Although some salespeople are uncomfortable with and do not like to make cold calls, mastering this skill can provide you with a large number of opportunities to connect with prospects interested in buying what you are selling. If you can’t afford to invest in cold call training, start by learning a few basic cold calling tips.
Relax, smile and be positive when cold calling. Your success in making cold calls is influenced by how you approach this task. If you view cold calling as an unpleasant, distasteful task, your mindset will be perceived by the prospects you are contacting. Instead, consider cold calling as a proven method to produce sales because salespeople worldwide have successfully used it. Each time a cold call prospect says no to you, consider the law of averages. The more rejections you receive, the closer you are to a prospect saying yes. Additionally, the prospect may be facing his own stresses and might appreciate speaking to someone who is relaxed and positive.
Since some salespeople naturally avoid cold calling, commit to making calls every day at the same time. Having a scheduled time may help you overcome your reluctance to do it. After a few weeks of regular cold calling and some initial success, you may reduce your cold call reluctance. Motivate yourself to make cold calls by realizing that the more cold calls you make, the closer you are to making a sale.
Do not consider a prospect's objection as a rejection of you. An objection gives you an opportunity to learn why a prospect is not ready to buy so you can respond and convince him why he should buy. Understand that few prospects buy immediately. So you are prepared when met with an objection, write down common objections and several good responses. One common objection is "I can't afford it." Counter this response by explaining to the prospect how buying the product or service is not a cost but an investment; show her how the investment will yield high returns. Another objection is "I'm not interested." Don't take this objection at face value because it is often used by a buyer to avoid a sales pitch. Answer the objection with a statement such as "I can save you 10 percent on your supply cost. Would you mind if I showed you how?"
A gatekeeper is a person who can prevent you from talking with a decision-maker, such as a secretary. Be professional, polite, friendly and persistent with gatekeepers. Continually work to improve your ability to get past gatekeepers to decision-makers. A 10 percent improvement in your ability to get to decision-makers can improve your sales results by 10 percent.
One way to get past a gatekeeper is to call early in the morning or just after business hours. There is a good chance that the gatekeeper's boss comes in early or works late. Another approach is to find someone you can connect with who knows the gatekeeper and can introduce you.
Open your cold call with a statement that will immediately get a prospect’s attention rather than with a standard opening that he probably hears every day. Instead, make the opening about the prospect and not about you. Demonstrate that you have done research and know something about the company you are cold calling. For example, “Mr. Jones, I noticed your company is opening a distribution center in Phoenix and wondered if you would be interested in some new transportation approaches that can reduce your inventorying costs when shipping from your Phoenix warehouse.”