People keep saying cold calling is dead, but many successful businesses rely on cold calling to drive revenue. Whether they're Fortune 500 companies or high-growth startups, they all have sales reps eagerly dialing numbers day in and day out.
But if you're still doing cold calls like it's 1995, you might as well not do it at all. Too much has changed in the past 20+ years, which is why we've put together these 28 cold calling tips for startup founders and sales pros who want to make more sales and close more deals.
Spoiler alert: The answer is yes, you should. Discover the benefits of working with a script, and how to use it in the most effective way to evolve as a sales team.
A basic fill-in-the-blank sales script you can use to start making your first calls today. If you think selling is difficult, don't know what to say, or feel overwhelmed by complexity, take refuge in simplicity.
One of the most important things when cold calling is to have the conversation mapped out in advance. Here's a clear way of structuring your sales calls.
The three most common objections you'll encounter when doing cold calls. Prepare and practice your answers to these in advance.
Most sales reps fear these objections because they derail their sales conversations. But YOU will look forward to hearing them because they help you move the sale ahead.
The seemingly most innocuous way prospects use to interrupt the sales conversation. Pretty early on in the call, many people will ask you, "Can you send me some more information? I'll review it and get back to you."
New and insecure sales reps eagerly oblige: "Of course! I'll send it your way." They send out the email, and that's it. Maybe one or two timid follow-ups, and they file the lead away.
Here's what you should do instead.
This is a very common mistake sales reps make on the phone. They launch into their pitch way too early, without first understanding what the prospect wants.
Here's how you can figure out a) the exact right moment when you should deliver your pitch and b) how to customize your pitch so that it makes the prospect want to buy from you.
Once you've got a decision maker on the phone, how do you captivate and keep their attention? It's not enough that they hear you speak—you have to make them really listen.
Some people possess the charisma and showmanship that naturally mesmerizes their listeners. If you don't, you'll need to master the mechanics of getting attention. Here's a simple 3-step process to get your message across.
Entrepreneurs often struggle when they start doing cold calls. They hate calling others to drum up business and they're not good at it either. Their approach is too timid and they give up too soon when they encounter resistance. They don't manage objections well, and fail to produce results.
It's not lack of skills that trips them up, but cold calling reluctance and insecurity. Here's a confidence hack to help you overcome this.
Doing cold calls can turn into a rut. Calling up leads, trying to get to decision makers, hearing the same objections again and again...it's tempting to entertain your brain with more interesting distractions. Here's why you should never do this, and how to get your focus back.
When cold calls go wrong, they can deflate your sales soul. Here's how to stay buoyant when confronted with failure (or ill-tempered prospects who behave abusively to you).
Want to get better results from your cold calling efforts? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to strategically improve your outbound phone sales approach. Want to know how you're doing in different stages of your sales process? The benchmarks will tell you!
Should you dial more numbers?
Do you need to improve the quality of your leads?
Should you focus on crafting a better sales pitch? Or rather work on a more effective opening?
There are many opportunities to optimize your sales process; this post provides a framwork to identify where you can get the biggest wins with your B2B cold calling efforts.
A sales rep leaves on average 70 voicemails per day, requiring 60 seconds each, which adds up to approximately 25 hours per month. To make a time consuming task even worse, the typical voicemail sucks!
Too many sales reps speak too fast and ramble, filling the message with lots of “um’s” and “ah’s”. Then, potential clients have to listen to the voicemail three to four times, just to write down the callback number. That’s why messages are deleted, and prospects never return calls.
A good voicemail sparks interest. It’s well-planned and compels the recipient to phone the caller immediately. Revamp your sales voicemail messages right now!
When you're dialing numbers, you'll end up in many people's voicemail. Nothing gets more annoying than saying the same words to a thousand different machines.
So just record one perfect voice mail message in Close.io, and whenever you hear that BEEP, click a button and your pre-recorded optimized voicemail will be played back, while you can already get on the next call.
Here's the recording of a 47 minute webinar on how to sell on the phone. If you've read the articles, this is a good way of tying it all together and consuming the information in a different way to deepen your learnings.
Are you sending out cold emails and tracking the email opens (using sales software like Close.io for example)? It's a great strategy to then follow up with a phone call with those prospects who opened the email. But don't make the mistake most sales reps make when doing these calls.
If you cold call a prospect and they want to know the price, how do you respond? Most sales reps know that they shouldn't just give out the price, but just telling the prospect "no" can be too confrontative. Here's how to handle this scenario effectively.
If you’re doing cold calls the way most sales reps do it, you’re already losing out with the first words coming out of your mouth.
Most sales reps think deals are won or lost when you’ve got the prospect on the phone. They’re wrong. You win or lose the deal before you even pick up the phone and dial; it’s your state of mind that determines the outcome of the call more than anything else. I have three questions that I ask myself before every crucial sales call: Why? What? How?
The bait-and-switch is a device often used by scammers, but it can be applied by ethical companies that have their customers' best interest at heart too.
Unless you happen to cold call someone whose office has just caught on fire, it’s pretty likely that “I don’t have time” is just a polite way of saying “Go away,” or “What you’re offering is not a priority for me.” After all, if they really didn’t have time, they would have just hung up on you.
And yet, your average salesperson still hears “I don’t have time,” stammers, gets nervous, and hangs up. It’s a difficult objection to deal with—we’re not used to responding proactively to “I don’t have time.” You can’t really argue with it, because who are you to question whether someone really has time?
A great salesperson, however, finesses this objection around into further conversation. A great salesperson hears “I don’t have time” and recognizes that it’s time to drive home the core value proposition that will get that customer to stay on the line.
Want to know what the fastest and most effective way is to become great at cold calling? It’s a simple two-fold approach that anyone can follow and doesn't require expensive sales workshops or coaches.
"One of the myths of SaaS is that the products are so good, so easy to use, so quick to deploy...that the product sells itself." However, that myth won't protect you from the following 2 objections:
- “Your product is too expensive.”
- "Your product doesn’t have the right features.”
Let’s get into how you can move past these objections and keep the focus on value.
Your prospect has completely lost it. He's shouting at you over the phone, making ridiculous demands. Your ears are ringing and you have a massive headache. After a while, you can’t take it any more, and just hang up the phone. He was completely out of control—a saint would've done the same.
Except that's the wrong approach.
You can’t control why the bully is the way he is, but here's how you handle one.
Successfully qualifying a prospect depends on your knowledge of their situation. However, how can you pitch your solution if they refuse to share information about their situation?
Let's explore why prospects are tight-lipped and how to make them talk.
When it comes to tracking sales data, some sales managers don’t know where to start. But the process doesn’t have to be difficult.
If you already have a sales model that’s predictable and scalable, you only need three metrics to transform your team’s cold calling performance. Here’s how you can effectively track the sales metrics that matter.
It’s not always easy to get a sales call back on track, especially when you’ve let the prospect take the lead. But the truth is, most salespeople aren’t great at leading conversations. When prospects refuse to answer questions—or they have an endless number of objections—salespeople rarely know how to regain control.
Take the lead on sales calls—and close more deals—with this three-step framework.
No one likes getting hung up on, but you can’t let one sales call ruin your day. Just take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is this result any different than if I’d never made the call?” Then focus on why the prospect hung up on you, so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
Want to run a successful cold calling campaign? Focus on the one metric most sales managers ignore: reach rates.
Whether you’re new to cold calling—or you're dealing with disastrously low reach rates—explore these five ways to ensure your team’s sales success.
If you lack motivation or start to lose faith in what cold calling can lead to, remind yourself of this success story: Uber is one of the most innovative and disruptive success stories in recent times. They've got a very strong technology culture and are recruiting top engineering talent like crazy.
That's why it's even more remarkable that they got started not by leveraging some advanced, groundbreaking tech-solution...but rather by old-school cold calling. Sign up for the free B2B cold calling course now.
Have a cold calling tip of your own? We'd love to hear which tactics and methods you've used to become more successful when selling on the phone. Leave a comment below :).