You can bet that cold calling is right up there pretty close to the fear of death and public speaking. Even the best of pros abhor the telephone when it comes to cold calls and the fact that potential clients have no idea that they are going to be “pitched”. But, making cold calls can be a good way to help generate business for a company and for some smaller companies it could be the best way. It can be a lot easier if a sales person polishes their sales skills.
Know Your Target
Before a sales person even picks up a call or does a Mapquest or Google Maps search on a possible client's address, it is vital that they know as much as they can about their target. This means, that at a minimum the sales person with good sales skills needs to understand the client's role in their company and show them how interesting their business is to them. There is absolutely nothing better than actually impressing a prospective client with knowledge of their business and their needs. This is the first step to successful cold calling.
It will never do any harm if a sales person that is going to be doing the cold calling sends the prospective client or customer an email or leaves them an off hours voicemail to give them a heads up that they will be dropping by. This kind of message called a “wedge message” will actually make the target feel somewhat obligated to taking that call.
Be Up Front
A salesperson with good sales skills is going to not want to beat around the bush about why they are calling. It's simple the salesperson wants their business. So there is nothing wrong with being blunt and to the point and more often than not they are going to really appreciate the honesty.
Do Some Name Dropping
A good way of helping a salespersons sales skills is to veer from the standard pitch as soon as possible and touch on points that they know this prospective client will be able to relate to. This might mean they try to relate their product or their service directly to one of theirs. It's good to mention different references as well as customer testimonials. And they are never afraid to do some name dropping, but in a tactful way. It helps to mention someone that the prospect could be professionally acquainted with. This definitely will warm up that cold calling.
Plan the Hook
A salesperson with good sales skills knows how important it is to plant the hook in the prospective client. This is done by naming their largest problem, the one thing that might seem to have no good solution. The salesperson can then offer possible solutions they can think about. Doing this opens up the opportunity to be able to call the prospective client again or to be able to send them follow up information after the initial call.
Play the Politician
Just like in life situations, it is often more important to be liked by someone than understood, cold calling is no different. The salesperson needs to be able to trust their instincts and they do things that make possible clients. This can be done by getting rid of the huckster shtick manner. One good way to do this is to add humor, one of the best ways to break the ice is a good laugh and in person, smiling is definitely a way to make a person be liked by someone else. In the end, the most important thing is that the customer feels as if they've been helped and they are thanking the salesperson in such a manner that they are even willing to put their gratitude in writing. A salesperson will succeed much better if they can acquire customer testimonials that will help convince more prospective clients that they aren't so bad after all.