4 Cold Calling Tips from the Experts

Achieve more from cold calling by following this expert advice.

June 7, 2017

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I’ve said it before: Cold calling is on its way out. But I am not so naïve as to think it’s going to disappear overnight. If you’re going in cold, though, you might as well make the most of it. In this post, you’ll find four insights from five experts to help you take the chill out of cold calling.

Go in With a Plan

Winging it rarely gets you far in sales. Top sales reps approach every aspect of their selling process strategically. When prospecting, you wouldn’t reach out in any capacity without putting a plan in place. It’s just as important to do that before making a call.

According to Steli Efti, founder and CEO of Close.io, “When selling on the phone, oftentimes sales reps don’t understand how to structure a call.  If you don’t have the right plan going into a sales call, it’s going to be much harder to close the deal. Every sales call, from a cold call to a closing call, should follow a pre-planned structure that is meant to optimize the likelihood of a desired result.”  

Warm Them Up

One of my biggest objections to cold calling is that it’s simply not necessary to go in cold anymore. With all the tools at your disposal and information at your fingertips, you should be able to connect in some way with a prospect before you ever pick up the phone. In fact, reaching out with value can pave the way for the prospective buyer to agree to a call. 

Dean Moothart, Director of Client Solutions at LeadG2, recommends that you “share relevant content that positions you as thought leader and then follow up. Sending your target contact an email before you call can help if it’s written well. Don’t send a generic email. Use the information you uncovered…and include links to relevant thought leadership content (blog articles, white papers, eBooks, etc.). It is even better if you are the published author of this content. This will help you position yourself as a subject matter expert in the eyes of the prospect and not just a run-of-the-mill salesperson. Who doesn’t want to talk to an expert who has experience solving their business problems?”

Make It Personal

You want to build rapport with a prospective buyer as soon as possible. To make that connection, it helps to unearth something relevant and significant as you prepare for the discussion. As Jill Konrath, sales keynote speaker and best-selling author, says, “I discovered that the only way to capture the attention of these corporate decision makers was to create a very personalized message based on in-depth research in their firm. Once I started doing this, I started setting up meetings.”

Adam Honig, co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies, suggests, “Look them up on LinkedIn to see if you have any connections. Google them to find common ground to talk about. Maybe even search their Twitter or Facebook profiles to get more background information to form a connection. Find that personal, human touch to build immediate rapport. Just hitting them up with the standard blah blah isn’t going to work.”

Get Them Talking

Outside of hearing your call go silent because the prospect has hung up on you, your biggest fear is probably hearing “no” (“No, I’m not interested,” “No, that’s not a priority for us”…) One way to avoid this is by doing more listening instead of selling. But to get prospects talking, you need to come in with an insight.

As Mark Hunter says, “The buyer never ends the discussion or hangs up on you when they’re doing the talking. You get them talking by sharing information that you think they might find interesting. Lead off by engaging them with something from a macro perspective – an industry perspective – to get them talking.”

As a modern sales professional, you never need to approach another buyer cold. For more ideas on how to thrive in the era of social selling, download our eBook,
The Post Era of the Cold Call.