In B2B telemarketing, whenever you make a cold call to a prospect, understand that there is always a likelihood that that prospect would turn you down.
But know this: Not all leads decline out of their own accord. Most of the time, it’s by making mistakes in your cold call campaign that’s keeping you from growing your conversions.
In this post from Salesforce Search, financial services consultant Brett Evans has listed the seven mistakes in prospect engagement and respective ways on how to treat them.
#1: No Filtering of Prospects
When at all possible, you don’t want to be cold calling at total random. Time spent refining your list–and familiarizing yourself with the individuals you might call-will rarely be wasted compared to the hours lost making calls at random.
#2: Lack of Preparation
Know who you are cold calling before they pick up the phone. This seems obvious, but too many sales people stumble on names because they’re reading them on the fly-and names are the bare minimum you should strive to know in advance.
#3: Losing Track of Goals
Don’t get lost in the conversation and forget why you’re cold calling-it can be easy to allow a conversation to lose focus and drift. This can be an egregious waste of time even when the call ends in a sale-more likely, your unfocused conversation will end up a complete and total waste.
#4: Being A Pushover
Cold calling puts you in the ‘bad guy’ seat with a lot of potentials, so there’s pressure to be as nice as possible to keep them on the line-but that can backfire, especially in business-to-business calls. You are a professional with something to offer, match your tone to theirs and keep a backbone.
#5: Lack of Flexibility
Being well-prepared makes the difference between good and bad cold calling, but being a slave to your outline (or worse, a script) doesn’t do you any favors. If you learn something useful in a conversation, or see a different route to the end you seek, take it.
#6: Not Pushing for Commitment
Even if a call ends on an up note, you haven’t won yet. Get a commitment of some sort from your prospect, or you’re likely to find yourself in a perpetual limbo where your follow-up calls only annoy an individual who ‘hasn’t gotten around to it yet’.
#7: Getting the Details Wrong
If you put in even the bare minimum of effort, it’s simple to avoid getting names wrong. Cold calling a business? Look them up online. Don’t call and ask for ‘whoever deals with X at your company’, ask for ‘Jim Winners in Accounts Management’. Even if you don’t get an immediate hang-up, you’ve set the level of the conversation to ‘amateur hour.’