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Cold calling – how to make sure it’s done properly

By andrew on May 21, 2012

Cold calling works. If it didn’t companies wouldn’t do it. But it has a bad reputation. And for all the right reasons.

We often think of cold calling as unsolicited sales calls being made to us at home at inconvenient times, by poorly trained people who are scripted and don’t take ‘No’ for an answer. This is cold calling done badly. Do not, ever do it like this.

Golden rules ;

  1. Targeting is key – Always spend time and effort trying to identify and segment a suitable target market. If you’re paying quality people decent salaries to do this, you’ll have to ensure they spend their time wisely in any case. Otherwise you’re wasting your money.
  2. Make sure your team is trained and briefed. Anyone you have making outbound calls for you is by extension representing your company – you and all your colleagues.  Ensure they’re communicating the message you want.
  3. Getting the wording right is an important part of cold calling. You’ve got just a few seconds to create an impact that people will want to listen to. Make sure it is imaginative and shows why you’ve targeted them.
  4. Record all activity. Cold calling is very much the start of the sales pipeline so you need to understand the ratios that apply. How many calls do you need to make to get a decision-maker, and how many decision-makers to get one appointment or sale. And why is Mary converting twice as many as John?
  5. Set primary, secondary and third string objectives. Your primary objective may be the bit you really want, such as a qualified appointment with the decision-maker. But don’t lose sight of the fact that some prospects will want to take their time, and won’t commit on the first call. Getting them to accept an e-mail or an online demo or being put on your catalogue distribution list are all worthwhile objectives. They all add value ultimately and get you closer to the sale.
  6. Set clear quantifiable targets. This will probably include a certain dial rate. If you have a batch of cold calls to clear before moving on to another pot of calls, you don’t want them taking forever do you?
  7. Keep your team motivated. Understand that cold calling is about as tough as telesales or telemarketing gets. You will inevitably encounter lots of rejection. So allow your team to play games as they phone or based on their results. Allow them frequent breaks for break-out, sharing experiences.  A team night for achievement of particular sales goals – cream cakes mid-morning sometimes etc. Make them feel acknowledged and appreciated.

There are a whole host more, but these 7 points are key in ensuring your cold calling activity is structured, effective and keeps your team motivated.

These topics – how to effectively cold call arise frequently on our 2 day telesales and telemarketing courses. To Market trains in Leicester, Northampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby, Lutterworth, Daventry, Lichfield, Solihull, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Milton Keynes, Bedford, St Ives, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, Derby, Nottingham as well as wider parts of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and the East and West Midlands. Contact us on 01858 461148  for more details and if you want to get more out of cold calling for your business to business telesales or telemarketing team.

 


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