Telemarketing, or in fashionable words cold calling, is one of the most important tools of marketing in today’s world. Some says it’s a waste of time, while some says it’s essential in some industries. If you know the rules of cold calling, you could get terrific results.
What exactly is the definition of cold calling?
It is contacting your target audience directly. Instead of them calling or coming to you, you go to them first.
Other marketing techniques aim to get the target audience to contact to the company willingly. That’s why cold calling is tougher than other marketing tools. You are basically disturbing someone, and trying to make them listen to what you are selling, often against their will. I have made countless cold calls and here are the things I have learned. Before you pick up that phone, here are a few things to consider:
Preparation Is Key
Know your target audience. Are they already using the service or the product that you are offering? If that company is not using what you are trying to sell, chances are they will hang up on you. Believe me, you would do the same if you were in their shoes. Where are they located? It is important to call them during the hours you can reach them. Be aware of time differences. What type of industry are they in? You don’t want to call your competition. That wouldn’t look professional. What type of product or service are they offering? You could impress the person by showing them that you have researched their company and products, and that you care about what they do. It is a great starting point of a conversation. Always know what to say. It is good to create a short script for yourself before you make the call. It’s also so important to keep the script short, and not to follow it rigidly.
Don’t Forget to Set Goals
Set a goal before you make the call. What is the purpose of your call? Is it to get an appointment, to get contact information or to get detailed information for your proposal? Make sure you know the answer, and act accordingly.
Know Your Competition
If you have an idea about the prices and the services of your competition, you will also get a brief idea of the clients’ priorities when they tell you who their current vendors are.
Now you are ready to pick up the phone, and dial. So here are some things you must consider during your phone call:
Learn How to Get Pass Gatekeepers
Everyone has different ways to do this, and you have to try and fail at this approach. Depending on your industry, and product/service, what you need to say in order to be transferred to the right person will vary. You have to try and fail a few times, before you find your ticket in.
Make Sure You Are Talking to the Right Person
You wouldn’t get anywhere if you are talking to someone who is not in charge. They will try their best to get rid of you. Ask before you get to the point, if you have the correct person on the phone.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hear “NO”
Your fear and insecurity can be heard on the other side of the phone and when that happens is that they immediately reject you. No does not mean no, you have to present the value that you offer and catch their attention. Write down ways to come back from rejection, and practice it.
Adjust Your Tone of Voice
You have to morph your tone of voice according to the person you are talking to. That way you do not create unnecessary friction right of the bat, and you open up room for conversation.
Be Clear About What You Are Requesting
Always be clear and concise. Summarize what you are offering in a couple of sentences, and simply ask what it is that you need.
Let Them Have a Say
Don’t be overbearing, aggressive or pushy. After you ask a question, let them answer in their own time. If you ask too many questions back to back, chances are the other person will loose interest in speaking with you.
When you get rejected over and over, it doesn’t mean you will get that response every time. Circumstances can change. They may not need your service/product at that moment, or the person you are talking to could be in a bad mood, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up calling them. Your attitude in sales determines your success (or failure).
Once the call is over, your job is of course not done.
After the Cold Call
- Keep track of your results. Keep the techniques that are working for you and dismiss the ones that don’t.
- Continue to follow up with the client, in a timely manner.
- And finally – close the deal!