Top Cold Calling Mistakes that are Costing you a Business Appointment

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In this age of intensified campaigns on social media marketing, you might be tempted to think that cold calling is dead. The truth is millions of marketers use cold calling to generate qualified business appointments and close deals every day.

However, cold calling strategies have changed from the days of 1992’s award-winning film, Glengarry Glen Ross, who believed ‘coffee is for losers.’ Having coffee with a client is one step closer to making a sale.

Today’s customer is more informed, more rational, and more in control. As a salesperson, your primary objective of a cold call is to sell a solution to a client’s pain point, and this requires you to listen, learn and only talk when requesting another opportunity to sell.

You will need to develop your sales network (if local, even better) to get referrals and step by step start replacing cold calls with referred calls, at least a percentage. To learn more about local sales networks, check this article.

While this still hasn’t happened, let’s talk about the mistakes that are the top reasons costing you another opportunity to sell.

Using a static cold calling list

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Traditionally, cold calling was seen as a prospecting technique whose main objective is to reach as many people as possible within the shortest time. Wall Street is the pioneer of this selling technique, and it was seen to produce magic results until organizations realized it was tarnishing their brand.

The movie Pursuit of Happiness became the first turning point of this strategy.

Instead of going through the list from the bottom up as required by the organization, Chris Gardner, cast by Will Smith, decided to flip the names and start calling the ones on top first and, in the process, landed his first business appointment.

Using a cold calling list is the quickest path to being rejected. Calling lists are based on generic demographic data like age, income level, company size, location, age, industry, and other general factors.

To succeed in cold calling, you need to use a list from data-based prospective customers. Being young, in Europe, in financial services, and having a number of employees between 50 to 100 are not good enough reasons to qualify a prospect.

You need to develop ideal metrics to qualify your leads and use the list to generate more qualified leads. Calling the wrong person is a waste of time, both for the prospect and the marketer. Before dialing the phone, ensure that the prospect has the following qualities:

  • Have an established demand for your product.
  • Have a proven purchasing power.
  • The prospect is a decision-maker.

If your call ends up being picked by an intern, find a way to maneuver the conversation to ensure you speak to the right prospect. And since cold calling is hard, you can visit and check their cold calling script templates that will help you and your team to be as effective as possible when cold calling.

Calling without prior research on the company

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Most marketers have a target call list every day. Some marketers need to make 30, 40, or 50 calls before the close of business. These kinds of targets push the marketers to call without doing prior research.

While you may not have the time to know everything about the prospect, learning some basics about the company can portray you as a severe provider who can solve their problem. At the very least, know the following about your prospect:

Primary demographic data about the company

Location, products, industry, number of employees, top executives, and the company’s value proposition are some critical demographic factors you should know. Imagine calling microfinance whose value proposition is quick turnaround time and selling them a product that reduces their turnaround time?

Will the prospect take you seriously?

Research the person you will be talking to and their title.

Mispronouncing a prospect’s name is one of the biggest turnoffs in cold calling. If you got the company’s phone number from the website or business listing directories like yellow pages, you will likely talk to the receptionist or the company secretary. Thus, using a tool like LinkedIn, you can get the name of the top company executive and request to be patched through to the executive. Be bold and confident while making the request; most secretaries bar cold callers from disturbing the boss.

Understand the company’s pain point from their value proposition

For instance, if your company sells a translation tool, you must identify e-commerce companies operating in different geographical locations. Language barriers can be a considerable challenge in their business.

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Transaction history or trigger events can be another source of knowledge

If a company recently launched a 10-year strategic plan which focuses on increasing the company’s digital presence, if you sell a video marketing tool, this is the right company to sell to, and this is the right time.

Having some basic information about your client’s pain points not only helps you customize your pitch but also shows that you are genuinely concerned about your client’s business.

Wrapping Up

Ensure you are well versed in your product or service. After calling prospects many times, you may think you know everything about your product. Also, don’t celebrate pre-mature wins, as this reduces your intensity in the other cold call. You can celebrate small successes like getting an appointment with a client, but don’t forget the end goal is to close a deal.

Make sure you speak clearly, don’t go too fast and neither too slow. Make sure the person on the other line understands what you are talking about. Also, don’t take yourself too familiar, since you never talked to your prospect before, it may look unpolite to try to make yourself a close friend.

Develop your local sales network to start getting more referred sales. Frequent networking events, try to give a speech, connect with local businesses since they may introduce you to other potential clients.

Last but not least, you may be successful by starting doing partnerships with non-competitive companies. The idea is that, since at the end of the day if you both are promoting sales by phone, you can multiply both reaches with this type of partnership.