The Art of the Cold Call, Demystified

A demanding exercise, the prospecting phone call (or cold call) still has great potential in business development. Here are some “mantras” to repeat to make this exercise smoother and more profitable!

Put yourself in condition
One of the keys to success is to believe yourself in the virtues of what you are selling. It’s good for confidence and makes persuasion easier. The enthusiasm will be heard in your voice! Before calling, condition your mindset towards victory by visualizing its positive repercussions. And above all, smile while on the phone! In a friendly and playful tone, think about articulating well to be clearly audible. On the practical side, set yourself up in a favourable setting: plan a dedicated time range, put yourself at ease and make sure your line is clear.

Understand and listen to your potential customer
If the person you are calling feels like the nth contact in a long list, your call will put them off. So, before dialling his number, find out! What is his specific activity? Does he have any hot news? Use this information to feed the conversation, rather than launching into a marketing pitch. Is it not a good time? Agree on a time to call him back. Also, ask questions about his reality: you will learn if he matches your target, and his answers will offer openings to offer your services.

Be direct, but without rushing the other party.  Solicitation is a discovery: it sometimes leads to making an appointment, rarely to a sale.

Take care of your hook
You are disturbing someone while they are busy. So you only have a few seconds to hold his attention and prevent him from hanging up! Work on your introduction to stand out from the start. What is your competitive advantage? Do you have any figures that will arouse his curiosity? Can you solve a problem that he is clearly confronted with? Make it short, and even if your speech is well honed, try to maintain your spontaneity for more relaxed discussions.

Be prepared for “No”
A good prospector always has an answer to a refusal. Not to automatically counter the potential customer’s arguments, but to rather offer other options. So as not to be knocked off balance, prepare different call scenarios and do not hesitate to repeat them with your colleagues to test their effectiveness and gain assurance. Here are two tips to make the task easier:

  • answer an objection with an open question;
  • avoid direct questions where the “No” can be an option.

Finally, adapt your scenarios to your experience: convincing is a work of continuous improvement!

And above all, don’t give up
The more calls you have on the counter, the better you will become in the art of telephone sales!

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