Cold calling (also hyphenated as “cold-calling”) is a marketing technique that requires agents to reach out speculatively to potential customers who have not had any previous interaction with a salesperson. Often used in telemarketing, cold calling is an avenue for reaching individuals or organizations who have not previously expressed interest in a particular product or service. In this sense, cold calling is the opposite of warm calling, in which marketing agents make contact with prospects who have already shown some degree of interest in a product or brand.
Why Cold Calling Is So Stressful?
By its very nature, cold calling is a numbers game, and a hit-or-miss technique. In fact, a 2020 LinkedIn report correlates the success rate of cold calling to the persistence of the seller, with marketers needing an average of 18 calls before connecting with a buyer. So, marketers need patience and persistence to succeed with cold calling – simply on the basis of making enough calls to establish initial contact.
Another factor that marketers must contend with is the largely negative perception that cold calling has with the buying public. Cold calling is an intrusive method and can meet with various responses from the potential customer, including verbal abuse or abruptly hanging up the phone. In the age of Caller ID, many consumers will simply refuse to answer calls originating from unknown phone numbers and/or go on to block them.
Technology has added some tools to the cold calling marketer’s arsenal, including algorithmically controlled “robo-dialing” and robo-calls using pre-recorded dialogue. However, in the United States, government regulations like the National Do Not Call Registry continue to hamper these marketing efforts. Other methods of outreach such as social media marketing and email are also gaining favor over cold calling.
The sum total of this is that cold calling can be a frustrating and stressful experience, for consumers and marketers alike. Even the most skilled marketing professionals can hope for only around a 2% success rate for cold calling, at best. Significantly, a study by ValueSelling Associates and Selling Power reveals that 48% of sales reps are afraid to even pick up the phone and make cold calls.
[Image source: The Balance Small Business]
To alleviate some of this tension, we’ve assembled nine simple tips to make your cold calling experience less stressful.
1. Gather Information about Your Potential Client Beforehand
Before starting any conversation with a potential customer, it’s essential to do some research into the person you’ll actually be talking to. For individual consumers, social media and personal websites may be a source of information as to their desires and pain points. If you’re selling directly to a business, LinkedIn can be a good starting point for gaining background information about the company and identifying the person responsible for making purchasing decisions.
2. Call Them at An Appropriate Time of Day
Widespread experience teaches that first thing Monday morning or last thing on Friday are not good times for successful cold calling. In the case of Monday, most workers will still be groggy from the weekend before, and more focused on the working week ahead than on any product or service that an anonymous seller may try to push on them. At the end of the working week, distractions are also unwelcome, as workers prepare for the break ahead.
A more promising time frame is early in the morning on Tuesday or Wednesday, or later during both days (typically between 4 and 5 p.m.).
[Image source: Lucas Group]
3. Know What You’re Going to Say Beforehand
It’s a good idea to create a formalized cold calling script for all your marketing agents. This will help in keeping your marketing message consistent, and ensuring that no important points relating to your product or service are missed.
Ideally, this script should include:
- A point-by-point breakdown of the steps to take during cold calls.
- A description of the value your offering provides to the customer.
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Tips on what to do if the customer raises objections.
Note that this “script” should not be a cast-in-stone thing that your agents recite like robots. Rather, it should provide a guideline and framework for them to engage in an animated conversation with the consumer.
4. Allow for a Variety of Responses from the Prospective Customer
As suggested in the previous point, a cold call may elicit a number of responses from the customer. So it’s important to give guidelines to your marketing agents detailing how to respond to a variety of scenarios that may come up. Given the statistics on cold calling success, it is highly unlikely that your agents will close every deal, so it’s important to advise them on how to take “No” for an answer and move on to the next prospect.
5. Concentrate on Helping the Consumer, Not the Hard Sell
In this age of digital content marketing, consumers are growing accustomed to brands providing useful information and advice to them, rather than boldly pitching products. This is a trend you should take into account for your cold calling.
Rather than starting with an aggressive sales pitch, your cold calling script should first emphasize the value you are offering to the customer, in terms of how your product or service can solve their problems, fulfill their needs, and/or speak to any aspirations they may have.
6. Let the Customer Have Their Say
It is also important not to drown out the customer’s voice with your pitch. During the conversation, your prospect will likely have questions, comments, or opinions to interject. Your cold calling technique should allow the consumer to have their say, and respond politely and informatively to their contributions. In fact, what the customer says during the conversation can be critical in informing how best to present your product or service offering.
7. Leave a Voicemail, if They’re Not Immediately Available
For any number of reasons, the prospective customer may be unable or unwilling to take your initial call. In such cases, your agent should be prepared to leave a voicemail message in their Inbox. This should include the caller’s name, their company name, their reason for calling, and a phone number, to encourage the prospect to call back. The HubSpot marketing platform suggests that the ideal length for a voicemail of this type is around 20 seconds – and no longer than 30 seconds.
8. Be Persistent, and Follow Up
Perhaps most important of all from a marketing agent’s perspective, is not to give up. According to a recent ZoomInfo study, 75% of online consumers want to receive between two and four phone calls before a sales rep gives up on them. What’s more, it’s not until the sixth call attempt that marketers reach 95% of all converted leads. So, persistence is key.
8. Be Persistent, and Follow Up
Perhaps most important of all from a marketing agent’s perspective, is not to give up. According to a recent ZoomInfo study, 75% of online consumers want to receive betw
As well as the content of the conversation between marketer and consumer during cold calling, the clarity and smoothness of the call can have a significant effect on the prospects of creating a strong lead or making a sale. Network issues like jitter and lag (latency) can severely detract from the experience.
Deploying a reliable voice carrier to steer your calls is key to hosting seamless conversations. Better call quality, connectivity, and consistency lead to better conversion rates and makes the conversation far less stressful.
IDT BYOC is one such open carrier that integrates with all major CCaaS and UCaaS platforms to enable seamless communication exchange. With 30+ years of experience in cloud communication, IDT’s voice carrier is clearly the most reliable call routing network.
To find out more about how IDT can assist in your cold calling and other marketing efforts, get in touch with us.
een two and four phone calls before a sales rep gives up on them. What’s more, it’s not until the sixth call attempt that marketers reach 95% of all converted leads. So, persistence is key.