Cold calling techniques which really work are hard to come by. That is why, to be successful when conducting a cold call, the use of various approaches should be considered.
The pros and cons of cold calling
Cold calling is no longer limited to a telephone sale (or sales call) and can also encompass a door to door sales technique. When effective, cold calling can allow you to be entrepreneurial and creative in accessing new business opportunities. However, when ineffective, you, as the cold caller, can become the human equivalent of junk mail.
Cold calling tips
The number of cold calling tips available for both outside and telephone sales are endless, but there are some key points to consider for both approaches:
1. Be prepared a) Remember that cold calling is at its most successful when done on a large scale. As a result, you will probably need multiple employees engaging in this practice, or if you're alone, expect to conduct 100 hours of calls. b) Sales scripts are very important as they provide structure and guidance for either you or your employees when conducting a door to door or telephone call. These scripts also provide a unified image of your company or product - they illustrate a prepared and respectful front that will impress your customers more than an unprepared, confused sales person. c) Consider investing in some training. Contrary to popular belief, the most effective way of selling, is to not sell. Acting as an adviser, objective and informative allows for the customer to be involved in the sales process and increases the chance they will begin to view your product as something they may need. Even if this approach does not result in a sale immediately, it allows you to place follow up calls and build a relationship with your customer, which ultimately may result in more, longer term, sales. Be realistic in this process, if you are not the type of person that can engage in soft sales, consider employing someone else. Make sure that all employees get some training towards this approach. d) Consider who you are calling. Going through the phone book or walking down a street won't necessarily hit your target market. Investing in some customer lists from a data management company may save you time and money long term.
2. Be Ethical a) The product must be fit for the purpose and meet all legal requirements. Sales tips and techniques aside, this is of high importance when presenting your service or product. b) Be careful not to mis-sell. Telling the odd white lie may increase your sales initially, but this will cause you endless problems both legally and in terms of reputation.