How To Cold Call – A Step By Step Guide
Cold calling incorrectly can potentially harm your sales efforts – which is why in this article, we’ll teach your how to cold call correctly to help you with your sales efforts.
In this article we’ll cover what cold calling is, how to structure your cold call, and various other handy tips regarding cold calling to help you ethically persuade your potential client and be more successful.
How To Cold Call – A Step By Step Guide
What Is Cold Calling?
Before you learn how to cold call, it’s important to learn and define what cold calling actually is.
A cold call is when you reach out to an individual you’ve never spoken with before – with the intention of trying to persuade them to take some kind of action.
An action may include:
- Booking a meeting
- Qualifying them for a sale
- Learning about potential decision makers
- Selling them a product or service
To ensure you’re successful with your cold calling efforts, it’s important to do qualified research prior to making your calls; so that you will have a higher chance of reaching people who will benefit from your offer.
Do Cold Call Sales Scripts Work?
When people are generally looking to learn how to cold call, they will often come across content that teaches you that you should be using a sales script.
Just because the advice is plenty – doesn’t make it correct!
When you’re learning how to cold call, we recommend using a structure instead.
As per our article in Entrepreneur; many Sales Professionals and Business Owners rely too heavy on using the exact wording in a sales script, which ends up hurting your sales.
The reason being is that each of your potential clients are different – they have different roles, have different personalities, and use different language when communicating.
If you approach each potential client like they’re all the same, you’ll risk breaking rapport and missing out on potential interest.
Instead, use a structure which will guide you with having consistency, however still giving you flexibility to change your approach depending on who you’re speaking with.
Further reading: Are Sales Scripts Hurting Your Sales?
How To Cold Call – Your Structure
Now that we’ve covered what a cold call is and why you should avoid using exact sales scripts, the next step when learning how to cold call is your structure.
Below is a step by step guide to help you structure your cold call.
How To Cold Call Tip #1 – Research
The first step when learning how to cold call, is to ensure you do your research up front so that you’re reaching people who would benefit from your product or service.
Many Sales Professionals and Business Owners get this part wrong; which results in making calls to people who don’t care for your call, your offer or solution, and a lot of time wasting.
That’s why we recommend finding out who your potential clients are first, and who within that business would be the key decision maker to speak with to get the next desired action.
To learn more about how to identify your key decision makers, read the related article below for more information.
Related article: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
How To Cold Call Tip #2 – Warm Them Up!
The second step we recommend when learning how to cold call, is quite different from a lot of what you’ll read out there.
Although we recommend cold calling because it does work; we also highly recommend warming up your potential clients first to make your cold calling efforts a lot easier.
The reason why cold calling can be quite difficult, is because as per the definition of cold calling – your potential client has no idea who you are.
The first step is trying to persuade someone to take some kind of action, is to build trust.
If they don’t know you, it can be hard to build trust right off the bat.
What we teach at The 5% Institute, is to find your potential clients on LinkedIn or another directory which’ll detail your decision makers, and then send them an email introducing yourself and your purpose for reaching out.
Those who reply, are perfect for calling and establishing the next step in your sales process.
If they don’t reply – that’s OK too. Simply give them a call and let them know that you’re following up on your email.
The chances are even if they didn’t reply, they’ll know who you are, and you would have already built some kind of familiarity with them.
This allows you to warm them up prior to making your call.
To learn how to do this; including the email system and structure we use, check out the link below.
Further reading: Find An Endless Supply Of Leads (Online Program)
Tip #3 – Don’t Pitch Straight Away
Premature Presentation can harm your sales; which is why it’s important when you’re learning how to cold call that you don’t go into your call trying to present too early.
When you introduce yourself, start by saying “This is <insert your name> from <insert your company>”.
Then you need to pause.
The pause is crucial. Many Sales Professionals and Business Owners here start rambling on and try to pitch their products or services here.
Now only does this break rapport; but you’re not yet able to pitch because you haven’t established whether they’re qualified for your product or service.
The pause will allow them to ask how they can help you; in which you can then start your next set of questions.
Related article: Sales Probing Questions – 20 x To Use Daily
Tip #4 – Establish Rapport
Rapport is crucial to learn when you’re mastering how to cold call. As per Business Dictionary’s definition, rapport is the art of building commonality between people.
When you’re establishing rapport, focus on the following list below:
- Display a sense of relaxation and comfort
- Build commonality
- Ask open ended questions
- Establish empathy
- Match and mirror language and tonality
To learn each of these steps in detail, read the article below to learn how.
Further reading: A Guide To Building Sales Relationships / Building Rapport
How To Cold Call Tip #5 – Explain Your Reason For The Call
The next step when learning how to cold call, is to position yourself in a way that establishes who you are, as well as why you’re making the cold call.
Once you’ve introduced yourself, learnt who you’re speaking with and built some rapport, now you need to give them a reason as to why you’re making the call.
Simply say something similar to, “The reason for my call, is because I work with <insert job title> to help them get <insert benefit>. Does that sound like you?”
You don’t have to use that line verbatim; as mentioned, you should be more natural when you speak, and not follow scripts to the exact letter. Instead, mix it up depending on whom you’re speaking with.
The important step here is to let them know what you do, and why you’re making the call.
As long as you do those two things – you’re good to continue.
Tip #6 – Sell The Next Step
If you want to be successful in mastering how to cold call, then you need to understand that you shouldn’t be necessarily selling your product or service up front.
For people to make a buying decision – they have to trust you and desire the outcome you offer.
Not to mention – you need to ensure they’re qualified.
Go into your sales call efforts when an intention; this can be getting more information, learning who decision makers are, or setting a phone appointment or in person meeting.
This is important to ensure you spend your time wisely, and to make your cold calls an investment of your time.
Bonus Tip – How To Overcome The Send Me Some Information Objection
If you’re learning how to cold call, you most probably would have experienced in your prospecting efforts the ‘Send Me Some Information’ objections.
Many Sales Professionals and Business Owners making cold calls will make the mistake of saying no problem – sending them information and then getting no response afterwards.
Below is an article which details how to overcome this objection in detail; click the link below to learn how.
Further reading: How To Respond To The Send Me Some Information Objection
In this guide, you’ll learn the fundamentals of how to cold call in a way that helps you do the following:
- Up front research
- Warm them up
- Don’t prematurely present
- Build rapport
- Explain your intent
- Sell the next step
- Overcome the ‘Send me some information’ objection
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