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Top Reps Do These 5 Things When Cold Calling

by Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io

Even with rejection looming on the other line, cold calling is still one of the most powerful sales tool around.

Why?

You can track your performance immediately.

And if you’re persistent, you can master your craft.

So, how do you maximize the value of each and cold call?

Cold Calling Tip 1: Aim to talk longer.

The whole point of a cold call is to get and hold your prospect’s attention. The longer you can keep them on the line, the greater chance of follow-up.

On average, successful cold calls are over a minute and a half longer than ones without follow-up.

What makes up those extra 90+ seconds?

It all starts with the first 30.

In real life, it takes just 1/10 of a second to make a first impression in person. However, you have significantly longer when you’re on the phone.

Most prospects decide whether they are going to buy from you in the first 30 seconds. That means you have just half a minute to win over that stranger on the other line.

Cold Calling Tip 2: Prove Your Value.

The most successful cold calls contain more words from the company side, so come armed with plenty of content.

So, what can you do beforehand to help drive talk time?

Research.

This should be a pre-call ritual for every sales rep.

Take notes on your prospect’s personal preferences, professional history, and anything else you can find. Remember, you are initiating a conversation.

if you are reaching out to a client who is familiar with your product or service, you would want to speak with them in a more technical manner. On the other hand, if you are reaching out to someone who has never used your service or product, it is more effective to stay away from technical details and begin by finding out what their needs and pain points are.

By tracking down key information on your prospect, you can deliver calls with value and hold their attention longer. Without research, you appear selfish by showing zero investment in the person on the other end of phone.

Think About Your Positioning.

Too often, cold calls comes off as overly assertive with a salesperson sounding like a revenue-hungry robot.

While you prepare to pick up the phone, remember to put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. This allows you to self-reflect and think about the reactions one might have to your sales approach.

Take the time to “cold call” yourself, paying attention to how you come off. You can even put a mirror on your desk to mimic face-to-face interactions. From there, observe your behavior and even ask yourself, “Would I want to talk to me?” You’ll also be aware of your posture – if you’re not sitting up straight and smiling, you’re probably not in the right mindset to make a call.

Reference (Don’t Read) a Script.

A short cold calling script can be handy to lean on when you’re at a loss for words. However, the idea isn’t to read from this verbatim – instead, use it as a guide to communicate your message clearly and confidently.

For any cold call, it’s always good to provide a concrete example of what you have done for other companies and clients. This will help engage the prospect and allow them to have a better idea of how your product/service could be used.

Cold Calling Tip 3: Allow for “Awkward Pauses”.

Pausing during a cold call may get greater attention because it creates a gap in the flow of a conversation.

But, it actually works in your favor.

Cold calls with follow up present significantly higher patience from the company side. In other words, holding a pause during a transition increases your likelihood of your prospect wanting to talk to you again.

However, this doesn’t mean you should go and start inserting awkward pauses into all of your conversations.

Be strategic about it.

Try pausing after you use your name. Everyone loves hearing their own name – chances are, he or she will listen even more intently to the words that follow the pause. In turn, you double the impact and benefit of the silence you created.

Or, you can pause after you ask a question. This gets tricky if the prospect doesn’t immediately respond, but don’t give in. Discipline yourself to stay silent until the prospect gives you an answer.

Cold Calling Tip 4: Encourage Your Prospect to Drive.

As a sales rep, you’re probably naturally inclined to drive the conversation.

Don’t let this stop you from handing the steering wheel over.

We all know a healthy talk-to-listen ratio is a key indicator of a top-performing rep. The same holds true for reps that cold call.

If a prospect is willing to take control over the conversation in a cold call, that usually means they are excited to talk to you.

At the end of the day, you want to ensure your cold call is more like a tennis match, and less like a football game. Ask questions that will not only allow you to qualify the prospect, but keep them engaged.

Remember the End Goal.

Cold calling is overwhelming on its own and might cause you to lost track of what you’re trying to accomplish.

You’re not picking up the phone to pitch your prospect on the spot. You’re just trying to get them to commit to a meeting at a later date.

By keeping this in mind, you’ll be more likely to apply these practices that will leave your prospect wanting more.

 

Chris Orlob is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io. – the #1 conversation intelligence platform for B2B sales teams. Gong helps you convert more of your pipeline into revenue by shining the light on your sales conversations. It records, transcribes, and analyzes every sales call so you can drive sales effectiveness, figure out what’s working and what’s not, and ramp new hires faster.

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This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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