Cold calling can be an effective tool that helps you to grow your business. Even so, most people dread cold calling and either delay making calls or simply let their fear show through when on the phone. Even the best of sales people can find it difficult to build a rapport and actually engage callers on the other line. However, if you use these tips you can stop dreading making calls and increase your calling success.
#1 Define Your List
Cold calling should not be a shotgun approach. If it is, there is a good chance that your sales people are going to become frustrated and burn-out quickly. Avoid uploading a large list into a dialing system and letting it run. Instead, take the time to define your list based on who you want to target. This is something that you can easily do with a predictive dialer.
Narrow the List Based on Demographics
Your team will be much more successful, for example, if they know that they are calling on a specific demographic that is going to be interested in your products and services. This should be based on who they are, their past purchasing history or even general demographics. For example, calling those that are over the age of 75 to discuss a Medicaid Supplement plan is going to be far more successful than reaching out to people in their 30s and 40s.
Consider the Areas You Dial
Instead of giving your team a list of people located throughout the country, have specific team members call within a certain state or region of the country. There are several advantages to this that come down to how people communicate, cultural norms, and even the weather. Once an agent gets used to communicating with people in a targeted area, they will be able to create rapports faster and identify commonalities between prospects that will help them to be more successful. If a certain area is not working at any time, having multiple lists from different areas allows you to switch to another area quickly.
#2 Modify Your Script
It makes sense to establish a basic outline for what you want to say or what needs to be accomplished on a call. This is especially important if you have a new group of sales people working for you. However, asking your team to stick with a set script is going to come across as incredibly impersonal. It may even be counterproductive when trying to establish a relationship with prospects. Instead, give your sales team the freedom to direct the conversation where it needs to go based on information they have about the customer. By using a predictive dialer, you can have information pop up on your agent’s screen that is specific to each call. Calling software even allows you to display a different script per campaign. This way, sales agents can make adjustments on the fly that are going to be accurate and helpful for who they are speaking with.
#3 Ask the Right Questions
The goal of your cold calling should be to establish a connection with your prospects so they can become a customer. Rather than trying to sell them something immediately, take the time to ask the right questions and get to know them. Have a list of questions available that will provide you with information about the client that you can then use to show them how your product or service can be of value to their life. For example, if you happen to be selling a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to find out whether your prospects are currently insured, how good their coverage is, and if they visit the doctor a lot or are as healthy as a horse. The more you know about them, the better prepared you will be to demonstrate the benefits of your product.
The challenge with asking questions is that many calling agents do not have the resources to document conversations and information about prospects so that it can be used at a later date. Notes on a scratch paper are sure to be tossed in a drawer or thrown away by the time you actually follow-up with a prospect. This makes it incredibly important to use an electronic system that can keep track of dispositions and client notes for you. This way, when you go to make a follow-up call everything is readily available. A predictive dialing system can manage all your data for you and store it for long periods of time.
#4 Be Sure to Follow-Up
It is okay to leave voicemails because this is going to increase your brand exposure. However, make sure that your sales team is good at following up so that the sale is not left incomplete. Calling software allows you to easily document who received a voicemail so that they can be called back in a timely fashion.
With a predictive dialer, you and your sales team can receive reminders to call prospects back. When the call is made, all of the demographic and personal data you have collected about the client can pop up on the screen in order to make the follow-up more personal and successful.
#5 Stay Organized with a Predictive Dialer
If you are cold calling while shuffling through a paper list, trying to keep track of which name you happen to be dialing, and trying to find out where they are located – it is going to come across. You will appear to be disorganized and unprepared if you do not know. It is also very difficult to build a rapport or establish a connection when you are trying to make sure that you have the right person on the line. This can all be avoided and your organization improved a hundred fold by using telephony software. Not only will the dialing program keep track of who you are calling and where, but you will also have easy and immediate access to all of the personal data you need about each prospect. This way, every call can feel like a warm call rather than one that is disjointed. Simultaneously, you’ll be able to see a list of calls that were made in real-time, view the dispositions for each and make decisions regarding how to improve the calling process as you go.
Increase Your Success with These Tips
Cold calling is unlikely to ever be fun but it can be simple with help from software. It is an essential part of sales and growing your business. You can also become far more successful at it by implementing these basic behaviors and suggestions while using a predictive dialer to keep you organized, on track, and informed.