Cold calling is an important part of many businesses, whether you’re looking for people to invest in your company or soliciting donations to non-profit organizations. Of course, it is important that you are effective when making your calls, which means doing your research, knowing what to say, and understanding how to speak with your prospects.
1. Do Your Research
While branded call is important, it isn’t the only thing you’ll need to do if you want to be effective at cold calling. Research is an important part of your effectiveness, for example. By gathering key information about the people or companies that you’re reaching out to, you can personalize your calls to create a better conversation. To learn more about the prospects that you’re calling, search for them on Google, then read through their company websites, LinkedIn pages, and other social media accounts. Some things to look for include recent news, “about us” pages, mutual connections, professional backgrounds, and the groups or organizations that the prospects support.
2. Create a Script
If you call without having a good understanding of what you want to say, you could find yourself filling space with a lot of “um” phrases, which can make prospects feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about. For this reason, it’s important to create a script before making your phone calls. Your introduction should be 30 seconds or less and include who you are, why you’re calling, what you’re asking for, and how it will benefit the person or company that you’re calling. Don’t be overly pushy and give the person you’re talking to time to consider what you’re saying. By asking them to think about it, you give them peace of mind. Never try to get someone to commit to something right away.
3. Use the Right Technology
When you’re performing tedious tasks repeatedly, the frustration of doing so can come through in your voice when you talk to your prospects. By using technology to do the tedious tasks for you, you keep yourself sounding fresher when you’re on the phone. You can find programs that do the manual dialing for you, wait on hold for you, and even schedule follow-up calls. Other applications will manage emails, SMS, social media follow-ups, and much more. For the best results, look for applications that integrate with other software so that you always have what you need on hand. You also want to make sure you’re using secure applications, such as ones that use code signing software.
4. Have a Strong Opening
You only have about 10 seconds to gain the attention of the person on the other end of the line, which means that your opening sentence needs to be strong and get right to the point. Introduce yourself and get right to the point by talking about something you know about the person or company you’re contacting. Some good openings include “I noticed that you ____” or “You did excellent work on ______.” Opening with a compliment is the best way to keep someone on the line and keep them willing to listen to what you have to say.
5. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Avoid asking questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no,” as you’re more likely to hear a “no” that way. Instead, ask open-ended questions that begin with words or phrases like “who,” “when,” or “how do you feel”. This requires the person you’re talking to to provide a more in-depth answer that you can then counter with more information. It keeps them on the line longer and makes it more likely that they will listen to what you have to say instead of simply saying “no” and hanging up.
By keeping these five tips in mind, you are more likely to be effective when you need to make cold calls. Be assertive, have a strong introduction, and know who you’re calling for the best results.