The very phrase “cold calling” can send a chill up the spines of some salespeople. Reaching out to people you don’t know, trying to get them to buy something without even being able to read their facial expressions is a challenge, it’s true. But with the right approach, it can actually be a lot of fun and can lead to more conversions than you might expect.
Here are 12 time-tested cold calling tips from worldwide bestselling sales expert Brian Tracy. Keep these tips in mind next time you start cold calling and you will notice a real difference.
1. Write down all the details.
Keep track of every phone number and the time you call, as well as any names and titles you’re able to get, including those of the receptionist or other gatekeeper.
2. Track every call in a database.
Handwritten notes will pile up quickly. Use Excel or a CRM program to manage your call records. The more calls you make, the more grateful for this you will feel.
3. Call back on time.
You’re starting from a position of very little respect; don’t lose even more by failing to follow up when you say you will.
4. Make friends with the receptionist.
In fact, be extra nice to every gatekeeper you talk to. This is the person with all the power and they usually know it.
5. Be clear and to the point.
Honesty goes a long way. Most gatekeepers can tell you’re a salesperson right away. Be up front about what you’re selling and be respectful of the gatekeeper’s time.
6. Stick with the soft pitch.
High pressure is your enemy on a cold call. Present your offer clearly, but don’t push. If they show any interest at all, then push a little bit more.
7. Send an email afterwards.
If you were able to get the gatekeeper’s email, send a follow-up with a soft pitch once you have gotten off the call.
8. Make a follow-up call later.
Follow up with every promising lead. You can start by asking if they received the email you sent. Then get into a few more details about the pitch.
9. Don’t push for loads of calls every day.
You will lower your chances of a conversion if you push yourself too hard. Stop and take breathers, so you always sound friendly and relaxed.
10. Never leave a message.
Nobody will return it anyway. If you don’t get an answer, make a note in your database and try again later in the day or tomorrow morning.
11. Keep your conversion expectations reasonable.
If you’re achieving one conversion per day of cold calling, you’re doing just fine.
12. Be patient.
Many leads won’t convert on the first call but may convert on the second or third conversation, or even weeks later, when their needs change. As long as they’re not getting annoyed with you, you can keep following up.
As long as you have reasonable expectations of yourself and the people you cold call, you may find that your conversions are increasing and you are beginning to build valuable business relationships along the way. For lots more sales tips from Brian Tracy, check out our library of helpful articles on the FocalPoint Business Coaching website.