Smart Calling (2010) is all about the art of cold calling, an important business practice that even seasoned salespeople dread. Many of us tend to associate cold calling with call center cubicles, boredom or manipulative strategies – but it doesn’t have to be this way. These blinks explain how you can overcome the challenges of cold calling to create a more pleasant and fulfilling experience for both you and your prospective customer, funder or employer.
Cold calling tends to have a negative reputation: it calls to mind useless offers, robotic conversations or manipulative sales reps. But there’s really no reason for it to be so painful – cold calling is easier than it seems. In fact, you might be making some of the classic cold calling mistakes without even knowing it!
After all, cold calling is about more than just talking on the phone. Let’s go over some common errors people make when conducting cold calls.
First off, be sure to address people by their proper names, avoiding any nicknames. And don’t launch straight into asking the person on the line for something; instead, make them curious about what you have to say by bringing up an interesting idea.
Don’t focus on you at the beginning of the conversation. Rather, tell the other person how you might be able to help them out with something. And be specific! They’ll lose interest if you’re too vague.
A bad call, for example, sounds like this: “Hello Sander, this is George Barkley with Gold Insurance, a provider of health insurance products. I’d like to take 20 minutes to offer you a deal.” This is not a good start. It’s dry, impersonal and boring.
In general, it’s best to avoid cliches like “I’d like to introduce myself and my company.” This sentence is uncreative and it sounds like you’re apologizing for getting your prospect’s attention.
Also, be sure to avoid the word “just;” it makes you sound weaker and less confident about your offer. Don’t state obvious facts either, like “You sure were hard to reach!” That might be true, but it isn’t valuable information for your contact – and the last thing you want to do is waste their time.