How to make sales prospecting calls work for your business with successful cold call techniques
There are those who claim that the age of social media has rendered cold calling dead; “Not true,” says Smart.com. Countless industries, like insurance, still benefits from savvy cold calling techniques. Cold calling is not dead – it’s merely evolving as a sales technique.
According to Inc., a little research goes a long way when it comes to cold calling. Few things are worse than picking up the phone and hearing someone call you by the wrong name, or mispronounce the name of your business. If your ultimate goal is to sell a product or service to someone, the least you can do is prepare for the call prior to dialing the phone or entering the place of business.
Know the Basics
If you’re not sure how to pronounce a name, get help with it. The first impression you make will determine whether someone is going to continue to talk to you. While it seems like a tedious chore, Entrepreneur.com says that you should find out everything you can about the person or business you are calling on. A simple Google search can give you the basics, but be sure to delve a little deeper. You want to know who you’re selling to and how you might help them, particularly when you are working with something as important as insurance leads.
Make a Strong First Impression
Look and sound your best. It takes only seconds for someone to make a snap judgment about you, so make it hard for them to find fault. Having confidence in the product or service you are selling will help dramatically with this.
Expect the Person to be Busy
Because it is likely that the person you are calling or visiting has other tasks to see to, use the initial contact as an opportunity to make an appointment for a more convenient time. Saying something like, “We’re offering new business insurance in your area and would be happy to sit down at your convenience and tell you more about it,” tells the customer that you respect his schedule.
Set a Time
Unless the prospective customer asks for more information on the spot, the initial call should last long enough for you to politely introduce yourself, tell him what you’re offering, and set up a time for a meeting. You can consider the initial cold call a success if you end with a meeting time scheduled.
See Value in Your Service
Whatever product or service you’re offering, businessballs.com suggests that there is power in believing that it has value. You are likely to be more enthusiastic, more knowledgeable, and ultimately more helpful if you believe in the product. Educate yourself regarding what you’re selling and make a list of the things you honestly appreciate about it.
Be Prepared to Educate
When it comes down to it, successful cold calling is about answering people’s questions rather than “selling” them something. If it helps, have a friend or colleague prepare you by asking potential questions. Once you can answer these easily and with confidence, you should be ready to start cold-calling.
According to CBS News, you should anticipate objections as they are a natural part of selling. Make a list of any objections a person may have to the product or service you are selling and come up with positive responses prior to making your first call. Being prepared is key when it comes to providing answers in a way that makes you look and feel confident.
Guest Post Contributed by David Cowley – David studied business and finance, but left 12 credits shy of a degree to open his own dotcom. Last year he sold it and moved to the West Coast, where he keeps busy blogging, volunteering and teaching at a local community college.
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