Increase Your Confidence and Sky Rocket Your Sales with Cold Calling
As a Recruitment Consultant for Finance and Accounting in The Shard, a large aspect of my job is cold calling finance teams who hire staff on a temporary basis. Unlike the vast majority, this is one of my favourite parts of my job!
Cold calling is used by businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs to drive sales. It can very much be seen as a number’s game (the more calls you make, the more likely you are to hunt down an opportunity to make a sale!) In essence, a good cold call is approaching someone professionally and meaningfully, with a sensible proposition.
Cold calling is a highly transferable skill; it teaches you how to strategically engage with people and develop perseverance (you will hear 'no!' a lot!) You will also learn how to handle rebuttals effectively.
Yes, initially it can be daunting ringing someone who you have never spoken to before – especially as we have all been on the receiving end of an awkward sales call. However, I think a successful cold call is mainly influenced by how you view it. For my first cold call, I felt awkward and like I was intruding on dear Frances the Finance Manager’s day; she was quick to turn down my questions and I was quick to put down the phone.
Making a successful cold call all comes down to confidence. Here are my tips for cold calling to a potential client:
Define your list
Linkedin is a great tool for finding people that are relevant for your product and for understanding your potential client’s background. As a recruitment consultant, I use Linkedin to understand companies finance teams, who they consist of and their structure.
Try to stay as 'close to the money' as possible - ring people that you know have used (or currently use) your competitors.
Is the person you are ringing relevant for your niche? Consider your product ‘Avatar’ – e.g. is your target audience university students that are the ages 18-25, and who love to shop at Zara?
Research the company
Separate yourself above the other cold callers by showing that you have a genuine interest in their company, and are up to date with trending news and topics.
Differentiate your offering
What do you have that is unique about your product from your competitors? Be a choice for that little bit extra you give. Does your company stay open an extra half an hour? Do you have a special deal?
Mention competitors of theirs that you work with and that have benefited from your product. Make them feel as though they SHOULD be working with you like everyone else. Explain the process in which you helped previous clients and demonstrate the value you added to their business.
Cold calling should be 80% listening and 20% speaking. Ask open questions to find their pain points so you know how to sell in your product.
I always start off my pitch with an intro, example of my product (in my case, an appropriate candidate for their finance team) and then ask, “How do you like the sound of this profile?” …Perhaps they don't! Question them around what they WOULD look for, frustrations they have with your competitors and whether they have anyone in their network that may be interested.
As long as you gain one piece of valuable information then the call was a success. Put them in your diary for a months time, and call back with a product more relevant. Plant seeds for future sales and follow them up.
Do not give them a chance to say no
In fact, make them say a lot of YES! One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is by saying, "Hello, I'm Briar, is this a good time to talk?"
When is it ever a good time to speak to a cold caller?
Be empathetic and approachable
If they ring you with questions or need something extra, go the extra distance for them. People can tell if you actually care or not – focus on them, not the sales, and make it your number one priority. It’s important you are honest – my best client relationships have come from when I’ve thrown my hands in the air and admitted I couldn’t help them!
Have a bit of fun with it - no one likes a robot. Ask them what their favourite sandwich is or talk about the footie. People buy into people so let your personality shine through.
*In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links meaning I may receive a commission if you choose to buy something. As usual, I only post things I love!
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