Cold Call: How To Capture Lead Interest Through Calls

Cold Call: How To Capture Lead Interest Through Calls

Cold calling and calling a prospect is possibly one of the most daunting tasks for a newcomer to sales. The bad reputation that haunts telephone sales and the fear of rejection (something that many people have by nature) make cold calling a painful activity. But she doesn’t have to be.

All you need to do is apply the right strategies. The call can be a great business ally if done well. The first step is to know well the type of client to be approached, this will make all the difference. Do you want to find out what other actions can be implemented in the process? Continue reading!

What is cold calling?

Cold calling is a sales technique in which the salesperson calls a potential customer, who has not yet shown interest in their solution. Therefore, it is a “cold” call, the prospect is not expecting it.

This commercial methodology has existed for a long time and it is very likely that at some point you have already received or made such an action.

Over the years, it was necessary to introduce new technologies and tools so that this technique became more effective and consistent with the reality of the market. After all, the idea is to try to sell a product or service to a qualified lead, but who did not request contact.

Thus, cold calling techniques come in as a kind of heads-up and complement to cold mail, used to put the organization providing the solution (you) on the radar of the other company (the one you want to convert into a customer).

A relevant source to further understand the cold calling strategy is the book Predictable Revenue, by Aaron Ross. Below you can listen to the Cast for Closers episode we recorded with him!

That sounds like telemarketing… what’s the difference between cold calling and telemarketing?

Before talking about the differences between cold calling and telemarketing, it is important to know the similarities. The main one is that the telephone is the intermediary between the seller and the customer. Furthermore, most of the time the seller and the customer do not have a prior business relationship.

Cold calls are used in prospecting and qualifying leads, not just for selling. In addition, they require more specialized salespeople, who will use arguments and strategically conduct calls. In telemarketing, the focus is on the volume of contacts to be addressed, while in cold calling, performance indicators are used.

Cold calling: Does this strategy still work today?

Answer a question: Have you ever taken a call from someone who wanted to sell something? The answer is likely to be yes. What was your reaction? Maybe it bothered or was uncomfortable. Being approached in this way is often considered invasive and tends to catch us off guard. But that’s why telemarketing left that impression.

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Cold calling seeks to generate value in some way for that contact. Therefore, before making the call, try to sift through the leads that arrived to go to those that could generate value for the business. Here the work of an LDR will make all the difference.

This professional’s work routine is focused on gathering lead contacts, which will later be passed on to other professionals such as the SDR. However, it should be noted that the LDR functions do not include contacting the lead.

This professional’s performance takes place in an earlier phase, still in the process of gathering information from potential customers and qualifying these contacts, assessing how promising they are to finally be sent to the next stage.

Benefits of cold calling

One of the main benefits is that it generates results faster since you are proactively going after customers. In addition, this practice also contributes to the maturity of the team.

Picking up the phone and calling the prospect as soon as you get a response is the best time to capture interest. But also from qualifying a prospect, meeting the decision maker, or scheduling a demo, taking you one step closer to that sale.

Another important point is that cold calling helps to obtain important insights in real time. For example, if your response rates are low, using phone calls you can find out why you’re not getting the response you want, test new approaches, and get immediate feedback.

So, explanations can give you an insight: maybe you’re reaching the wrong people or even your message is confusing or irrelevant. Either way, you can identify the problem and take steps to overcome it.

Does cold calling work in outbound prospecting?

Cold calling outbound sales prospecting takes effort and time. The strategy can be used both for low tickets and with a high hiring volume — such as selling cable TV or telephony subscriptions — as well as for sales with higher ticket or enterprise accounts.

DiscoverOrg data reveals that about 60% of cold calls generate a second interaction. This means that the company has two options:

  • have a team to perform a high volume of initial calls to generate the desired revenue;
  • or having a small team focusing on key accounts (clients with an average ticket value that will cover the high acquisition cost).

How to cold call? 6 tips to win the lead

During a cold call, the salesperson or SDR has a 10-second window before losing the person’s attention on the other end of the line. Another important fact: many people only record 15-second blocks of longer conversations.

That is, you need to grab the prospect’s attention and get your message across quickly. See how to do it!

1. Plan your call and what you are going to say

In a cold call, where time is short and you have a lot to say, it is essential to take advantage of every second. So, know exactly what you’re going to say!

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Creating a call plan is a good practice for anyone who wants to make phone conversations more meaningful and increase the number of meetings scheduled after the cold call. To sell more over the phone, you need to have meaningful conversations.

In addition, it is important, especially in outbound prospecting, that you already have certain basic information about the company, what pain you want to address, and how you can address this issue by showing that you intend to help. Therefore, search! LinkedIn, Facebook, website, and even reports on portals can help in this first moment.

2. Don’t open up to initial rejection

Some certain motivational phrases and questions need to be avoided right away, as they give too much room for a cold lead to escape. Some examples:

  • is this a good time to talk?
  • how is your day?

They generate answers that are not straight to the point and can generate objections.

Instead, start by introducing yourself and addressing the topic of your call. Including, it is a technique that leads us to the next item.

3. Address possible pain right away

When calling an outbound lead, all you have is the right company profile. That means potential pain. Therefore, it is best to talk about a situation where the solution you are trying to sell helped another company that was going through the same challenge. And how your product or service helped. So you will get attention in a few seconds.

4. Suggest a meeting with an expert

As a rule, and especially in cases of consultative sales, the objective of the cold call is not to sell, but to get a second meeting, one that can generate a sale. Thus, only after approaching the prospect and verifying the existence of pain, it is good to suggest meeting with a specialist or consultant. If you say yes, already make a concrete plan, with a date and time.

After that, you can ask for more information, to pass on to that consultant and optimize the conversation. Be careful with the questions you ask! At this point, you don’t want to be annoying, you want to be helpful.

5. Listen to what your prospect is saying and respect

The last point is to listen — and not just the prospect’s responses. It may happen that the person does not have time to talk at the moment and asks to send the information by email or call at another time. In such cases, accept immediately. Take the information, schedule another appointment, and hang up!

By doing this, you avoid boring situations with your lead and do not burn the company’s image for the next approach.

6. The seller’s mood and state of mind matter!

Nobody wants to talk to a sad, grumpy, tired person on the phone, right? Well, neither do your prospects! Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the salespeople and provide sales training in this regard.

Winning a person’s interest in cold calling has a lot to do with providing a good experience and happiness. That’s why the salesperson’s state of mind matters so much. The calls must be made with high energy and good intonation, colloquial but correct language so that they pass a positive impression and not one of discouragement to the prospect.

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Main mistakes when making cold calls

As important as knowing how to cold call, is knowing which mistakes can compromise the strategy, even to avoid them!

Follow a script

Here on the blog, we’ve already talked about having a sales script and how interesting it is for a commercial strategy. But there is no point in having a document and following it rigidly, even because each client will react. Therefore, be very careful when following a script in cold calling, this is one of the main mistakes that lead to a loss of sales.

If you focus only on asking questions and fail to listen to your lead, you could miss important information about them and opportunities to build connections that could lead to an opening of negotiation.

Ignore customer objections

Another common mistake is ignoring customer objections. An objection is a barrier, sometimes it can be worked around, sometimes not. Either way, she needs to be recognized.

Understanding what he means, to work around and present solutions, will help in his engagement. Even if it means taking a moment to think about it, that’s okay, do it.

Not knowing the competition

This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mistakes when it comes to cold calling. Of course, it’s important to understand your product well and know its strengths and weaknesses. But do you know what your differentials are in the face of competition?

It is possible to differentiate yourself from your competition by highlighting points such as price, solution features, know-how, and recognition in the market. However, for this to be possible, it is necessary to know what competitors are doing, but also to understand the moment of the market.

Do you want to go further in your prospecting and win more leads?

The insights we share here will only be well applied if your team has the proper training. In addition, cold calling becomes much more effective when it is part of a larger strategy, that is when it is within the prospecting cadence.

Just calling is not enough, the ideal is to carry out a multichannel approach, with contact attempts also via email and social networks. This increases the chances of getting in contact with the lead.

As we said, cold calling is just one step in the prospecting cadence. To prospect leads and convert them, you need to go further.

 

FAQ

What does the term cold call mean?

Cold calling is a sales technique in which the seller makes a phone call to a potential customer, but who has not yet had any relationship with the company.

How to cold call?

To cold call, you will need to apply some tips:
– Plan the call and what will be said during it;
– address your customer’s potential pain;
– suggest a meeting with a specialist, if the lead shows interest in learning more about the solution;
– Listen to what the prospect has to say.

What is cold calling 2.0? 

Cold calling 2.0 is a prospecting technique that was developed by Aaron Ross. Unlike traditional cold calling, version 2.0 involves calling someone who is waiting to be contacted. For this, the e-mail is used to mark this connection.

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