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8. Remember Why You're Calling
When you're cold calling it's easy to get distracted by rejection or by people who want to talk about things that do not help you reach your goal. Remember, you're calling for a reason. Stay focused on that reason. Write it down and keep it in front of you it that helps. Don't allow yourself to get distracted.
9. Schedule Your Calling
Set aside a block of time when you'll make your calls. This helps get you started and not get side-tracked by other things that come up during day. You might vary time from day to day to see what works best. Also, it's best to not take incoming calls while cold calling (if you can arrange this.)
10. Manage Your Activities and Monitor Your Outcomes
Because cold calling often yields a low percentage return it's easy to lose motivation and feel like you're not getting anywhere. Remember though, we control our actions. We cannot control results of our actions. So, focusing on results too much can be unproductive since you have no direct control over results. Instead, focus on your inputs, your activities. Then observe results of those activities but don't get too tied up with them.
A good way to do this is to simply set an activity goal for each time you cold call. Maybe your goal is 25 outgoing calls a day. Do that for a week or two and see what your results are. If results are what you want, then keep doing that activity at that level. If results are not what you want, then change your activities or your activity level.
11. Warm Up First
If very thought of cold calling sends chills up and down your spine then make your first call to a friend or customer with whom you already have a good relationship. This will relax you and get you used to talking on phone. Then you can transfer good karma from that phone call to your first cold call.
12. Use a Script but Don’t be a Robot
My favorite actors are those who ad lib their roles. (Think of Bill Murray. I can't even imagine him playing a role exactly as script reads.) Sure, they start with a script but they go beyond that. They become character and add their unique personality to role.
When cold calling use a script to guide your words and your delivery. But don't read any script word for word. If you do, you'll sound like a robot, not an intelligent professional.
13. Ask For a Commitment
Finally, most important part of your call: asking for a commitment. One of worst time-wasters for salespeople is when leads tell us they're interested but they really are not. They'll say something like “Yeah I'm interested. Call me back in a few days/weeks/months”. Often we'll spend a lot of time trying to connect with and close these people and we get nowhere.
The problem is people are nice. They don't want to hurt our feelings by saying “no”. It's easy to say you're interested and then ask someone to do work of following up. This puts entire burden on salesperson. And for many people it's easier than saying “no”.
An effective way to prevent this is to get them to commit to something. If they're willing to commit something then it's much more likely they are interested in working with you. You might ask to schedule a meeting. Or maybe you're asking them to commit to a call back at a specific day and time. Some people even ask for a commitment before they send information. (Not a bad idea.)
Your goal is to move person on other end of phone line forward in your sales cycle, or move them to a lower priority in your database (or get rid of them). You want to filter out leads who don't fit and identify those who DO fit. Then you can focus your time better on people who are more likely to do business with you.
A well-managed cold calling system can be a fantastic source of qualified leads for your business. So, if cold calling fits your industry or profession and if your pipeline has some empty space that needs filling, take a look at what an effective cold calling program can do for you.
Kevin is the publisher and president of Coffee News Twin Cities LLC, a national trainer and mentor for Coffee News USA and an online marketing blogger/columnist for AllBusiness.com where he writes "Better Local Marketing." He can be reached at www.CoffeeNewsMetro.com or www.BetterLocalMarketing.com