Houston: We have a problem – Cold Calling for beginners

Beside the fact that getting customers should be always the personal and direct approach it might happen that you need to phone call people to convert them to customers. So how to start a business phone call with someone who is unknown to you?

Cold calling is probably something that makes you anxious, especially if you are a small business owner, but it shouldn’t be so. Let’s look at some great strategies you can use right now, from experts.

Plan your calls

As Stephan Schiffman, a corporate sales trainer based in New York and who has written the bestseller “Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!)” says, you should plan ahead. You should think about who you would be calling and when you would be making the calls. You should plan your questions before making the calls and stick to a particular routine while making them.

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Do your research

Sam Richter, the author of the popular book on cold calling, “Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling” says, doing your homework is critical before making cold calls, You can do something as simple as a Google search on the company you are calling, or look up the person’s LinkedIn page. He writes, “Even if you’re not going to use the information, you will come across more confident and more powerful when you have information on the other person and their company”.

Find a personal connection

It always helps to find a personal connection with the person you are calling. You can do research on the person and find out that he or she went to the same university as you did, and use the conversation based on that. As you make the call, you will discover other points of common interest as well.

Ask questions before making the sales pitch

Art Sobczak, author of the bestseller on cold calling, “Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure and Rejection From Cold Calling” says you should ask a plenty of questions before making your sales pitch. You should find out what interests your prospects and what motivates him or her. Find out about your prospect’s business needs. As Mr. Sobczak says, “People don’t care about you. All they care about is what you can do for them.”

Practice before a mirror and stand up while making calls
You should practice making the calls before a mirror so that you can watch yourself, whether you appear too stressed or under pressure without knowing it. This way you can constantly monitor your behavior and force yourself to relax when things get too heated. Also, it is a good idea to stand up while making calls. As author Schiffman says, “You’ll feel better and more animated this way.”

Track your calls

It is very important to monitor and record your calls, so that you are always organized about what you do. This also gives you a feeling of accomplishment as even though a call may not result in a sale, you will get at least something out for it for the records you are keeping. This might help you in the future for a follow up call, for instance.

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As far as possible, use referrals

It helps to browse a prospect’s LinkedIn page and find out common connections you have with him or her. Ask the common contact for permission to use their names and during your call with the prospect mention the contact’s name as a referrer. It is most likely that your first call will go to the voice mail. But using a common contact’s name will increase your chances of getting a call back. As author Sam Richter says, “You’re almost always going to get a call back when you have a referral that you mention by name.”

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