Cold calling can be difficult and frustrating. Especially when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere. That’s why some companies have abandoned cold calling, saying that it’s ineffective in 2018. That’s why some critics have declared that ‘cold calling is dead’. However, when you execute on B2B cold calling well, you can be successful. It’s all a matter of adapting your cold calling to meet the needs of today’s buyers. Here are 4 tips to improve your approach to cold calling.
1 – Know who you’re calling
In 2018, when you can find out almost everything you need to know about a B2B prospect from LinkedIn, there is no excuse not to know who you’re calling. Researching your prospect before you speak to them helps you tailor what you’re going to say to address their needs. It also helps you find a connection which you can use to connect with them on a personal level.
Perhaps most importantly, pre-call research helps you make sure that you’re calling the decision maker. Ensure your data is as up-to-date as it can be. On average, people change jobs every 4 years. Don’t waste your time calling people that have long since changed roles or left the company. Do your research.
Cognism Prospector ensures your cold calling list is current as it could possibly be. Cognism continually checks its 400 million-strong database against over 5.6 billion data points to ensure it’s always up-to-date.
2 – Know your numbers
B2B cold calling has always been a numbers game. However, in 2018, there are more numbers involved than ever. Luckily, these numbers are easy to find and they are there to help you.
When you know your win rate, how many calls you have to make for every successful one, you can work out how many calls you have to make to achieve your target. This allows you to manage your time better and to better prepare for each call. It also gives you something tangible to aim towards. A small change to your win rate can make a big difference to your yield versus target.
You should also be looking at how many calls you are making per day, how many conversations you are having (rather than voicemails) and how long you are spending on a call. When you know these numbers, you can take steps to improve them. For example, if you’re not getting through to enough decision-makers, work on how you get past the gatekeepers.
Finally, analyse what times of day are the best for getting through to decision-makers and finding them in an amenable mood. Centre your cold calling schedule around those times.
3 – Have a great opening
Your opening to a B2B cold call sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. If you don’t make an impact in the first few seconds, your prospect could hang up and be gone forever. A great opening could capture their attention, making them excited about hearing everything else you have to say.
Firstly, don’t ask your prospect how they are. It sounds false and gives them an excuse to tell you that they’re busy and can’t talk right now. Instead, tell them the reason why you called. A great idea is to use a sales trigger as a reason to call. If, for example, your prospect has just received a promotion to CMO and would be the decision-maker on buying your product, mention it. It shows you have done your homework and have taken a specific interest in their story.
After that, get to the point. How does your product solve their problems?
4 – Have fun
Once you’re into the main part of the call, just be yourself. While it’s advisable to have a script, you don’t need to stick to it like a robot. Prospects want to talk to a human being, so be one.
A B2B cold call shouldn’t be a monologue. Let your prospect do most of the talking. They like it. All you need to do is point them in the right direction.
Listen intently to what they have to say. Make detailed notes. Otherwise, you will never remember everything your prospect has said during your call. The adrenaline is pumping and you’re concentrating on managing the call. A seemingly small piece of information could come in very useful later in the sales cycle.
Finally, have fun. Look at cold calling as something to be enjoyed rather than dreaded. Embrace rejection as something you must endure on the journey to success. Share war stories with your team about embarrassing rejections. It helps you stay positive.
To find out more about how Cognism Prospector can help bring your cold calling into the age of data, visit us here or call us on +44 203 858 0822.