Does cold calling still work in the 21st Century?

Sure does!

In terms of direct marketing, cold calling is still one of the most targeted and cost effective ways to reach potential customers.

There’s no better way to do business than to have a real conversation with your prospect.

In fact cold calling is second only to the most effective lead generation tactic, referrals.

There is an art to cold calling though.

It needs to be done right.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking cold calling is simply a numbers game.

That’s a myth!

Dialling number after number and going through the no’s and hang-ups until you finally get a yes is a tedious exercise and a complete waste of your time.


A Targeted List


To be effective your cold calls must be targeted to your desired audience.

Create an ideal customer profile.

Get specific, and contact only those people who meet your criteria.


Research Your Prospect


If possible, do some research about your prospect over the internet.

Any business that wants to be taken seriously these days needs an online presence.

A website should give you an insight into their company culture and perhaps the name and title of the decision maker.

The more you know about your prospect before you make contact the easier it will be for you to ask relevant questions to establish whether or not you are likely to make a good fit.

However, if during the course of your conversation it becomes apparent that the prospect no longer fits your criteria, resist the temptation to work with them anyway.

Let them go.


Define Your Goal


Keep in mind that the purpose of a cold call is not to close a sale.

Instead it’s an opportunity for you to introduce yourself and your business, establish whether there is a need for your services, and if you are suited to work together.

Once you are clear about this it’s up to you to initiate the next step in your sales cycle.


Develop Your Approach


Cold calling is a communication skill.

You want your prospect to be interested and excited by what you have to offer.

It’s important to develop a pattern of speech that is effective and feels comfortable for you.

The way in which you approach your prospect will very much depend on the information you have gathered about them and their business.

Make sure you do your homework so you have something compelling to say.

It must be relevant to them.

Your prospect is a busy person and most probably gets bombarded from all directions with business offers during the course of their working day.

You want to stand out from the rest, so try to be fresh and unique in your approach.


Should You Use A Script?


If you already prospect for business over the phone you probably introduce yourself in the same way each time.

And during your discussions you most likely hear very similar questions and objections from your prospects.

Over time you would have put together some standard answers and responses.


Even though you may not have anything written down, believe it or not you are using a script!


Successful sales professionals use scripts they’ve practiced and perfected over the years.

They’ve become skillful at tuning into their prospective customers.

They know what to say and when to say it.

Their responses are instinctive.

They are well prepared.

They don’t wing it.

They know what works and what the customer wants to hear them say.

Remember you have but a few seconds to capture your prospect’s attention so you want to make sure you use language that will appeal to their senses.

From the outset always state the purpose of your call.

Whether that’s an appointment for a face-to-face meeting, a web-based presentation or the like, just so your prospect knows what to expect from you.

In time you will be so well practiced with your presentation that your words will roll off your tongue.

But until then it is worthwhile writing a script.

It can be something as simple as a bulleted list.

This will serve to prompt you to make sure you cover everything you intended, in case your conversation wanders off track.