When it comes to cold calling, you either love it or hate it. But either way, cold calling is one of the most effective ways to generate new business for your startup. Simultaneously, cold calling can be quite intimidating and nerve racking. When I first started, I would easily get discouraged from rejections. Now I love it and can do it in my sleep. Here are some tips that helped me increase my close rate significantly. Check out four ways to embrace cold calling:
Research your prospects
People buy from people they like, period! You can have the best product in the world but if your prospect doesn’t like you, the chances of closing the deal are highly unlikely. During the moment of making that call, all odds are against you. You don't have any personal relationship with this prospect, and you might be perceived as just another vendor trying to sell something; It’s imperative to do research on your prospect to establish some rapport from the start. This could be anything from knowing the school they graduated from to where they grew up. These topics can lead up to a conversation that will give you the rapport you need before starting your sales pitch.
Use rejection as motivation
Overcoming rejection is arguably one of the most important techniques to increase your close rate. Get used to hearing the word no because it will happen more often than not. Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” After hearing the word no, you can do one of two things. Get frustrated and upset, which will overall bring negative energy to your day; or welcome the next call with more motivation to close prospect because now you have something to prove.
Let your prospects tell you their problems before pitching your product
A common mistake that is made when cold calling is diving straight into the sales pitch. Many prospects receive multiple cold calls a day from vendors trying to sell them a product. For the most part, that is the last thing they want to hear when they pick up the phone. Instead, start the conversation with a question. “How are you doing?” or “What are you currently using for xyz? What don’t you like about it?” By using the customer discovery technique, you can enhance your sales pitch because you know their pains and problems.
Visualize yourself closing a deal
In the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, he mentions how everyone is capable of developing their “theater of the mind”. This is a place created in your imagination where you can go for the purpose of mental rehearsal, and to view ‘mental movies' you create, direct, and star in. Many of the best professional golf players use this technique before swinging their clubs. Before I start my day of cold calling, I mentally rehearse closing a sale from cold calling. I'm not here to tell anyone that if you use this technique you will automatically close the deal. However, I will say your cold calls become less nerve racking and more natural because you have seen yourself executing the call many times in your head.
Image Credit: Flickr/Juanedc