The art of cold calling

Abi Abrahams, Tuesday 9 April 2019
6 min read time
 

 

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Three in four decision makers have scheduled further communication or arranged meetings based on cold communication. Although cold calling has received a questionable name due to its arguably intrusive nature, this strategy undeniably works and continues to yield an impressive result for B2B organizations. To deliver a fully successful B2B sales strategy, you need to master the art of cold calling. Let’s discover what cold calling means, the legalities surrounding this process and some top tips for cold calling success!

 

What is cold calling?

 

In sales, cold calling is the act of making telecommunication with a potential prospect who has never before been contacted by your business. This communication aims to introduce your product and encourage prospects to consider a purchasing decision, entering your sales pipeline. Many refer to cold calling as unsolicited, and whilst this is true in a practical sense (the businesses you contact have not asked to be called), cold calling is not always unwelcome.

 

It is likely the call recipients have never heard of your product or your brand, leading to some prospect organizations feeling these calls are similar to “spam”, awarding them the “unsolicited” tag. However, this technique has been used for decades and far outdates a majority of other marketing channels used today. There are many reasons cold calling has been and is still successful, and plenty of evidence to prove the positive impact cold calling can have on sales success.

 

There is a certain art to cold calling; when carefully and effectively executed you can reach a wide audience and fuel your pipeline with engaged opportunities. But you need to strategize carefully- cold calling isn’t easy!

 

Is cold calling legal?

 

When discussing the nature of cold calling, it’s natural to consider and question the legalities surrounding this process. The short answer to this question is yes, especially in a business to business environment. As with any outreach process, different data regulations depending upon your location will affect the intricacies surrounding cold calling, and the specific actions you must take. However, a majority of countries find cold calling legal until the call recipient explicitly asks for you to stop calling them. The rules are similar to sending cold emails or social media communications.

 

Take time to look into the legal requirements your business must meet when handling cold calling, so you can be sure to take the appropriate measures when required. The important thing to remember is that legalities do not stop you from implementing an effective and lucrative cold calling strategy.

 

Cold calling tips and tricks

 

As we’ve mentioned, cold calling is an art. There are certain ways you can sway the call recipient to act in your favor, ensuring they listen to your proposition and give you a chance to make your case. Use these top five tips and tricks to get started:

 

  • Know your offer: If you make a cold call to simply ask a string of questions, you’re not going to have much luck. It’s true- getting to know the person you’re talking to is important to building rapport, but over 60% of B2B buyers feel the first cold call offers them no value. (And therefore, see no reason to continue the conversation on a further call.)

Before making a cold call, outline your offer. What are you giving the prospect? Why should they listen? How does it benefit their business and help them achieve their goals? It’s essential that you know your offer and consistently bring the call back to ensuring you deliver value. Should your product have a wide array of use cases specific to industry, take a moment before making the call to research the organization. This enables you to select the offer most relevant to the call’s recipient, and continually deliver that all-important value. If you’re struggling to construct a good offer, ask what elements and features of a product would be valuable to you, or your superiors and why. This starting point helps you understand the mind of the decision maker and deliver the offer accordingly.

 

  • Regularly practice objection handling: Objection handling is a key part of B2B sales, and no doubt your team will be familiar with the classic objections such as “we’re already using your competitor” or “we don’t have the budget”.

However, it’s important to remember that with cold calling, the list of possible objections your team could encounter is almost limitless! Instead of practicing specific objections repeatedly, implement a system for understanding and tackling any challenge. Design a process your team can work through when faced with an objection, and regularly test their ability to enact this procedure. This practice keeps your team on their toes and helps you identify areas in which this process can be improved. Your team is undoubtedly likely to receive some strange and surprising objections. Make them understand that they can master these conversations and that an initial objection doesn’t mean they’ve failed the call or lost the lead.

 

  • Be aware of your tone: 93% of the potential success of your cold call is dictated by your tone of voice. This is mainly because on a call, the recipient has no ability to judge your body language. Their entire first impression of you, your brand and their ability to trust both are founded upon the vocal tone you use. This makes it vitally important to be aware of how influential tone can be and prepare appropriately.

Your tone makes your voice individual, for example, two people speaking the same language with the same accent will still sound different, thanks to tone. The great thing is- you can mold your tone to help you make the right impression. Using an authoritative, deeper tone has been proven to positively impact cold calling. The right tone can promote a relationship of trust, establish your brand as experts and better promote your product without sounding typically sales driven. Take time to audit the tone you use when cold calling, adapting where necessary.

 

  • Believe they’ll want your product: One of the best approaches your team can use when looking to achieve cold call success is to enact the “act as if” principle. Initially coined by renowned psychology Richard Wiseman, this principle states that we can manipulate external circumstances by acting as if they are already there. So, if your team already believe the person they are calling wants your product and has a need to purchase it, this is more likely to be the actual outcome. However, for this to work, your team must really believe it. This can be achieved through research and assumptions. For example, if your product perfectly solves common pain points in the construction industry, it’s easy for your team to believe a cold call to a construction organization will be successful- as you can assume they are experiencing those common pain points and require a solution!
    This principle can additionally help improve cold calling by boosting your team’s confidence. If they act as if they are cold calling experts and have the ability to successfully build rapport and generate pipeline opportunities, they are more likely to do so.
  • Start warm calling: Traditionally, cold calling uses data of those who have never been contacted by your organization. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t heard of your organization before or previously engaged with you on their own terms. Modern technology has started to enable warm calling, whereby your team can access data for those who have come across your brand online. This makes it easier to make a strong first impression, prove the expertise of your brand and start a sales conversation.

Lead Forensics, for example, identifies the businesses visiting your website, and provides the email addresses and phone numbers for key decision makers within those organizations. This is powerful warm calling information delivered to you in real time. Your team can instantly know which businesses are in the market for your services and take action with a well-tailored call. Our innovative software has been proven to revolutionize cold calling success- our clients have seen cold calling rates improve from 2%-40%. Find out more- book your free demo today! 

 

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Ultimate sales tools and tactics specific to B2B sales

 

Topics: Lead Forensics, B2B sales, Lead nurturing, Close Sale, Business Growth

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