Cold calling, yes this might be a bit of a taboo topic amongst a new generation of sales professionals, and often falls to the wayside in the busy working lives of salesmen and women worldwide. That said, effective prospecting over the phone still has incredible value… ask anyone at EngageTech and many of our partners and competitors.
In our experience many companies find it tough to coach and maintain inside sales teams – and that’s why the leading vendors, distributors and partners in the technology sector seek our help with appointment setting, lead generation services or sales training. Everyone is looking to build more pipeline and increase new business acquisition, so as a taster we have put together some tips.
Pick up the phone-
It is easy to put calling off, dive in at the deep end and start every day by prospecting. Cold calling, when done effectively, remains one of the most successful ways of connecting with a prospect. It provides an opportunity to build rapport, ask important questions to position a sale and impart relevant information. Just remember to keep it slow, have a bespoke pitch and open the conversation whenever possible. You will be surprised at just how much information you can get out of a cold call, allowing you to give a more impactful presentation or pitch in any follow up correspondence.
Keep it Human-
It is key to keep all communication as human as possible. Do your research on the prospect, break the ice and make your call stand out. Body language and smiling helps, spend some money on a mirror to put on your desk; if you look positive that will translate over the phone.
First impressions count, whether it be email, social media or over the phone, a friendly opening followed by an ‘Impact Statement’ is integral. Next up talk about the amazing work you are doing with your existing clients, telling a story goes a long way. Keep it short and demonstrate value quickly.
Simple and concise is the most effective approach (see Stephan Schiffman’s Cold Calling Techniques a recommended read for anyone in sales). “The reason I was getting in touch was to book a meeting, how are you fixed up later this week?”
Benefits not features-
Sales 101, when discussing your product, solution or service talk about benefits ahead of the features. How can you benefit the prospect’s business? Will you; help drive down costs, free up time for the workforce, or solve a well-known industry problem?
Be consistent with your time and make sure you have set aside a period to solely focus on this. Our suggestion is from the moment you arrive in the office until mid-morning, but if you are dedicated to this you will see results no matter what time you set aside. If you try to fit prospecting in around other commitments, it is easier to find reasons not to pick up the phone.