Cold calling can be tough. But there are so many ways to improve your outcomes and make it easier on yourself. Here are six of our favorite ideas that we’ve learned from our many years in sales. They’re all easy tips that will help you improve your cold calls and get more appointments.
1. Prepare Your List
- Identify all of the potential buyers. Who will likely be part of the buying process at an ideal target account? The more potential buyers or influencers you can identify at each account, the higher the chances of making a connection.
- Identify the ideal target account for the service/solution you want to sell. This could be characteristics such as industry and market, region, number of employees, revenue, or social media groups.
- Review your current prospect list and update all contact information to make sure it’s accurate.
2. Do some research – check them out on LinkedIn or other social media connections. Do you know them? Does someone in your network know them? Google their name, research their company website, see who their clients are, check any recent press releases or other info that may be helpful.
3. Typically, people who prospect for new business give up after 2-3 attempts. You should plan your prospecting in cycles of 6-8 touches (emails, calls, texts, etc.) over a seven-to ten-day period. You should wait at least 30 days and then start the cycle over.
Here are some interesting facts about prospecting:
- It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
- The best time to cold call is between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Thursday is the best day and Wednesday the second-best day.
- Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter alone but using a combination of both social media and email is 78% more effective than if used separately.
- Salespeople who actively use referrals from current customers earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.
4. Think about the problem your prospect may be experiencing and how your solution can solve this problem. The goal is to get the prospect emotionally involved in your product or service.
- Have a question list prepared. Think of 2-3 things based on your research that is customized for the prospect, so you have multiple discussion points and are showing genuine interest.
- Don’t worry about pricing or all of the details for the opportunity yet; this is a discovery call and all about the client. The proposal comes later.
5. When leads come in, follow up in less than one business day. You are six times more likely to get the business if you respond within one hour of an inbound lead. If you do not seize the opportunity, your competitors will!
6. Don’t get discouraged! Remember there are various possible outcomes to your prospecting efforts. You may schedule a second meeting, get referred to the appropriate decision-maker, or they may tell you they’re not interested. For those who aren’t ready right now, put a reminder on your calendar to check back in at a later date.