SCORE

Making sales phone calls is rarely a pleasant experience, but if you’re small business is looking to drum up new business from existing clients or new leads, then it’s important that you invest the time in perfecting your technique.

1.Align your cold call campaigns with other marketing activities

If you’re running ads on the radio, sending out a series of email blasts, or a combination of tactics, make sure your sales calls are timed accordingly and that the message and calls to action are integrated across all your marketing channels. This way, you can harness the additional visibility the other activities are bringing to your brand when you make your call. Hopefully the person at the end of the line has seen your ads and is already primed.

If your calls aren’t aligned with other marketing activities, look out for timely events or market imperatives that might drive a consumer to be more interested in what you have to offer. Get to know your buyers’ challenges before you make the call and fine-tune your message accordingly.

2.Make sure your contact info is accurate

Once you’re ready to make your calls, perfect your opening greeting. Unless you are 100 percent sure that you know Mr X is going to be at the end of the line, be prepared to lead with an open greeting.  For example, instead of leading with, “Hello Mr X, this is John with ABC Company,” start your greeting with “Good morning/afternoon, I was wondering if I could speak to Mr X.

3.Have your elevator pitch on hand

Once you’ve established contact with the right person, get straight to the point – explain who you are and what you represent – this will mean polishing up you elevator brief (20 words max – what you do, who you do it for and what benefit you bring).

My name is John Doe with ABC Company. We help homeowners like you uncover opportunities to reduce your monthly energy costs.”

Notice how vague this is? This is good because it doesn’t leave the door open for the consumer to say “No thanks, we already have that covered.” You’re teasing them a little, piquing their interest.

4.Thank them for their time

Next, be courteous once more, genuinely thank them for their time in speaking with you and show that you recognize that their time is precious. “Thank you for taking my call. I appreciate that you’re busy; this should only take a moment”.

5.Now get to the point (well almost)!

Once more, instead of diving straight into describing your product or service, look for ways to gauge interest. “If we could show you how we can help you cut your energy bills by up to 40% per month, would you be interested to know more?” By focusing on the end result, and not how your product helps the customer get there, there’s a good chance they’ll be intrigued to know more. This is your opportunity to request a meeting or send more information and lock down next steps.

6.Schedule a Follow-Up

Offer some options for follow-up. Whether it’s inviting them to a webinar or scheduling a meeting with your or a more experienced consultant. Take the lead on this. If you’re proposing a meeting, don’t just ask when are they available to meet, show that you mean business by offering up a few times and seeing what works from there.

7.Close out the call

Once the meeting is scheduled, reconfirm the time, date and place and if you can, get an email address to which you can send a confirmation.

Good luck!