4 pointers to nail cold calling

This is a guest post by Kixie PowerCall.

Outbound sales is quite a challenging job, but with the right skills and a bit of experience, sales can be made into much less of a daunting task.

So, without further ado, here are the four ways to ace cold calling.

Getting your foot in the door

The first step to making a sale is getting in touch with your prospect. The major move in almost all sales processes is speaking with your prospect, regardless of whether your very first outreach approach is a cold call. It usually takes more than one or two attempts to reach a prospect. However, as Einstein famously said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

So, here comes the question: How do we reconcile these two opposing truths? By changing up how you call your prospects.

Here are some of the best ways to do this:

  • Calling at different times of day.
  • Calling on different days of the week.
  • Calling from a different local number each time you call.
Getting the door open

Ok, so you’ve gotten someone on the phone, but it isn’t the decision maker you want to talk to–it’s their receptionist, secretary, or assistant. As we call it in sales, "The dreaded gatekeeper".

Do not panic; you’re almost on the other side! If you approach this person in the right way, they can be more of a helper rather than a hindrance.

Hello, Gatekeeper operator?

The first method of approach should always be speaking with polite confidence that conveys a sense that you have spoken with the prospect before. 

  • Instead of saying something like “Hi, my name is Joe Shmo and I’m calling from the Widget Company. I was hoping to speak with Mr. Smith; is he available?” be short, direct, and confident.
  • With a calm, confident tone, say something along the lines of “Hi, Mr. Smith, please.” If the gatekeeper asks your name, company, why you are calling, or anything else, give them an honest, and a direct answer. Avoid volunteering any information they didn’t ask for, and keep the answer as short as possible. Don't beat around the bush!
  • Your reason for calling can be as simple as “I’m just following up on an email conversation,” and should not be a pitch–no matter how short.
  • If the gatekeeper says your prospect is busy or out of the office, ask them when would be a good time to call back.

If, after doing all of the above, the gatekeeper does not let you through, it’s time to move on to the next option: give them your best elevator pitch.

The sale before the sale

Sometimes, a gatekeeper has been given instructions to filter out calls like yours, and no matter how confident and assertive you are, they simply won’t let you through–not yet, at least.

Depending on how knowledgeable this gatekeeper is, it maybe easy to “sell” them on why their boss would want to talk with you, or it might be flat out impossible. So, now, you’ll just have to try your best and find out.

Present yourself as a helpful resource, not a bothersome salesperson. Avoid making your elevator pitch too sales-y. Describe the problem your product or service solves, and ask if that might be a problem their company needs help with.

Avoid getting into the weeds with unnecessary details, keep it brief and helpful, and you might just have a shot.

Use the back door

If all else fails, you’ve got one option left: bypass the gatekeeper entirely. Reach out to your prospect over LinkedIn or email, or try reaching out to their co-workers asking who would be the best person to talk with about your product.

Persistence is key

Remember, above all else, being politely persistent is absolutely essential to a successful cold outreach. As famously quoted by Hellen Keller, "A bend in the road is not the end of the road." So, stay positive, stay persistent, and keep dialing!

Now, you can make calls and send SMSes easily by integrating Kixie PowerCall and SMS right within Zoho. Boost sales productivity with the ability to make calls with a single click, automate call logging, and more—right from inside Zoho.

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