Modern technology has provided salespeople from various industries with new, innovative tools to target customers and close deals. Artificial intelligence helps reps locate interested buyers, and sophisticated customer relationship management systems allow them to track sales cycles, share pipeline information, and record client information and next-step notes. That said, no matter the product or industry in which they reside, all salespeople still resort to cold calling for their primary source of lead generation. Though it may seem antiquated and old-fashioned, cold calling is the number one, tried and true method for gaining new customers and building a book of business. Whether you are a seasoned representative or just beginning your sales career, read on to learn some helpful tips and tricks to master the craft of cold calling.
Cold calling gets its negative reputation from the plethora of rejections salespeople regularly receive. But the truth is, no salesperson closes 100% of the business deals they source. Therefore, becoming comfortable with rejection is essential is successful selling.
There are several ways to overcome these feelings of denial. One such method is to create a chat room or text chain with your sales team dedicated solely to rejection stories. Hearing others' tales of refusal will make it easier to overcome your own.
Additionally, consider role-playing with your teammates regularly. As you practice negotiation training, enlist your partner to turn down your pitch as brutally as possible. From that point forward, any future rejection will pale in comparison.
Focus on Learning
Having a plan for each cold call is practical; however, they rarely follow the path you hope for or anticipate. That said, make it your focus to learn something new with each dial of the telephone. This practice will help take the pressure off of the sale and assist you in honing your tactics for the future.
Try writing a script, and do not deviate from it. As you deliver it, take note of where you begin to get questions or concerns from potential customers. Then, rewrite the problem areas to avoid future objections. This process will help you sharpen your pitch and smooth out any rough patches.
Salespeople are used to facing a host of challenges when performing cold calls. From gatekeepers to phone trees, it is often troublesome to reach the correct decision-maker. Luckily, several services are available to do the dirty work for you. Employing one of these technologies will leave more time for you to practice your pitch and negotiation skills.
Additionally, modern technology companies exist to provide supplemental marketing assistance such as email, text messaging, and social media campaigns. These tactics coupled with cold calling provide comprehensive advertising to reach even the most difficult of prospects.
Know When To Walk Away
Not every partnership is a good fit. As such, good salespeople know that if they cold call a customer whose needs their product can't address, it is most likely not worth continuing the conversation. Moving forward with a fruitless partnership is only wasting your time and that of your client's. Knowing when to walk away from an unqualified prospect will free up your time for a longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.
Avoid Sounding Robotic
Scripts are an excellent way to stay on track during a cold call. However, if you follow the script too closely, you have the potential to come off as robotic versus natural and genuine. Customers are unlikely to respond well to a rep who they fear does not have their best interest in mind. Therefore, practice making slight adjustments in your script to maintain emotion and sincerity. Ask open-ended questions to elicit detailed responses, and if the prospect strays from the topic at hand, ease naturally back into your script to avoid unnatural dialogue.
Cold calling techniques separate good salespeople from great salespeople. With some careful practice and dedication, you can hone your prospecting skills and be well on your way to closing a record number of deals in no time.