How many cold calls do you think your prospects receive each week? Each time you pick up the phone to make a call, you’re competing with countless other sellers. Because of this, you need to make sure that your cold calls are as mistake-free as possible; but this can only happen if you are aware of what those mistakes actually are. Andrea Boccard, head of marketing for AccountingDepartment.com, is someone who can identify cold-call mistakes. She receives a steady stream of B2B calls, and, in a Forbes article, relates her frustration with reps who fumble these interactions.
To really stand out from the competition, Boccard recommends that reps do the following during a cold call:
Talk about similar businesses’ success with your product or service. “You may not know my needs exactly, but if you know anything about my company, you can probably guess a few pain points general to the industry,” Boccard explains. Real-life examples of your product or service in action establish credibility and value, as well as showcase your knowledge of the industry.
Set expectations early. Rather than immediately settling into your pitch, first make sure that it’s a convenient time to talk. While this tactic is often debated in the sales world, Boccard believes it’s necessary because it shows respect to the prospect. She suggests telling the prospect how long the call should last and asking if he or she has that time to spare.
Be ready to follow up. Everyone knows that sales are never made with a single phone call. So, be ready to offer follow-up options, such as a demo or simple face-to-face meeting. Even if the prospect’s budget is allocated for this year, it doesn’t mean next year is out of the question. Email, LinkedIn messages and other touchpoints are great ways to continue a relationship if a demo isn’t possible at the moment.
Boccard goes on to share a couple of other ways reps can improve their cold calls, and she also points out that simply being respectful of the prospect will go a long way. Do your homework before calling so that you provide at least some value during the conversation. You’ll immediately differentiate yourself from those who open a call with, “so tell me about your business…”