You may have heard the myth that cold calling is dead. While cold calling might be a challenging way to gain new business, it’s certainly still a relevant and useful technique in today’s market. The question of how to cold call companies may be as old as the profession itself, but it remains as important as ever.
Cold calling isn’t dead, but it takes time and expertise! One of the most fundamental components of developing a sustainable cold calling practice is to follow up with prospects. It takes the average sales rep roughly five to six cold calls before they close the deal (smallbizgenius.net).
Whether you’re a seasoned salesperson or are just starting out, here are some of our top tips on how to cold call companies in 2021.
How to Cold Call Companies
Know Your Audience
Before you pick up the phone, you need to identify your ideal customer profile (ICP) in order to generate qualified leads. An ideal customer profile is an outline of your target audience which takes into consideration statistical data from past clients to illustrate business characteristics like geography, budget, and business type. Essentially, your ICP is a guideline to help you identify which prospects are worth pursuing and which may not mesh with your company’s strengths.
In addition to an ICP, it’s helpful to generate several Buyer Personas (BPs). A BP seeks to illustrate the characteristics of individual customer categories (small start-ups, non-for-profits, independent contractors etc). ICPs and BPs are helpful when generating qualified leads—and pursuing qualified leads makes all the difference when it comes to cold calling!
Perfect Your Value Proposition
Now you know who to call, it’s time to talk about the pitch itself. Your sales value proposition encapsulates the crux of what makes your business special, and demonstrates the strengths you bring to the table. Successful VPs provide clients with enough information to pique their interest without being overwhelming.
Your VP should focus on the ways in which your business is uniquely suited to solving each clients’ problems and addressing specific needs. In a time where value-based selling is the name of the game, it’s vital to have a bullet-proof value proposition at the ready.
Consider Using a Script
Now that it’s time to make your first call, you may be feeling some pre-call jitters. Don’t worry! Every rep deals with call anxiety at some point in their sales journey. Call scripts are a useful tool to ease you into the rhythm of making cold calls.
The benefits of using a script include:
- Smoother delivery of sales pitches.
- Reminders of key talking points.
- Numbers and statistics at your fingertips.
- Control over the direction of the conversation.
This being said, be aware of not relying too heavily on your script. While it’s helpful to strike a polished and professional tone over the phone, you don’t want to come off as robotic or formulaic. Use scripts as general guidelines, but remember to let your natural qualities shine through.
Be Attentive to Your Prospects’ Needs
Your goal when cold calling a prospect is to demonstrate how your business provides unique services that address each client’s needs. On the phone, it’s important to strike a balance between elaborating on your company’s strengths and discovering what challenges your prospect is trying to address. Ask plenty of questions and make sure your prospect feels heard and understood. With this context in mind, you can easily describe the benefits of your product from the customer’s perspective.
Successful cold calling isn’t all about the initial phone call, it’s also about implementing consistent follow up strategies. Just because you had one conversation over the phone, doesn’t mean you’ve sealed the deal! Following up with prospects is one of the most crucial components of your cold calling practice.
Depending on the context, there are several productive ways to follow up with prospects:
- Email – Send an email to prospects directly after your initial phone call to convey your enthusiasm and thank them for taking the time to talk. If you don’t hear back, it’s perfectly appropriate to send intermittent emails to check in with your prospect in the coming days.
- Phone – Try to schedule a time for a follow-up phone call. If you’re unsuccessful, call again at a different time, or on a different day. Remember, Monday morning and Friday afternoon are notoriously bad times to call!
- Social Media – Engaging through social media is a low-key way to maintain contact with a prospect without the formality of emails or phone calls.
How to Turn Cold Calls into Warm Calls with a Lead Generation Company
Instead of saddling your sales reps with all the heavy lifting, consider outsourcing some of the lead generation responsibilities to an external service.
At LeadJen, you can expect a list of high-quality leads hand selected to fit your business’s ideal customer profile. With LeadJen’s team of sales development reps on the case, you can turn cold calls into warm calls and focus your attention on prospects who are pre-qualified and have shown real interest in your product.
It’s time to say goodbye to the myth that cold calls are dead. Whether you decide to hone your cold calling skills by crafting a call script, or use a lead generation service like LeadJen to pre-qualify leads, it’s time to take charge of your cold calling strategies and focus on achieving your professional goals.