Cold calling - how to do it right?

Starting the search for companies - target customers - is the moment when the actual sales process begins, without any contact with companies yet. Searching for customers - prospecting is the process of preparing the base for the so-called "cold calling". "Cold calling" is a technique of acquiring customers without their prior marketing preparation.

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Cold calling starts with prospecting

Of course - there is not one without the other. Below we describe some techniques and tips to help you with prospecting before you get down to cold calling itself.

Start by defining your goals

Prospecting can mean that you're looking for customers in completely new places, or that you're expanding avenues already explored. Whatever strategy you choose, make sure your goals are clear and achievable.

Focus on the right companies

When looking for new clients and business partners, focus on those companies that you can actually help through your services and products - and let that be your target scope. If you think a company is outside that scope, keep looking. Aspects to consider include the size of the company, annual revenue and profits earned, products, and whether your products/services can help the potential customers you are targeting.

Before you start cold calling, make a list

Before you start exploring the market for prospective clients, make sure you keep a list and record the details of every company you intend to contact and work with in the long run. Make notes that will help you during your interviews. Once you have created your list, classify your prospective clients into categories. On your list of prospective clients, mark those you want to start with right away to those you can contact down the road. How you categorize is up to you, of course - for example, you can organize your lists based on location, industry, or the type of product you can offer. A target list will help you lay a solid foundation for sales.

Keep searching for customers

Set aside at least 8 full hours each week for prospecting. Effective and continuous prospecting will not only help you build a solid base of target companies, but it will also keep your results high.

Cold calling - overcoming fears and making successful contacts

The next step in the process is, of course, to start the sales cycle itself. This is done through cold calling, i.e. calling without preparing the potential customer in advance to selected target companies with an offer of a product or service. This is a difficult and labour-intensive process and does not bring spectacular results right away, but it lays the foundation for effective sales and expanding the customer portfolio.

The script is the basis

Before you start calling, think about how you want to present yourself and your company. Plan it out - create a short script for the call that will help you make contact quickly and get valuable information about the company you're calling. Obtaining this information should enable you to determine if your company can meet the needs of the potential customer.

Cold calling without a purpose is pointless

What is the purpose of your cold call? Do you want to set up a meeting with a potential customer? To talk about how your product meets the customer's needs? Do you simply want to introduce yourself to a key person who may decide to establish a relationship? Before you start the conversation, set your goal and stick to it.

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Pick up the phone and make the call!

Always make sure you're talking to someone who has the authority to make a decision on whether or not to purchase your product or service. If you talk to anyone else - your efforts will probably be wasted. Always behave with respect - remember that in cold calling it is you who is the petitioner. Put yourself in the caller's shoes - remember that you are interrupting someone's activity, so always be specific about the purpose of the conversation. Ask for a moment to ask a few questions about the business of the company you are calling and show that the customer can benefit from talking to you. If you realize you can't offer anything, don't waste your caller's time and your own.

Your KPIs

Set yourself goals as well. Goals should include, for example: the number of people per day contacted by a particular method, the number of closed transactions per month, the value of products/services sold. KPIs should be consistent with your business model. Remember also that cold calling has to be systematic - without systematic calling you will not achieve your goals.

Use new technologies

Remember about contact center functionalities that will help in cold calling. Random number presentation and so called local presence will surely help you. Thanks to that, you will not alienate a potential client by calling him from a number that will immediately be qualified as a telemarketing one and blocked.

Remember also about the functions of the so called no-contact service, such as AMD (Answer Machine Detection), which will save time by detecting in advance that the consultant has reached the voicemail and there is no chance for contact. This feature combined with auto dialing ensures that cold calling will be done efficiently.

It is also worth planning the strategy of contacting again after calling the base. New technologies can also help in this, so it is worth knowing what we have at our disposal and using the possibilities we have in a well-thought-out way.

Cold calling is the beginning of the sales cycle. And as we know, the beginnings are almost always difficult. Fortunately, cold calling, when mastered to perfection, not only provides the knowledge of how to talk to even the most difficult and hostile potential customer, but most of all it gives results. You just have to call.

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