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Cold Calling Tips and Techniques to Help You Succeed in 2018

Published on June 25, 2018
Sales |

Most salespeople have an innate fear of the unknown that comes with cold calls. While it’s true that selling can be an arduous task at times, you should never despair. A mentality shift is of the essence for one to carve a niche-out of themselves as effective salespeople.

Ideally, cold calls should never be really viewed as cold calls. Instead, they need to be thought of as introductory calls. This rings true because the calls are built around one’s outstanding ability to introduce themselves to clients. With a positive mentality, you can have realistic attitudes about the entire process. Research into the field has shown that phone prospecting usually takes longer to pay off dividends when compared to other types of marketing efforts

1. Smile Away

Understandably, smiling sounds like the most awkward idea ever. This is especially true when one has conceptualized the art of closing a deal as a formal affair. Scientific research on the smiling phenomenon has shown that displaying shiny whites can be of great benefit to individuals.

According to University of Kansas researchers, smiling about twenty seconds before taking and making a call has been noted to reduce stressful situations and lower the heart rate. Since smiling affects how we speak over the phone, listeners on the other side of the call are bound to recognize the joyous tone. The ‘feel good’ factor can have a positive impact on one’s pitch.

2. Made of Steel

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist by trade, has shared that maintaining a superman-esque standing pose can be of great benefit. This fact is true despite that during most cold call sessions, salespeople do not actively engage in conversations where they are physically seen.

A power pose is one where the feet are apart and hands are akimbo. This particular pose is important since it helps increase testosterone levels and decrease cortisol levels. The two hormones are of the essence when it comes to boosting confidence and decreasing stress levels. With the added impetus, one is likely to find it much easier to connect with prospective clients through word of mouth.

3. Spoken Word

Speaking only one or two sentences at a go is an incredible straightforward technique that is often overlooked by many. However, studies now show that this could have a massive impact on the success of pitches.

The research discovered that the brain can only hang onto 20-30 seconds of information at a go. Thus, the tactic is to squeeze in as much information as possible during short conversational spurts.

The emphasis should be on keeping things short and sweet. When prospects inquire about specific bits of information, you can safely make the assumption that they are keenly interested. The opportunity can then be best utilized in setting up a meeting for further discussion on the matter.

4. Appreciating Rejection

To really become an expert when it comes to cold calling, one has to come to terms with the fact that rejection is inevitable. This positive approach can help one reap the full rewards of cold calling.

Recommended Read: The science on Social Selling helping Sales Professionals beat continuous rejection

By focusing on the negative responses, you can position yourself to increase your sales performance. This improvement coming after a hike in sales pipeline velocity.

5. Pictures

Yesware CEO, Matthew Bellows is fond of this particular cold calling technique. He shares that bringing a snapshot into the work environment and taping it to the computer can have a profound effect on the quality of a pitch. Looking at photos can help you achieve an elevated sense of happiness, relieve pain, help you poise yourself and lower susceptibility to anxiety.

6. Taking Advantage of the Middle Ground

As mentioned earlier, rejection is part of the game when it comes to cold calling. As a salesperson, you should always have this in mind since, by the law of averages, you are likely to get more rejections than acceptances. The trick lies in finding those individuals who are somewhere in the middle about the whole pitch. Your success rate can soar once you’re able to find a way to convert the indecisive prospects into solid ayes instead of noes.

Preparation is of the essence when it comes to tidying the waves in your favor. You need to make a list of possible rejections you can get from cold calling. Then, practice how to answer the objections received to neutralize them. As a rule of thumb, the idea is to remain empathetic without bordering on being outright defensive.

7. Data Analysis

As a salesperson, it is pertinent to be conversant with one of the most amazing cold calling techniques out there, knowing the target audience. If you run a business of selling window fittings, it wouldn’t make sense to cold call individuals living in rented apartments because they are not likely to be interested in whatever you have to say. On the other hand, building owners are likely to be receptive to what you have to say.

Before making the call to potential customers, you need to have a list of individuals who match the audience you’re looking for. Once the numbers are in, you need to inquire about the availability of particular individuals. This is quite effective since it eliminates the risk of conversing with other family members and friends who share a common phone with the expected individual.

8. Pause to Effect

It’s natural for you to get the jitters after cramming lots of information about the best cold calling tips to follow. A lot of information can at times leave you speechless or aimlessly blabbering. Once the pitch is ready, you need to remember to time your words by controlling the length and pace of the call.

Recommended Read: Why You Suck at Sales and How to Fix It

This can be incredibly effective because it allows those on the other end of the call to internalize whatever you’re saying. Objectively, you should always try to avoid following a script because natural delivery is always king. When unable to conjure up some magic on the spot, you should add some momentary pauses in between a couple of sentences to allow the information to sink in. By keeping the initial contact short and intriguing, you can have a reason to schedule a follow-up meeting to further entice prospects.

9. Go for the Jugular

The sales field is highly competitive. Most salespersons fail in their cold calling techniques because they shy away from asking for the sale. You must be clear on the goal when picking up the phone to make the calls. For each prospect, there should be ready set targets in mind. Whether it’s setting up appointments, soliciting certain actions or looking for a sale, the intention needs to be obvious and well defined.

Some prospects are likely to not give direct answers because of a varied number of reasons. While every potential client has the right to taking their time on key decisions, that can be detrimental to your numbers.

The aim is to never leave any conversation open-ended. You need to learn to coerce a definitive answer without sounding forceful about it. This technique requires the salesperson to be a keen listener to note particular inflections in the voice of prospects to determine whether they have an interest in the product, or they don’t.

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