In cold calling, the more information that you can elicit, the easier it will be for you to qualify the prospect. This is where questioning is so important. Practice and plan your questions in advance. Your questions should be thought out carefully in advance and organised in a logical sequence, from the most general to the most specific.
Your main goal in your first call is to build trust. Start the conversation with who you are and why you’re calling, don’t over complicate your initial conversation with unnecessary detail. If your prospect starts asking for specific information, you’ll know they’re interested in learning more, but don’t try and force the conversation in that direction.
2. Not applying structure to the conversation
When you have their attention your tact should alter and take a more structured approach. Leading with penetrative questions and expecting answers immediately can cause your prospect to become defensive. Once you’ve established this initial contact and you need to take control of the direction the conversation.
Here is where you preparation pays off and you can get the information you wanted before calling. Preparing a script can give the opportunity to work your questions into the flow of your conversation and seem more natural. However, sounding like a robot delivering said script will not get you anywhere.
Have a time limit in mind. Having a time limit in mind gives a sense of urgency that will motivate you to stay focused and not be side-tracked from the task at hand.
3. No follow-up
Not following up with your prospect regularly will diminish the initial relationship you have built and you will be lost in the crowd. Here is what you should include in a follow-up call:
- State your full name
This is almost too easy but don’t get complacent. Remember, you’re probably one of many calls. Calling up and saying, “Hey Emilie, it’s Craig calling,” is presumptuous.
- State your company name
For the same reasons as above, identify your company. They may not remember or worse, they might confuse you with a competitor.
- Remind the prospect why you are calling
The third step is where you differentiate yourself and create that competitive edge. You have kept notes on your previous conversations and you are utilising this information. Even if it is not related to work it can help them remember you.
Be persistent, polite, and professional — but not a pest. Having solid follow-up strategies and tactics will separate you from the crowd and give you an edge.
Posted by: Kevin Hearns, Permanent and Resource Team Manager
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/call/