Do you hate making cold calls? Is it the fear of the unknown or rejection that gets to you? Maybe it’s just that you feel like you’re interrupting people in the middle of their busy days.
Whatever is at the root of your fear, would you like to find a way to overcome it? If so, here are some tips.
Reflections on Rejections – Stay Positive
It’s only natural to reflect on rejections, but you don’t have to do so in a negative way. Don’t chide yourself for doing something wrong. Instead, think about what you could have done better. Perhaps you got off to a good start and then lost the customer’s interest somewhere in the conversation. Where did you lose them? Why? How can you ensure this will not happen again?
Now the fun starts.
Develop your theories on what might work better and test different approaches. Don’t just stick with something because it worked once and hope it will work again. Work to improve your call-to-lead-conversion rate.
Also, don’t take a rejection on the phone as a personal defeat. The decision-makers you’re approaching receive many calls and naturally protect themselves from interruptions in their workday. In addition, you may have just called at a bad moment.
Breed Confidence with Successes
There’s nothing better to build confidence than having a few successful calls under your belt. Timing your calls optimally and opening them well can have a resounding impact on your results.
Time Your Calls
You don’t want the time of day to work against you. So, time your calls when you are most likely to be successful. Sometimes, you are most likely to reach busy executives early in the morning before they get involved in their daily meetings. Besides calling at daybreak, 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 to 4 p.m. are good hours to reach decision makers.
These, however, are general rules. Use your knowledge about the country-specific and industry-specific working hours to adjust your call hours schedule to when you’re most likely to reach prospects. Then, move your administrative tasks to the times when calls are less productive.
Also, the day you call can make a difference. Tuesdays to Thursdays are best. Friday afternoons are the worst, followed by Monday mornings as people adjust to going back to work.
Your body clock is a factor, too. Consider when you have the most energy. If you’re a morning person, make your calls before noon. After all, energy and enthusiasm can have a positive effect on your results.
Open with a Purpose
Start with a short, clear introduction in which you state the purpose of the call. Of course, whatever the purpose is, it has to be of value to the person you’re calling.
After that, it’s not time to start a monologue. You want to engage the person you’re talking with as soon as possible. Gain more information about who they are and what their role is within the company. Not only is this information useful to you, it also demonstrates that you’re interested in your prospect.
Even if you come up with an introduction that works incredibly well, vary it. You need to make sure that it’s fresh to you, so it doesn’t sound over-rehearsed.
With these tips you’ll gradually gain more confidence and turn cold calling from a dreaded activity into one that’s exciting. After all, there’s a chance you’re going to uncover your next golden opportunity.
Photo credit: Lamont Cranston / Flickr