Does cold calling actually work? The answer is yes, but only if it is done right. Soliciting business from a new contact over the phone is one of the most despised areas of promotion, but it unlikely to be abandoned anytime soon, for a couple of reasons.
It is one of the most cost-effective ways for small businesses with limited advertising budget to bring their products and services to the attention of potential customers. In addition, it can create a positive first impression, if professionally done. The caller can evaluate the response of the potential client immediately and possibly determine the likely outcome of the pitch. There are specific ways of mastering the art of cold calling.
Preparing for the call
A cold caller typically has a very short window of opportunity to make the sales pitch and persuade the call recipient. Therefore, the initial impression can make or mar the outcome of the call. Adequate preparation before the call goes a long way in creating a good first impression.
The sales person must make every effort to learn as much as possible about the call recipient. If the product or service is targeted at a corporate body, a preliminary research helps to identify any issues the company has and who to speak with within the organisation. It will also help identify the needs or problems the product or service will help the organisation resolve.
It is beneficial to create a vetted script of questions and statements before the call. This strategy helps to get quickly to the core of the opportunity so that a potential interest in the product or service can be created very early in the conversation.
Making the call
The caller must avoid coming across as intrusive. It is therefore not out of place to ask the call recipient if it is the right moment to talk. This gives the recipient a psychological feeling of being in control so that the caller can receive a much higher level of cooperation.
Being a good listener is a virtue in the art of cold calling. There is little benefit in reeling out a list of product features before confirming the specific needs of the customer. It is also important to remember that making a sale relies heavily on the ability to showcase not just the features but the benefits of the product or service to the prospective customer. The goal here is to offer something of strong value to the potential customer.
In the end, not everyone will be interested in the proposition, but with the right attitude and the correct approach, cold calling can significantly increase customer prospecting results.