fights to find his weaknesses and strengthen them.
There are also important benefits in listening to peers’ calls so best practices can be identified and modeled.
Getting past the gatekeeper
It’s not often a salesperson reaches a decision-maker on the first call. Gatekeepers can be tough. They don’t have the decision-making power to buy the product or service, but they ultimately decide whether to put you through to a person who does.
Be friendly, polite, and assertive when asking for a decision-maker. Confidently ask to speak to the point of contact and watch your tone. Be upbeat, positive, and make sure to use please and thank you. Using a friendly tone generally provides an opportunity to confirm with the gatekeeper the person you’re asking for is indeed the decision-maker.
When you’re pushy, rude, and try to evade simple questions like your name or the company you’re calling with, you’ll fail to get past the gatekeeper every single time.
The cold calling tips shared will help build a solid foundation for building confidence to get into the ring and stay there. You’ll take punches, get knocked down, but you certainly won’t be knocked out. It may take the full nine rounds to win, but you’ll get there.
Megan Fallis is Vice President of Marketing for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. You can reach Megan at [email protected] or 516-656-5120.