In this day and age, with the whole Social Media Revolution and a focus on inbound marketing, one has to ask themselves:
- Does cold calling really work?
- Can I achieve ROI in winning potential clients using this technique?
- Can training cold calling strategies helped my lead generation cause?
- Is B2B appointment setting really worth the time or should I focus on something else?
1. The Opening Statement
In most cases, it is the opening statement that sets the tone. If you fumble with it, surely you won't impress the person you are calling, more so when your call is not expected. Focus on being short, polite and to the point. If you blurt out a whole paragraph before the person has had a chance to breathe, it is going to be a an epic fail, likely. Something like, “Hi! This is John with Vendere Partners. Wanted to find out if you've ever used or though of using a lead generation company before?"”
2. Do Some Research on the Potential Client
Effective lead generation requires research about prospective clients, even if it's a cursory glance at their website. B2B lead generation works better when you can show you've done your homework. Be aware of their areas of specialization, their business techniques and practices. Remember, you have to convince them that this call is important to you and this can usually be done by starting a sentence with, "I noticed on your website..."
3. Practice, Practice and more Practice
When I would complain about baseball practice, my dad used to tell me, "Son, practice like you're the worst; perform as if you are the best." The same is especially true for phone inflection. Make mock calls and talk with a friend, or even record yourself. See that you don't slip, but more importantly gauge the tone of your voice. Is it pleasant and inviting or robotic?
Effective telemarketing skills require a certain level of confidence, and you need to feel in control before making the plunge. The more you practice, the more liberty you have to open up and be yourself.
4. Break the Ice
This means initiating contact. It means not going right into your value prop, and objectives, but taking a moment to build a rapport and comfort.
Also, be aware that the person you are calling might have received similar calls so if he/she is not in the mood, give them space. You might simply suggest calling some other time. But it is always important to “Break the Ice.” This is one of the most important things in the process of cold calling. Make the other person feel “connected.” It's sometimes intangible, but for me, I always enter an initial business conversation thinking, "I'd rather be chatting about this over a beer, but the phone will have to do for now."
5. Stay Focused
Establish a connection to your prospect but never forget: An initial cold call is not meant to result in immediate soaring sales. Nobody agrees to do business worth thousands of dollars in one phone call. Dialing the number is the first step; everything after that is geared towards advancing the prospect through the sales funnel. It is to get the other person to agree to talk more or meet for some meaningful purpose.
The bottom line is be pleasant with your prospect... not creepy!