Cold calling


I hate cold callers.

The last thing I want is some random company calling me to try and sell me something I’m not in the market for.

To be honest with you, even if I was, I wouldn’t buy from a cold caller on principle.

Why should I have my working day or, even worse, evening interrupted by someone I don’t want to talk to?

But what if cold calling is your job?

How many times have you had people like me either put the phone down on you, or tell you to go away?

There’s a reason for that.

This is where you’re going wrong

You have a list of numbers in front of you to call.

You’re probably targeted on the number of calls you make, so you plough through them without a thought of who’s on the other end of the phone.

That’s where you’re going wrong.

  1. Homework

The internet is full of all sorts of useful (and not so useful) information. It’s easy to look someone up and find out a bit about them.

So if you call a Manager’s Assistant and your opening gambit is “Hi, I see you’re a Manager’s Assistant, do you know Steve?” my interest is immediately piqued.

I’ll be thinking this guy may actually know my boss and therefore would be more inclined to continue the conversation.

  1. Forget the script

Do you have a script to follow?

That can be a big mistake.

Companies that force their sales team to follow scripts are missing a trick. How can you come across as genuine and interested in the person you’re calling if you have to trawl through generic sales patter?

Rather than using a rigid script, creating something with more flexibility that’s written in a friendly tone. Give your sales team more leeway by offering a guiding outline of what can or can’t be said, but allow some flexibility.

  1. Adopt a friendly tone

Allowing your personality to come through will help no end.

Be chatty and find areas of similarity in your education, likes, dislikes, work history etc. If you can find some common ground it will be much easier to build rapport.

Of course, there is a risk that you could go overboard, so make sure your friendly approach still shows respect.

  1. Add value

Don’t just launch into your sales pitch.

If you want the other person to stay on the line you have to get them thinking, so kick off with the benefits you can bring their company.

  1. A no is a no

If your prospect says no, don’t carry on regardless.

Tell them that you understand they may not be interested right now, but could it be of interest to them in the future? You don’t want to bother them again if you’re way off the mark, but would be happy to call again in a few months if that would be better timing for them.

This shows you’re human and you want to do what’s best for them.

If you treat your prospects as real people, with real lives carrying out real jobs (who, from time to time will be under pressure), you’ll get a lot further than if you treat them as phone number you’ve got to call.