“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet,” said Bobby Unser, who is one of the ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times. His words not only apply to finishing first on a racetrack, but also to sales people who strive for first-place results in cold calling.
So, how do you prepare for success? Start with these cold calling tips.
5 Cold Calling Tips
- Pinpoint Your Customer Profile
You need to ensure you understand clearly your targeted customers’ profile—who they are, the markets they participate in and the issues they are likely to be facing. Why?
- First, it enables you to laser-target the people with whom you’re most likely to be successful and, thus, boost win rates and shorten sales cycles.
- Second, by gaining a full understanding of the challenges they are facing, and how your company can help them, you’ll be able to show empathy and develop a more robust message.
2. Research Each Customer
With company websites and social media, it’s easy to research and discover vital information about a company. For instance:
- How many employees do they have?
- What are the backgrounds of key employees?
- Have any recent changes, such as mergers or acquisitions, affected the organization?
- What is the role of the person you’re calling?
If you know that individual’s role and responsibilities, you can tailor your conversation to points (or specifics) that are relevant to them. For instance, operations managers are concerned about cost reduction while chief security officers tune into messages about risk reduction.
3. Crystallize Your Call Objectives
Don’t get on the phone until you know exactly what you want to accomplish. For instance, what information do you want to gather? What is the ideal outcome of the call?
For example, if you’re trying to set appointments for your salespeople, you need to gather enough information to ensure the customer meets your minimum requirements as a buyer for your product.
Also, consider a minimum objective. In the appointment setting scenario above, you know that you won’t achieve appointments with everyone to whom you speak. However, you can at least test a new value proposition.
4. Polish Your Product Knowledge
Product success stories that relate to the prospect’s situation need to roll off the tip of your tongue. A memory bank of stories enables you to paint a picture of how your prospect can be successful using your product or service by comparing it to a real-life situation. While it’s fairly simple to put together product stories, doing so will set you apart from the majority of cold callers.
5. Build Your Confidence
You have to believe in the value of your offering if you want your prospect to believe as well. So, make sure you have full confidence you’re offering something that can help the person you’re calling.