Many small business owners and sales people plow through 100 names per day, but only get two or three promising conversations about of it. That can be incredibly frustrating. But cold-calling does not have to be a source of angst for you. Here are some strategies to ensure that your telemarketing campaign will be a success.
1. Get Prepared
Who are you calling? When are you calling that person? You can answers these questions the day before your make your calls. It is important to contact prospects when they are most likely to buy. That varies from client to client and from industry to industry. Also, be aware of what time zones your prospects are located in.
Another item to consider is, who is your target market? Infofree.com has put out blogs about this before. You can read them here and here. The biggest thing to take away from this is that it will save you time and money if you find prospects like your current clients. Infofree.com’s Customer Cloner® is a great tool for doing just that, and it is free with an Infofree.com subscription.
It is also a good idea to build a script for yourself. Your script should be brief, and introduce who you are, what you do, and what service or product you provide. Put emphasis on how your product or service can solve your prospect’s problem. And have a good voicemail message prepared.
2. Do Your Homework
Researching and qualifying your sales leads does not have to be tedious or time-consuming, and it can make a huge difference in the success of your cold-calling campaign. It will also help you identify the person within the organization who makes decisions about what your product or service offers.
You could spend time looking up prospects on Google or Linkedin. Or you could download Infofree.com’s free mobile app. The company is giving anyone who downloads the app access to unlimited business profiles and credit reports. Having some knowledge about the company and person you are calling will help you be more confident and powerful, even if you do not use the information you gathered.
On that same note, make sure you have a basic understanding of your prospect’s business. Make your call colleague-to-colleague instead of buyer-to-seller.
Finally, try to find a personal connection with your prospect, like a shared alma mater or connection.
3. Ask Question, but then….Listen!
The main mistake sales people make is talking too much. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Instead of trying to sell your product or service right away, ask questions. You may already know many of the answers since you researched and qualified your sales leads ahead of time. Hearing your prospect’s needs and concerns will help you determine how to best frame your product or service.
Between asking questions and your preliminary research, you will also be able to overcome objections. Make your response effective without sounding rehearsed. This will show your prospect what it is you can do to help them.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
As silly as it sounds, practicing in front of the mirror can be very effective. Read your script and see how it sounds. Is it conversational or robotic? You may have to re-write your script after this exercise, but that is ok! This practice will also help you remember to smile. Being upbeat and having a smile on your face will show through the phone. Another helpful tip is to stand while making calls – it will help you feel more confident and animated.
5. Take Notes and Schedule Follow-ups
It is hugely beneficially to invest in a contact manager. CRM101 – the free contact manager available to Infofree.com subscribers – or any contact manager can make your sales efforts more organized and efficient. You can record notes about your prospects, create task lists, and schedule appointments. Not only does tracking your progress keep you organized, it also helps you to feel more accomplished.
Bonus tip: when you are trying to schedule an appointment, ask to set it up for a specific time. Instead of saying “Can you meet sometime next week?” say, “Would Thursday at 10 a.m. work?”
6. Know What to Expect
Eighty percent of new sales are made after the fifth contact. So why do so many small business owners and sales people give up after two tries? It is important to be persistent. You want to stand out, so do not fall in with the majority. Be the minority.
Remember, it is not the number of phone calls you make that matters, it is the number of sales. What tips would you give for a cold-calling campaign?