Prospect calling, or cold calling as it's commonly known, is not for the faint of heart. However, it can be less daunting with proper preparation, research and a plan. If you look deep enough, each call, even the bad ones, offers loads of information and learning opportunities. In this blog, I lay out some tips that I've picked up in my 10 years of lead development.
Before making calls, prepare your mind for success. When the caller is positive, the listener knows. At the start of each day, take a few moments to read something inspiring or listen to a song or mantra that puts your mind in positive mode. Smile, too, before and during the call. It really does help.
Be prepared with a script, but don't hesitate to stray from it to engage your prospect. Long gone are the days of using a rote script for prospect after prospect. You have about eight seconds to capture a person's attention, and showing you understand their business is crucial. Research their website to gain an understanding of their services before dialing. Use LinkedIn, too, to learn more about a prospect's background, work history and group involvement.
When you do get an engaged listener, immediately begin asking questions to start the discovery process. When you take this approach, it lets the customer know that you're in this to understand them. Many callers make the mistake of jumping in with a generic description of the products or services they're offering. No prospect appreciates an in-your-face sales pitch. Listening and asking questions will open a natural conversation, allowing you to organically share tidbits about what you're offering. Addressing a prospect's problems first helps build trust.
Always ask to schedule a follow up. Do this even if you feel the prospect will say no. Many times they'll surprise you with a yes, and you won't know if you don't ask. Ideally, you'll finish the call with an agreed-upon follow up date/time in mind. Complete the process by letting the prospect know you'll send an email invite, and send it as soon as possible. This final step is crucial and must be done in a timely manner.
Realize that you'll face rejection and learn to accept that with open arms. The world revolves around sales. Every business must find customers. While in the hunt, you'll be told no. Graciously accept that and always move on with a positive attitude. Never let a no generate emotion. This will carry over to the next call, and you never know who will be picking up the phone.
B2B prospecting can be a very fun and rewarding part of your career. It's truly a decision to enjoy the necessary journey to arrive at your destination. Don't believe the myth that cold calling is dead.