How to Master the Cold Call
Cold calling is a difficult game.
It requires hard work, and staff are often met with a lot of rejection. Plus, the results of cold calling tend to take a while to appear; it may take dozens of calls before your team is able to connect with a human being and not a voicemail machine. Frequently, they’ll encounter barriers such as receptionists, executive assistants, and other gatekeepers who are blocking your team from making a connection.
You may find yourself wondering, “is all of this effort worth it?” Does cold calling still have a place in 2019?
The research is in and, despite popular belief, cold calling isn’t dead. But to master the art of the cold call, you need to make sure your team is prepared to jump a few hurdles. Today, we’re outlining the biggest issues you might have with cold calling and providing you with a few cold calling tips and tricks to solve them.
Problem: It takes too long to see results.
Solution: Set clear goals and expectations for what should be achieved in cold calls.
The phrase “cold calling” can strike fear into the heart of even the most experienced salesperson. This is why it’s really important that you set reachable goals for your team. When staff initially begin cold calling, set lower expectations and goals that you can gradually raise as they gain experience. This will help minimize cold calling anxiety and better prepare your staff to take on this important role within the sales team.
Finally, make sure your staff understand how cold calling impacts your business, and why it works. They need to understand that while prospecting by phone takes longer to pay off than other marketing and sales efforts, it's a critical component of cultivating new business.
How to set expectations for cold calls:
- Keep staff informed of how cold calls are positively impacting the business.
- Set reasonable goals around the number of cold calls to be made each week.
- Outline what cold call success looks like for your sales team.
Problem: My staff hates making cold calls.
Solution: Change how the organization thinks about cold calling.
The same holds true for your sales team. If you’re constantly hearing staff hang up the phone and exclaim what a jerk the prospect at the other end was, it's time to sit your staff down for a discussion. Cold calling can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions. Good calls are followed by bad calls and vice versa. It's important for your team to know how to find positive alternatives to negative self talk.
Turn: “That prospect was such a jerk.”
Into: “They were probably having a bad day.”
Lastly, make it clear to your staff that the goal of cold calling isn’t to make a sale. The goal is to make an introduction. This needs to be clearly stated when discussing expectations and goals.
How to change the way your team feels about cold calls:
- Start referring to cold calls as “introductory calls” instead.
- Make sure your staff knows why they’re making cold calls.
- Teach staff how to turn around negative self talk.
Problem: Your cold calls are falling flat.
Solution: Take some time to get organized.
Then, you’ll want to make sure you know the difference between cold calling and warm calling, and know which tactic works best for your team. Warm calling may be initiated by sending a prospect a cold email first.
How to get your team organized for cold calling:
- Cultivate a solid list of prospects based on customer personas.
- Block out time on your calendar dedicated to cold calling.
- Provide staff with documentation that outlines industry-specific customer benefits instead of focusing on product features.
Note: If you’re interested in ways to store and share your documents for your sales team, check out our file storage tool, Stash.
Problem: Cold calling irritates customers.
Solution: Write a script for staff, but don’t make them memorize it.
Make sure you’re giving your staff the tools they need to be successful. Script parts of the call, like the introduction. Start your script by asking if now is a good time to talk, and reschedule for a better time, if needed. Make sure prospects know you have no intention of wasting their time.
Next, provide some open ended questions to help your staff initiate natural conversation. Make sure you provide your sales team with questions to build rapport (ie. “What are you plans for the weekend?”) as well as questions to gauge how your product could impact a prospect’s business (ie. “What’s holding you back from reaching your revenue/productivity goals?”).
How to make scripted cold calls sound natural:
- Create a script for cold call introductions.
- Demonstrate respect for your prospect’s time.
- Prepare your staff with open ended questions to initiate natural conversation.
Bonus tip: When members of your staff find new open-ended questions that work, make sure you have a way to capture that information! Consider establishing a cold calling process with Formstack + WebMerge so staff can submit new questions using a form. WebMerge will send everyone on your sales team an updated list of questions when new ones roll in!
We hope these cold calling tips will help you better support your sales team. Once you’ve addressed the problems holding your team back, they’ll be working like a well-oiled, cold calling machine. When your cold calling begins to gain momentum and you start passing prospects through your sales pipeline, you’ll need to start generating electronic documents. From sales pitches to invoices, there’s a lot of paperwork to manage. Don’t worry, WebMerge has you covered!
With dozens of sales integrations and templates, WebMerge is the document generation solution you need to empower your sales team and get work done. See for yourself by starting a free trial today!