Outside Sales: Cold Calling Tips That Work

Outside Sales: Cold Calling Tips That Work
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When you work in sales there is almost always a point at which you have to make cold calls. Whether you are cold calling to get a new client, chasing a lead, getting referrals or following up on a lead or conference card, it’s not something that most sales people are entirely comfortable with. Being able to cold call confidently, professionally and effectively will make you feel more in control and help open new doors in your business.

Come Up With an Opening Speech

If you work in outside sales, cold calling tips begin with your opening speech. You’ve got to come up with one that’s effective. It should include

an opening statement, your name and your company. You need a hook–what is in it for the person you’re calling or what you’re selling? You also need a conclusion, an opening for the person you are on the phone with to ask questions. Make sure you have answers to all the possible questions you think they may ask so you are not caught off guard.

Practice Your Speech

It’s very important to set aside some time and practice your speech. Work on your pace first. You don’t want to speed through it or you may lose your potential client. You will make him think you are in a hurry and don’t care about him, and that is not how you want to start this potential relationship. Make sure that you move through it quickly enough so that you don’t lose their attention, but slowly enough that they don’t get confused.

Be Prepared

Before you begin to make cold calls, have your computer and your notebook ready. You might need to answer a question or write down an appointment. Perhaps your contact will give you another lead. Not having this ready can make you seem unprepared.

Expect Success

It’s very important to project the attitude that you are expecting success. If you are unmotivated or expecting failure, the person you are talking to may notice and turn you down. Don’t pick up the phone expecting rejection and failure; pick up the phone and expect success!

Know Your Target

One of the best outside sales cold calling tips involves knowing the person you are calling. You can’t know them in the technical sense, but almost everyone has a Myspace or Facebook page these days. Before calling, see if you can find them on a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace and find out what you can learn about them.

Be Certain It’s Quiet

Try to be in a place with minimal noise and distractions. Don’t make cold calls while you are watching TV or in a busy or noisy place. The person you are on the phone with will have trouble hearing you, and it gives off an unprofessional vibe. Also, watching TV while you make cold calls can get you distracted and it will be evident. Turn off your cell and Instant messaging, log out of your email, turn off the music and focus!

Be Polite to the Gatekeepers

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When cold calling you want to be polite to whomever answers the phone, whether it’s an assistant, a spouse or a child. Develop strategies to get the gatekeeper on your side and ask them if they could help you out. That can get you the information about who you need to talk to, what you should call them by, and the best time to reach them. Make sure to get the name of the assistant, spouse or child you talk to for future calls. Remember, being rude to the gatekeeper can make sure that the gate stays shut, and you will never get to talk to the person you want to talk to.

Set a Goal

For veterans in outside sales, cold calling tips include setting goals. Your goal can either be how many new customers or referrals you plan to get or how many cold calls you plan to make. You can also set a goal for how long you’ll work. Setting a goal can make you work harder and faster. Make sure that it is an achievable goal and not one that is too high or too low.

Don’t Stop

Keep the phone in your hand and try not to put it down. Putting your phone down just gives you time to get distracted and start doing other things. Keep the phone in your hand and keep the calls rolling. Stopping and putting down the phone could cause you to lose momentum. In order to keep your momentum and avoid stopping you should have the numbers you plan to call in front of you and have a water or other drink handy. Remember to be persistent. You may get turned down but just keep trying; it may take five or six calls, but on that seventh you may get a huge order or a new customer. Cold calling takes time, patience and practice–but you can do it!

Develop a Phone Voice

When making cold calls you need to develop a phone voice. Practice smiling while you speak and show enthusiasm when you talk to your potential customers. Think about how your best cold calls have gone and what you did during them, did you laugh, smile or use a headset; did you sit or stand? Thinking about all these things can help you improve your cold calling technique. Ask someone you trust to listen to you, call them and talk to them like they are a customer and ask them to critique you. Getting helpful tips and hints can help you to improve and have more success with cold calling.

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