5 Things I’ve Learned from Cold Calling in the Age of the Buyer
By Amelia Burleson, Marketing Coordinator at PipelineDeals
Watch out sales teams, there’s a rumor floating around your world that cold calling is dead. That statement simply isn’t true. Cold calling is a methodical advantage some companies aren’t using anymore, just out of the fear that it’s no longer useful. The key to cold calling is to know how to do it, but beyond that-how to do it right.
When I first started my career in a professional environment, it wasn’t in sales- it was in collections. Every call I made was a cold call essentially-a cold call full of begging for payment extensions and objection after objection.
When I got into SaaS, things changed. The way to approach a call was different. The people I was talking to was different. Everything seemed different. That’s where a little bit of trial and error came in.
I had to learn new methods and approaches to succeed in this new role of mine. I definitely wasn’t in collections anymore. Instead of badgering for money, suddenly I was providing value to people’s daily life.
After months of perfecting my skills, I had finally mastered cold calling in my new environment. People were receptive, and they wanted to talk to me. What did I learn? Here’s an invitation to learn the lessons I’ve discovered about cold calling.
1. A Strategy is Essential to Success
If you are in sales, you must create a strategy for your cold calls. Don’t just sit at a phone and call numbers down a list. You won’t be successful by doing that. You will fail, and you will be among the reason why sales people believe cold calling is dead.
Instead, create a cadence. Make sure you have your follow-ups set. Use your lead management tool, such as a CRM, to set up your follow up tasks and complete them.
A strategic method to touching these prospects is so essential. Also know what your objective is. Are you trying to set a demo? Are you trying to pass along information? What is the goal of the call? Do not dial a number without clearly establishing to yourself, and the caller, what the goal of the call is and how/when you will follow up if you happen to just get a voicemail.
2. There’s an Endless Amount of Resources
We live in an age that has thousands upon thousands of resources to use for you to get to know your buyer. Before you even dial those digits, understand who you are calling.
Use LinkedIn or other social platforms to get insight into their life. Find their company’s website and read the background. Subscription databases such as ZoomInfo will give even more of a granular perspective into the prospect’s world.
Take all of the information you can find about that person, and apply it to your cold calls. You will be able to connect with the person once they get on the phone by knowing this background information. This will essentially make your cold call feel undeniably warmer.
3. Knowing What You Are Providing is Key
The biggest mistake I have made is not knowing how I am providing value to the person I am calling. At PipelineDeals, we are a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. If I go into a conversation with just a base level of information to provide to the prospect, that prospect is not going to be receptive to what I have to say.
What value does your product provide to the customer? Remember that you are not selling your product, you are selling the outcome that your product is going to provide to your prospect.
Create a pain point for the person you are talking on the phone with, so they don’t hear “blah blah blah” during your sales pitch. Instead when you create this need the customer has, you will be able to pitch the outcome that your product provides. This will give your customer the end result of a need for your product.
4. Overcoming Objections
Every single time you pick up the phone to start a cold call, you are facing the risk of being required to overcome an objection. People are not always going to want what you are selling. The goal of us in sales who are making these dials and teaching these prospects, is to overcome that objection and essentially get them interested.
Listen to what the prospect is saying. Don’t do all of the talking or you will miss out on getting your foot in the door. Use what they are saying and apply it to what you are selling. You never want your call to be overly-pitchy.
Make it a conversation so that you don’t end up with the “I’m not interested” shut-down, or even worse just a –click-. Be clever in your responses to keep your prospect engaged.
5. “Smile and Dial”
I have been there. I have been on a call where I really just was not jiving with the prospect. Everything I had to offer wasn’t good, but I still had to maintain a positive attitude. It’s important to approach your cold calls with a positive attitude.
It is so true that people can hear a smile through the phone. If you can master having that positive vibe and passing it to your prospect, it won’t matter if the prospect is some random person from who knows where. All that will matter is that positive conversation.
Remember that you will hear “no”. Keep calling. Don’t lose that positive mindset just because Jack from Kansas was rude to you on your cold call. It’s his loss anyways. The value that you can provide your prospect is unmeasurable, and don’t ever let the outcome of a call make you feel differently. You are a superstar, and you are totally going to crush cold calling.