Sales people often turn cold when they are asked to make cold calls to the prospects. But like George Addair once said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
Cold calls are an excellent way to get leads and convert them into loyal customers. But the entire process of getting the prospect to meet you requires perseverance and effective practices.
So, if you have made up your mind to make cold calls, here are 3 ways to convert a cold sales call into a meeting:
1. Focus and Research
Cold calls are as important to any business as any other marketing practice. However, only a few excel at this task as it requires significant focus and warming up. If you plan on targeting all your customers through cold calls, chances are you may fail at this task at once.
The first and foremost step is to narrow down your list and focus only on a selected few. A spray fire approach when making a cold call doesn’t turn fruitful since your time and energy goes onto people who might not even be interested in the field of your business.
Instead, channelize your energy by making cold calls to those people who fit in your ideal customer persona. Your ideal customer persona includes all those customers who are willing an initiation from your end and are interested to know your offerings in terms of your product and services.
Making calls to customers, who might be actually interested in your business and what to have to offer, significantly increases the chances of your call being picked up.
Research suggests that totally random call is barely picked up and even if it is, there are very few instances where the customer is interested in the company’s product. This is the reason it’s best suggested to do a good market research before you start making your first cold call. To be a successful salesperson, narrow your focus so that cold calls start making sense.
Doing your homework and then focussing on whom to call is one of the decisive factors behind the success and failure of cold calls.
So, once you make up your mind to call your specific list of befitting customers, it is time that you prepare yourself for what might the customer ask. Preparation, this is the second way to convert a cold sales call into a meeting
2. Prepare Adequately
Market research indicates that in 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. So, what do you think went wrong?
One of the probable answers is that with growing time and changing market practices, more and more companies have tried to reach their potential prospect for businesses and investment. This growing proximity to market and several experiences have also made the customer aware and vigilant about their surroundings.
They have more questions and want to know how companies can provide the best solutions for their needs. For a smart salesperson to excel in the practice of cold calls it is essential to prepare well and be ready to present a qualified response to the customer’s questions.
It is also suggested to warm your leads a little by sending them free pieces of information, or introductory emails before making a call. This is basically done to bring your brand to their notice and develop a sense of familiarity with the customer. It is also a good way to build rapport and credibility in the eyes of customer.
The next step is to market your proposition according to the customer. Your approach towards the conversation with the customer over call can be the difference between a closed deal and letting the customer slipway from your hands.
So, it is better not to make any kind of assumptions regarding the customer and instead ask as many questions to know about them. Try to figure out about the customer’s need based on how they respond to your questions.
Remember the basic mannerisms of a call. Always ask for permission to talk and be gentle. Begin the conversation by introducing yourself and asking if it is a good time to talk. For example, you can say, “Hi, my name is Adam and I am from XYZ organization. Is it a good time to speak to you?”
So, when the customer says ‘Yes’ they are giving you the golden opportunity to represent your business and understand their needs. This kind of speaking approach also makes the customer receptive to what you have to say.
Image source: Yesware
3. Provide Solutions
One of the most significant ways to convert a cold call into a sales meeting is not actually pitch sales over the call. It might sound a bit strange since every business wants to make the best of their sales from customers.
In order to accomplish this, it is best not to start selling your products in a straightforward way and instead focus on imparting value to the customer. Prospects don’t have time for long ended conversations especially when it comes to calls.
The point is that they can find out most of the things about your business by spending 30 seconds browsing your website. So, you have to make every second of your call count and not spend it saying anything that does not concern the customer.
Try to provide practical information surrounding your business and use facts and statistics for a better impression. Tell them that you understand their situation and present appropriate data according to it. Prospects might not speak their heart out when conversing for the first time with you.
So, understand their expectations from your business and what might be the practical and reasonable solution for their problem. Pitching sales on a cold call will seldom land you in a meeting with the customer, but focussing on a particular solution definitely will.
Image source: Visual.ly
There is no denying fact that the hardest part of sales is making a cold call. Consider it an old-school cliché that tries to establish an analogy between a sales and car door by saying-“the hardest door for a salesman is to open a car door.”
So, well prepared cold calls can be converted into successful meeting with the customer. The key is to not lose touch with the customer. Even when you are done setting up a meeting with them, send them useful pieces of information in the meantime so that they get a sense of your care for them.
This also helps build a rapport and long time relationship with the prospect. Always remember that a great cold call requires a strategic choice of words, mannerisms, a respectable attitude and a practically reasonable proposition.