Let’s be honest – cold calling is rarely a pleasant experience and even the most experienced salespeople don’t consider this a favorite part of their job.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure you set yourself up for success and get better in the process.
Here are some cold calling tips for sales reps that can help increase conversion rates!
Tip 1: Keep track of the process
Knowing all there is to know about your client before you make the call is crucial. This is where a lot of sales teams drop the ball – it’s hard to always stay in the loop, especially if the sales team works in shifts and handles multiple clients.
Some teams use software tools to help them keep all the information in one place and allow sales agents to jump in at any time. A call center phone system like Ringblaze can be of great use here, as it has a collaboration dashboard that salespeople can use to leave comments, assign calls, and increase the overall level of collaboration.
Tip 2: Don’t fear rejection
Cold calls have pretty low conversion rates, so you should be ready to deal with rejection.
It’s hard not to take rejection personally, especially if the client ends up being rude to you. After enough rejections, this will get much easier to deal with, but you can start having fun with rejections from the very start!
For example, some teams like to start a weekly competition where the recipient of the most ridiculously harsh rejection receives a small prize. Whatever you do, the key is to keep the team spirit alive and accept rejection as a part of the process.
Tip 3: Don’t stick to the script too much
Sales scripts are good to get you started, but sometimes you have to improvise and follow the flow of the conversation.
Much better than blindly sticking to a script is listening to your client and responding to them in real-time. Throughout the call, they’ll possibly offer you several chances to steer the conversation in a beneficial direction and try to close the call. Listen carefully to identify those chances and consult the script when you get stuck.
Tip 4: Buy yourself time
Think of a cold call as a constant effort to buy yourself more time and speak to the customer.
That’s because research shows that successful cold calls are almost two times longer than unsuccessful ones. However, that doesn’t mean you should keep talking until your prospects get bored.
It’s quite the opposite – keep your points short and straightforward, but keep in mind that every sentence you speak needs to be compelling enough that your prospect wants to listen to the next one.
Tip 5: Empathize with the customer
How do you start your sales calls?
Obviously, you don’t start talking about the product immediately, so there is some small introduction window where you introduce yourself and talk with your prospect. As it turns out, it matters what you say in this opening window.
Studies show that asking the customer how they’re doing (or a variation of this question) increases your chance to convert by up to three times. On the other hand, giving them an opportunity to opt-out early in the call leads to low conversion rates.
So, start the conversation by empathizing with the customer and gradually switch to the actual reason for your call.
Tip 6: Sell the benefits, not the features
You may think you’re selling a product or service, but you’re not. You’re selling a solution to a problem, a helpful tool to those that need help, a means to an end.
It’s not about the product, it’s about what the product can do for the customer.
Don’t fall into the trap of listing features and talking about your product’s qualities, but rather focus on what problems your product can solve and how it can be of help. Not only will the customer be more interested in your proposition, but you won’t sound like a typical salesperson trying to convince someone to buy a product.
Final tip: Learn how to close
All your research and sweet-talking skills won’t matter in the end, if you don’t know how to close a sales call.
The key to closing is often much simpler than people think: all you need to do is create a sense of urgency and present the client with a clear next step. Here are some techniques you can use to close a call:
- Time-based. Limited offers, expiring discounts, and similar time-based offers are a good way to create a sense of urgency. Saying something like “My manager gave me permission to give out this discount until October 31st, so we can make this happen right now” would be considered a time-based close.
- Another good way to close a call is by connecting ideas or events. Think of something like: “If we agree to these terms, we have to sign the contract by the end of the month so the payment can be processed in November”.
- Don’t hesitate to bring a document or a company contract into the equation. You can say: “Our current discount policy allows me to give you a 20% if you spend more than $500 on a single purchase”.
Finally, keep in mind who you’re talking to – senior decision-makers will have heard a lot of closing techniques, so the “limited offer” might not work on them as much as it would on someone in a junior position.