Cold calling is a big part of what we do here at Gungho, and over the years we’ve picked up more than a few tricks and achieve the outcomes our clients are looking for. Of course the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ always carries a lot of truth – the more calls made and the more time put in, the better you will be at it. We’ve created a handy list of ten essential gems for cold calling. These will help you get started and improve your cold calling technique.
1. Know your Prospects.
Really get to know them – as people. Get intimate with their industry, and what it means to have their job and their responsibilities. Truly immerse yourself in their world to understand what will be on their radar, and recognise what their likely challenges will be. The more we feel a sense of connection with our prospects, the more they will share current concerns and issues, and the more curious they will be about what we can do for them.
2. Get Emotional.
Too often tele-marketers have a functional, mechanical approach to cold calling, believing that simply making more calls will automatically translate into getting more appointments. Measuring activity levels is important in this industry (no calls = no appointments!), but what gets the best results is not the amount of calls, but the quality of the content in each call. Getting to grips with what’s important to each prospect, how they like to best engage, how to best build credibility and trust, and what approach works best – these are the things that will bring home the bacon far more effectively than just playing the numbers game!
3. Love Gate-keepers.
Switchboards and PAs can be tricky to the untrained cold caller. In the Gungho office, we love gatekeepers and have a huge respect for them. We see them more as signposters – if you approach them respectfully, they should be hugely helpful and advise you who the best person is to speak with.
At the start of each call, recognise that the person you are talking to has a very busy schedule and that the call may be an intrusion into their day. Don’t presume that they are interested in what you’ve got to say. You need to check with them whether they are the right person to be speaking with, and check too that this proposition is going to be of interest to them before opening up the conversation.
5. Make it real.
If you’ve done a good job with Step 1, then making it real should quickly follow. Build credibility and help open up the conversation with the person you are talking to. Show that you understand what sort of challenges might be on their agenda. Share how your value proposition can go some way to dealing with these challenges. Leave them feeling curious.
6. Be Appreciative.
During any conversation, it’s important to recognise that the person on the other end has chosen to spend time with you on the phone. A simple “thank you for speaking with me” helps you to connect and gain their trust.
7. Treat People Well.
Be respectful to all those you deal with – even if they are not the right person you need to be talking to, they may be able to help you find that right person. The more people feel that they are understood – that you understand their position in the company, their job responsibilities and the likely main issues and concerns they have – the better the experience you will both have on the call.
8. Drill Down.
Once you’ve secured that appointment, don’t be afraid to ask more questions. Ask the prospect what they expect from the meeting, what would be most helpful for them to understand in the meeting, any core areas they’d like to discuss and what would be most valuable to them. This shows you understand their time is precious and that they will want to optimise it during their appointment with you.
9.Love Your Employees.
In the wrong environment, cold calling can be the worst job in the world. Gungho fosters an environment where our employees are mentored and trained to be brilliant as they can be on the phones.
10.Be Proud of What You Do.
To be good at cold calling is a truly unique skill. Not many people can do it well!