How to make every sales call you make convert

Cold calling is difficult. As with the name, you get a cold feeling, just thinking about picking up the phone and calling potential clients. It’s not an easy job, sales managers understand that. But, the fact of the matter is, it needs to be done. The chances of closing a cold call are as good as pursuing a hot lead.  Everyone worth their salt in sales will have, at some point of time in their career, cringed at the prospect of calling hundreds of prospects out of the blue, trying to make the sale. It isn’t easy and it sure doesn’t get easier as time goes by. The responses you get are still going to be the same, albeit, you become better at handling rejection.

Why are cold calls so important?

Cold calling is an attempt at testing luck. It does not really come from a scientific research and analysis, at least when it started out. You get a list of phone numbers of people who fall into a certain demographic, maybe they are from a certain area, fall into a certain income bracket, or are simply your competitor’s client. You pick up the phone and dial, armed with the bare minimum of information and expect to sweep them off their feet with your fabulous product or service. It’s as simple as that!

The importance is that you never know, for sure, when a person is actually interested in purchasing from you. There are many times that you may have pursued a prospect for days, maybe months and they may eventually end up purchasing from your competition. You cannot reach each and every prospect via all the types of marketing. It is impossible. So, to augment your marketing, cold calling is the way to go. You may end up calling the right person at the right time, or the exact opposite may happen too.

The chance of netting a new customer is always high. This is why cold calling is important and forms an integral part of the marketing mix at any establishment. It does not require massive budgets and can easily bring in revenue that may be well above the average that other marketing tools may be bringing in. it’s a volumes game. The more number of calls you make, the higher the chances of conversion. It is important to note this point. This is because statistical data suggests that in B2B business, for you to get a prospect; you need to make a minimum of 100 cold calls. That sounds like a large number but then, the average deal size for a B2B firm is above $5000.

How to make a cold call that activates a prospect

Data and prospecting

As with any marketing tool, it is important to look into the research aspect. It is possible to get the data you want, but this data should be valuable to you. Data can be tricky, so investing in ensuring that you get the right type of data allows you to get the right start.

  1. Get data that is derived via setting parameters such as income, geography, products purchased and so on.
  2. Get data that has accurate phone numbers, names, and family background and job titles.
  3. Collect data from your own sources first and then look for third party data.
  4. Ensure that the data collected is compliant to the regional ethics code.

These points allow you to get data that can decrease the time you spend on information gathering, the number one deterrent to a good sales call. People generally do not have the time to give you answers; they really do not need to. You are calling them, so you need to be prepared.

Do not SELL

The biggest turn off can be someone calling you and rattling away about how awesome their product is. That is a huge turn off and this way of engaging your prospect does not work today. It has reached a point where you can be getting barred from making calls and get listed in the Do Not Disturb registry. That is cold call jail. To get to your prospect, for them to get interested in you, you need a solid motivation- that comes in the form of a value proposition.

This value proposition can only be built if you know that they need your product or service. Fact checking and prospecting allows you to know if the prospect is worth proceeding further with.  There is no harm in accepting that not everyone on the planet needs your product. For this, a questionnaire, that is basic, easy to ask and that which gives you close ended answers is important.

Based on these answers, you have to build your value proposition. For e.g., let us take life insurance. You are calling a customer about a new product in the market. After the initial introduction, you have to make the time to ask the simplest of questions, do you have life insurance? If they say no, ask why and then build up on how your product will help. If they say yes, it’s not the end of the call! You can always ask them to get additional cover, adding that your product is cheaper, or you can ask for a reference of who they think does not have life insurance.

Finding ways to get through to your prospect is not easy, but by asking the right questions, half your job is done.

Get their attention- from the moment you say HELLO

This is not as easy as it sounds. Positivity breeds positivity. It is not easy to put away a highly positive person. Greetings aside, you need to connect with your prospect and this connection can only be achieved if you talk to them as a human and not as a robot. If your prospect is hostile, you can always try to calm them down, and if that does not help, you can always hang up. It does not make sense to demean yourself, because we all know, there are people out there who enjoy it!

If it’s the beginning of the week, ask them how the weekend was, if you know they are married, ask about their family. There are many ways to connect with your prospect, it depends also on the amount of information you already know about them too.

Speaking ill of the competition only makes you seem desperate

This is the number one sales call killer. No one likes a person who bad mouths others to look good. It only shows how desperate you are to prove yourself. Competitor comparisons are inevitable and whatever your sales manager says, do not speak badly of them. It will not work out for you. They may goad you to do so, but refrain politely.

The only time you are allowed to compare is when it comes to price points and when your unique value proposition comes into play.  Just state what you have and the competitors does not and leave it at that. Ensure that the prospect understands this, because sometimes, subtlety can backfire.

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Always be in command of the conversation

The prospect may look like they are in control, but you should always be the one calling the shots. Getting information from people is not easy, but once the information starts flowing, you are in control. Use this information wisely. Get to the point of the call as soon as possible, do not deflect. Setting the rhythm is important to getting their attention. Ask them if they are comfortable with what you will be talking about. If they aren’t- move on. If they are busy, get another time, confirmed by them and then call them back then.

Stand up and talk, there is psychology behind it

Standing and talking always affects the conversation. We may not notice this, but psychologists do, as it’s their job. When you stand and talk, your diction is clear, you are alert as you need to be concentrating on the job of standing up too. The physical aspects of standing and talking have a psychological effect on the call. You can move your arms around freely, allowing our speech to be uninterrupted, keeping your head and eyes straight up allows for better blood flow. It raises energy levels automatically.

Getting the right gear, such as a good quality head set and a stable connection are also as important as impressing the customer. Know your product inside out. If you are in a situation where you cannot answer a question; then be wise and own up to it. Say you don’t know the answer and will find out and let them know. Don’t bluff your way out, it never ever works. Know your competitors too.

A sales call can be a multimillion dollar opportunity, if you put in the effort to make it happen. Cold calling is actually one of the strongest weapons in the sales guy’s arsenal and as with any weapon, you need to learn how to use it well.

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