Even in spite of today’s fast-paced technology, the most powerful tool in a salesperson’s arsenal remains their ability to call someone on the phone and pique their interest in what they have to offer. Because cold calling is such a vital part of a salesperson’s skill set, your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama have a number of tips to help you become better at making sales calls.
The first thing to do—before picking up the phone to call a prospect cold—is your homework. Take a minute or two to visit the prospect’s website. Familiarize yourself with their company, what they do, what role they have at their company. This process can go a long way during the actual phone call itself because it adds a more personalized touch to the call, and shows the prospect that you are genuinely interested in them.
Also work on your introduction. Bland introductions tend to be a one-way ticket to getting hung up on in the first 30 seconds. The impact your greeting leaves on a prospect will determine how long they permit you to engage them. The trick is to strike a balance between formality and casual charm. Your greeting should also contain your name and your company name, as well as a little about your company. Avoid coming off as vague and elusive just to get an appointment.
When you finally speak with someone, don’t skirt around the issue—just cut to the chase. Think of this as a declaration of your reason for calling. One of the more effective ways to state your purpose is to phrase it in the form of a question. Opening with a question sparks the potential for conversation, which is what most prospects would rather have than fielding an overly rehearsed sales call.
Perhaps the biggest area where salespeople drop the ball is in their follow-up. Every phone call requires some kind of follow-up, especially if you left a voicemail. A quick email after leaving a voicemail is one of the best ways to follow up on a phone call, especially if you provide useful information. After that, put some time between your next phone contact. A minimum of 3 days should go by before you reach out to a prospect again. Anything less may leave them feeling pressured or hounded.
Despite the ease and convenience of mass email marketing, the sales game is still all about salespeople’s telephone skills. People want to buy from people they like and trust. That is why it is so important for salespeople to put a sincere effort into their sales calls. So observe and heed the advice listed above. By doing so, you will be well on your way to more successful cold calling.
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