Cold Calling is an art

Business, Business Support | 0

It is important to walk back to 1873, to have a vivid picture of the first cold calling documentation made by John Patterson

However, everyone knows Alexander Graham Bell, the genius behind the invention of telephone. But, from a business perspective, the content requires equal limelight like the medium.   

Reading out loud the scripted sales pitch is just not enough to catch hold of the undivided attention of the prospects.

 It is an art that needs in depth study and attention. This blog will give you ideas on what an effective cold calling is all about. Read on.

What is Cold Calling?

The act of contacting someone randomly in an attempt to sell goods or services can be termed as cold calling.

Way Back in 1873

Perhaps, if John H. Patterson wasn’t born, sales league would have never thought about scripts. The format is followed even today to approach, propose, demonstrate and close sales deals.

So, the importance of making a cold call in a business environment was realized in the 19th century itself.

It is not just the script that makes a cold call successful. Communication skill of the caller, the medium used and the prospect’s interest – all of these matters when it comes to yielding results from calling random prospects.      

Since the beginning, salesmen rely on tips to improve the chances of sales closure. Some of the common ones are:

  • Share the full name of the caller and the company
  • A proper research is to be conducted, way before making the call
  • The opening statement should always state the reason for the call
  • Use a language that the receiver understand
  • Friendly interaction leads to better conversations
  • Listen not to argue, but to understand

However, some people opine that cold calling has become obsolete in the modern times. No, it is not true. Perhaps it is one of the cheapest ways to reach the right listeners and future customers.

Importance of Cold Calling

  • Cold calling has the advantage of 2 way instant response that other means like social media or email platforms don’t have.

As the speaker and the listener are on the same page, the intention behind communication will never be misled.

For instance, how many of us will open a sales email? Chances are less, is it not? But won’t we patiently listen to a sales call, if the product or services interest us?

  • An immediate feedback during cold calling helps salesperson to determine the sales direction.

Marketing efforts are often costly affairs. Why wasting money, time and energy pursuing wrong contacts?

Through cold calling; interest or disinterest of a person can be captured instantaneously.

  • It is one of the most cost effective ways to reach wider sales territories. All one need is a telephone and a callers list prepared in prior.    

If the caller has the right country code, great communication skill and product/service knowledge; one can find right prospect anywhere around the globe.

  • It is the best way to learn the market, its people and scope of selling. Cold calling different people from the same demographics, project their culture and clarity on the scope of selling an idea, product or service in that particular area.

Take this example. Consider your brand is new to a geographical location; say India. Through cold calling you would be able to understand the consumer habits and buyer’s psychology. In fact, even if the sales intentions flop; it is still a market research experience. 

  • An effective cold calling improves the brand image and reputation even if the sales person was not able to convert the prospect.

Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy.

Calling a person and explaining a product or service is anyway better than bombarding a prospect with thousands of sales collaterals and emails.

In an era of planned celebrity endorsements, house to house launch of YouTube channels and unnecessary social media chaos; cold calling can be seen as a genuine effort to increase sales in a genuine way.

The Current Trend

2020, is a great exemplary year for those who dismissed cold calling as an outdated sales practice.

With worldwide closures, lockdown and quarantine; the world slowly entered into a dark phase of recession.

Businesses, especially the small and medium sized organizations, resorted to cold calling to find business during tough times.       

However, it is all a numbers game.

With more number of calls made, chances of getting sales lead are high.

The sad news is that almost 91% of time, cold calling doesn’t work. This is not some random statistics but a well studied Harvard Business Study Report.

Another important blog on sales statistics published by biznology.com says only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment.

So, what the sales force need to research on is to make the most effective calls  that falls in the result yielding cold calling category.

But what are the evidences of a successful cold calling?

Just because a random person shows interest in a product or service over the call, it doesn’t mean he or she would choose to buy it.

Here, businesses should be keen on choosing good performers as the sales people.

Salesmen with empathy, focus, optimism, right ego-drive and ultimate responsibility are truly an asset to any organization.

Intention of cold calling can only be met by a sales person who has the right knowledge about it.

Some of the major intentions of cold calling are:

  • Identifying new business opportunities
  • Finding prospects in old or new demographics
  • Building brand recognition
  • Establishing strong personal relationship with future customers as a part of sales responsibilities
  • Forestalling the competition

And to the aforementioned question; what is the evidence of a successful cold calling?

The answer: TRULY SUCCESSFUL COLD CALLS HAVE LONGER MONOLOGUES

This happens when the caller and the receiver are patiently listening to each other with total interest.

3 Common Cold Calling Mistakes

Being Mechanical: With scripted, by-hearted lines, caller might sound like a robot. Within seconds, the receiver will say, he or she isn’t interested in the product or services.

Some businesses even use an automated recording which actually never works, if the intention behind the call was pure sales.

Asking Mundane Questions: Often sales people ask questions like, “How are you doing today?” “Is now a good time to speak with? Well, it is better to avoid such classic sales person fillers to make a call success.

No Speaker-Listener Balance: The limited time that one got to talk to a prospect can be used wisely, if the salesperson is able to capture the information the listener is seeking.

Instead, the biggest mistake a sales person does is just keep talking about the product information and statistics, leaving no space for the person at the other end to speak.

Monologues will never interest a prospect, even if the salesperson is giving nuggets of valuable information.

In an era of modern technologies and advanced way of connecting with a prospect, a call with a personal touch still makes a huge difference.  

Not everyone can make a good conversationalist, not everyone can be a good sales person; hiring the best team is every organization’s responsibility.

In a firm like Ossisto, one can find sales experts with immense experience and trust in the power of communication. Keep this in mind; you will never get a second chance to make a great first impression.

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