When you hear the word “cold calling" or "prospecting”, most will cringe but some like me thrive off these words. Working in a Business Development role, cold calling is one of the biggest challenges you need to overcome to become successful at sales! You have to think on your feet and be creative. For those of you breaking into sales or business development, it takes about a year for a new salesperson to be fully productive and have a solid client base. Here are a few helpful tips in order to turn prospects into clients and put more money in your pocket:
Don’t just call a prospect once or twice. In my experience, it can take 50 calls a day just for me to say “Hello, it’s me”. It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. You have to be hungry and not give up if you want to be successful. Time is money and money is time.
Have A Plan
If you don’t have a daily plan on who you’re targeting, you are setting yourself up for failure! Keep a spread sheet or use a sales platform to prospect. Each day you can keep track of your progress, schedule follow ups, and keep on target. According to insidesales.com, Thursdays between 4-5PM are the best time to cold call. Get the java ready!
Do Your Research
Before I make a call, I research every company and take the time to learn something new. Make sure you know who handles (whatever it is you are selling), research the background of the company, and what the company offers. Sometimes prospects will quiz you so always be prepared! Nothing like not being prepared for a pop quiz!
Yes, you will mess up on a phone call or voicemail but as long as you have confidence while doing it, there is no shame in your game! You have to be comfortable with yourself first before you try to sell something to a prospect. Practice in the mirror, role-play on your way to work or with a friend. Remember what your mom used to say, practice makes perfect!
There is no right or wrong way when making a cold call, so have fun with it! Make it a game or do whatever it is to get through your calls. No one can see you on the other line so be creative. If you are afraid of messing up, it’s ok! It will only help you on your next call. You get better each time.
The very best way to win over prospective clients is to show them that you are willing to continue to follow up with them. As much as we are training to cold call they are professionally trained to reject us and hide from us. Once you have proven to the potential client that you truly are interested in doing business with them by: being consistent, researching their firm, creating a value proposition – you will be surprised at what happens!