The concept creates instant fear for many. In fact, cold calling has always been listed in the top 10 things that entrepreneurs find terrifying. Yet done effectively, it can be a very effective sales tactic.
Here are ten steps that can help you turn cold calls into hot business connections:
- Do your homework and research each company you want to approach. Make sure they have a need for your service or product.
- A script is worth more than a 1,000 words. Don’t read it word for word. The script should deal with responses like: “I am not interested or can you call back at another time.” Make sure you believe in what you are saying so that it is natural and believable. Practice makes perfect.
- Warm up the cold calling by breaking the ice first with an email, letter, fax or voice message.
- Be careful what you say! It could come back to haunt you. Remember always to be pleasant and professional. Under no circumstances should you lose your cool or focus. The first person of contact may be the gatekeeper and they are just doing their job.
- No one likes rejection but remember the person you are talking to does not know you. Don’t take it personally.
- Be quick to ask questions so you can give the right answers and capture the person’s attention and interest.
- Be consistent with your message.
- Be flexible. The conversation may go in a different direction. Be sure you know your product or service well enough to answer any questions.
- Set goals that are more than sales driven. Remember that this is a great opportunity for you to create visibility for your business.
- Always be professional.
Make notes of the outcome and input all current information into your client management software for future reference. Cold calling is the starting point to relationship building. Remember that success comes to those who are persistent and don’t give up. Cold calling can be a successful vehicle for your business if used in the right way.
Have you conquered your fear of cold calling? Share your story! Once a month we’ll enter all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for one of our upcoming seminars (value $20.)
For more information about any of Halton Region’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.