I hear many Sales Managers and Business Leaders say that cold calling is dead and ineffective. I couldn’t disagree more.
I work with many sales teams that use cold calling to generate leads and much needed revenue. If your sales team is avoiding making cold calls or are not getting the results that you were hoping for, then please continue reading as I have shared some of the ways that could make them more effective.
Below are 7 ways that will help your sales team to make effective cold calls:
1. Make the objective of the call clear
Make sure that your sales team know why you want them to make cold calls. Cold calling is very effective when it is done with a clear objective in mind. For example, getting an appointment for a business development manager to visit the prospect at their premises.
2. Help them overcome the fear of cold calling
Make sure that you don’t have sales people who are actually scared of making cold calls. I sometimes hear salespeople saying that cold calling is dead and pointless. This is often because they fear making those calls in the first place. You need to help them overcome their fear by getting them to focus on how they will feel if a cold call has a successful outcome. Another way to help them is to set them a number of calls that they need to make per hour. It’s all about their mindset!
3. Use a script
Ensure they have an effective script that they can use. Using a script can make a huge difference when it comes to being effective on the phone. Make sure your team are not reading the script verbatim but are instead injecting their own personality into the call.
The amount of time you allocate a salesperson to prepare for a call depends on the outcome you are looking for. They should spend a little bit of time looking at the company website especially the ‘about us’ and ‘products or services’ pages. Ensure they don’t spend to long in preparing a call as this may have a negative impact on the amount of time they have available to actually make cold calls.
5. Teach them to get past gatekeepers
This could be an area that your sales team are really struggling with as they might be seeing them as an enemy rather than an ally. Make sure that your team speak to gatekeepers with a friendly and confident tone. Train your team to ask gatekeepers for their help in identifying and putting them through to the decision maker. Most gatekeepers love to feel important so more often than not they will go out of their way to help, as long as your sales team treat them as an ally and speak to them in a friendly and respectful manner.
6. Don’t take ‘no’ personally
Some members of your sales team may become despondent when they hear the word ‘NO’ from a prospect. Nobody likes to be told no, but we have to keep things in perspective. Remind your team members that when a prospect says no, they aren’t saying no to them as a person (after all, they don’t even know them!); they are saying no to their sales proposition. If you want your team to get good at cold calling, then help them to get good at moving on to the next call when they hear no instead of taking it as a personal rejection. Resilience is key for a cold calling professional.
7. The gain has to be worth the pain
Your sales team are unlikely to go through the pain of making cold calls if they don’t value the gain. Implement incentives to go alongside any financial rewards they already receive. Bowling, indoor rock climbing, and go carting are just some of the team incentives that can make the pain worth it. Cinema or theatre tickets, spa days, or an early finish on a Friday are some ways that can motivate an individual to keep picking up that phone to make cold calls. When I was a sales manager, one of the most successful incentives was a prime parking spot for the week. This was especially powerful as it meant they didn’t have to pay for a local car park that was a 15-minute walk from the office. The winner of this incentive saved both time (30 minutes a day) and money (£30.00 per week).
As I said in the outset, cold calling isn’t dead and ineffective. This is especially true if you work with your sales team to apply the above 7 points. Not only will applying the above help your sales team to hit their cold calling targets, but will also help you and the business to hit your targets.
If you would like me to help your sales team to make effective cold calls then please contact me, Gary Morgan, on 020 8337 5937 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I look forward to hearing from you!