How it should be done
Cold calling can still provide lucrative results when done properly. Knowing exactly what to say and how to say it to drive a sale is an art form that takes practice. Though it’s tempting to get dialing without having put together a plan, this can see you falling off track completely, and ultimately end in disaster.
In order to have the best chance at engaging your prospects, you need to have a basic outline at hand to ensure you’re guiding the conversation in the right direction, but without sounding aggressive or like a soulless robot. Any salesperson will recognise the challenge here, so we’ve put together an example of a winning sales script for that tough first call.
How not to do it
Before we get into the right way to make a cold sales call, let’s discuss the things you definitely shouldn’t do. Does this look familiar?:
Salesperson: Hi, I’m [name] calling from [name of company], can I have five minutes of your time to tell you about a product you may find useful?
This is already off to a bad start. You’ve failed to personalise the call by mentioning the prospect by name, and asking for some of their precious time when they have no real idea who you are and what you want is never a good idea…
Prospect: Actually, I’m pretty busy right now…
Salesperson: I just wanted to tell you about our latest software launch, I think it could be really helpful for driving productivity for your business
Prospect: No thanks, I’m not interested
If the prospect says they don’t have time, don’t try and steamroll them by waffling on regardless and hoping they change their mind. Be mindful of their needs and tone and react accordingly; what could have been an opportunity to schedule for another time has now been completely lost as the prospect’s patience has been tested.
Salesperson: Ok fine, bye.
Don’t let ego come into it and end the call abruptly; you’ll just come off as rude and leave a bad taste in the prospect’s mouth. Regardless of how the call panned out, thank them for their time and wish them a nice day – remember you’re representing the whole company.
The right way to do it
Now we’ve clarified what a terrible sales call looks like (although you probably could have guessed that), let’s get down to business and see how it should be done…
Salesperson: Hi [prospect’s name], I’m [name] calling from [company name], have I caught you at an okay time?
Firstly, introduce yourself and the name of your company. Though this will likely signal to the prospect that it’s a sales call, not doing so just makes you look shady and automatically creates distrust. Show that you’re a respectful professional by asking if it’s an okay time.
Next, it’s time to start building a rapport by asking them a question about themselves or their company. You can glean insights from a reputable company intelligence database for this purpose. It needs to be something that shows you’re familiar with them, and will put them more at ease, e.g.:
Salesperson: Congrats on your promotion, how are you settling in to the new role?
I read about your latest deal with [company name], congrats! You guys must be thrilled?
I see you studied at [university], how did you find it?
If they’re receptive to the question and happy to chat about it, don’t be afraid to go off-track a bit; building a rapport with the prospect is half the battle at this stage.
Next, it’s time to revert back to business. A good segway would be something like:
Salesperson: [prospect’s name], I appreciate you’re really busy, so I’ll keep things brief.
Again, this shows that you’re understanding of the prospect and they’ll feel more relaxed knowing you’re not looking for a long-winded conversation.
Salesperson: I’m just calling to let you know that our solution has recently saved [other company’s name] £2 million in costs.
Give the prospect a reason to be intrigued in your offering by showing the potential value or benefit it could bring them.
Salesperson: I wanted to see whether we could help you too.
It’s always better to come from an angle of helpfulness, so your prospect knows you’re not going in for the hard sell and therefore doesn’t feel they need to be on the defence.
Now it’s time to bring out the specific pain point that you know your prospect has (since you’ve already qualified them). Mention the issue by framing it as a question, e.g.
Salesperson: Are you currently looking to reduce your outgoings in the shipping department?
You already know they are, so after they say yes you can then tell them how your product or service can help. Just remember to keep listening to be able to answer any questions they have and to adapt your tone to match theirs.
Finding your prospects
The first and the most important step here, which will create a base for successful phone call, is having the right contacts at hand. After all, what good is the perfect sales script if the person you’re chatting to has no buying authority?
The phone numbers provided by Global Database’s company intelligence platform are all direct, so you don’t have to worry about secretaries and can get straight through to the person you need. What’s more, you can filter you search based on factors such as company revenue, number of employees, industry, technology use, employee seniority level, and more, to build highly-targeted contact lists from scratch.
Picking up the phone to call a prospect for the very first time can be daunting, but with a bit of prior research and a carefully crafted script the task becomes much easier. Just bear in mind that going off-script is ok if it means building a positive relationship with a potential customer; nobody wants to buy from a robot, after all.
Access millions of potential leads with direct contact details at www.GlobalDatabase.com
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