As a professional telemarketer and owner of a telemarketing business the phrase “cold call” is one I often hear, usually in the context of a receptionist/gatekeeper uttering the words “I’m sorry but we don’t accept cold calls”
Now, me being me I tend to answer that with something like “none of my calls are cold, at the very least they’re tepid” which, on the vast majority of occasions gets a little laugh from the receptionist but, the point being that, as far as I’m concerned I do not make cold calls, yes I call up companies and make introductions, yes I’m speaking to people I’ve never spoken to before, yes that person has no knowledge of me or what I’ve got to offer but for me, and I’d like to think for the vast majority of successful telemarketers out there the one thing my calls never are is “cold”
For me a “cold” call is one where the caller displays very little in the way of personality, has no real structure or purpose to their call other than racing through their script, has very little in the way of charisma, uses a soulless monotone voice and has very little consideration for the time, needs or wants of the person that they’re speaking to – that’s as far removed from my calls as if I was using a frozen cod rather than a telephone.
So, to get away from the frozen wasteland of a cold calls, here’s a few tips:
1 – Put some personality into it: As far as I can predict, sales is one of the few jobs that, in the future is likely to be delivered by Robots. As we’ve learned from the movies, in the future they’ll be sending back robots with Austrian accents to terminate people. Those robots can pull triggers, they can stamp on peoples heads, they can even steal leather jackets, sunglasses and motorbikes but the one thing they can’t do is SELL. So, don’t be a robot, put some personality into it. Amongst your friends, you’re warm, you’re engaging, you’re funny, don’t let the phone take this away from you
2 – Get out of the mindset that you’re “pestering” that person: Yes you’re calling that person up when they’ve probably got better things to be doing, yes you’re interrupting their working day, yes you’re calling them up to ask them something that they may not be prepared for but it’s essential that you adopt the mindset that you’re calling to potentially make improvements to their situation. This isn’t a matter of lying to yourself, it’s a matter of truly believing that you have a solution to their problem – your job is to establish firstly that they’re the right person to be talking to, to establish what problems they may have and to present a viable solution to their problems – you’re there to help, not to “pester”
3 – Research the company: know who you’re phoning, know why you’re phoning them, understand what their company does, plan out what issues they may be facing in their industry, anything you can do to arm yourself so you’re not having any stage in the conversation where you’re umming and arring. You don’t need to spend ages on this – just a quick scout around their website to get a feel for things, maybe a quick search on linkedin to establish what role the prospect plays etc. Have a plan and get on with it!
4 – Craft a great introduction: this is essential – I have a defined opening to every campaign I’m working on, it may change slightly as each campaign progresses but, in essence a great introduction should include – Your name, the name of the company you’re calling from, an explanation of what the company does (if the company is not well known) and, most importantly, permission to continue the conversation- eg My name is Dan Smith, I’m calling from AAA cleaning services, we help business around the region reduce the costs of their office cleaning, have you got a moment to talk. Without a good, strong, brief introduction you’re going to have a battle on your hands getting that call anywhere away from freezing. As a secondary note, it’s important to have a defined structure to the rest of the call – you can’t barge straight into a close without first establishing a need, you can’t establish a need until the prospect is comfortable enough to open up to you but it all starts with a great introduction.
5 – Make more calls – this may not be the best advice if you’re just starting out in telemarketing but, like anything, practice makes perfect. The more comfortable you are with calling, the easier it becomes. You’ll start to notice common behavioural responses from prospects, start to notice how certain words and phrases have different impacts, start to become more confident at delivering a brilliant introduction, taking them through a set process of questions and objection handles and cope far better with the inevitable rejection that will always arise when making sales and marketing calls
Hope these help. As ever, feel free to comment and if you feel the information in this blog will be of use to any of your colleagues or associates, please do share it
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078
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