With the advent of the contact center software solutions in the communication industry, it has become easier for the agents to connect with the prospects. With the contact information easily available, all that the callers have to do is strike a conversation and ensure that the buyer is convinced to make the purchase.
However, more than often, this is the toughest part of working as a tele-selling executive. Simply taking the phone, calling up someone who is not aware of the corporation and trying to bid your products in front of them requires courage as rejection or impolite behavior is around the corner. This is the reason why many agents do not wish to cold call and instead want to take the safe route of retouching the already existing consumers of the company.
However, cold calling is essential for the business growth. This refers to the traditional practice of calling unknown prospects in an attempt to establish a sort of business relationship with them. This is more of an introductory call rather than a sales one. The contact is usually initiated without the knowledge of the buyer, and, as a result, is unexpected. Therefore, the representatives must ensure that there is a legit reason for making the call and is worth the time of the purchaser.
With the growth of social media, these days many companies have started utilizing these networking platforms in order to introduce themselves. As a result, they think that cold calling has become a dead practice. However, it is vital to understand that these sites can be used only as an extension and not as a replacement to the existing practices.
As a result, you can contact the client on LinkedIn or any other platform to make an introduction. The message can be brief introducing the organization and telling about a conversation in the near future. Hence, you have already broken the ice and there is a relationship of sorts established. Make sure that the outbound call center software is already integrated with the profiles so that you can stay active.
While talking to the clients, it is vital that you have something definitive on your mind and it is important to get straight to business. Here are a few tips on how you can better the cold calling process and ensure that the consumer does not hang up untimely.
1. Know your Target
• Many agents confuse cold calling with random sampling. It is not similar to picking up contact numbers casually and making the calls, in a hope that someone might respond positively. It can be very tempting to open a Yellow Pages Book or a telephone directory before making calls. However, this is not the right way to connect with your prospects.
• Instead of casting a wide net, narrow down your options and work on them. Try looking for individuals that have preferences similar to what your company has to offer. This increases your chance of getting a positive reaction from the other end. Look at people who are similar to your existing customer base.
• It is vital that you choose a cloud contact center software that comes with in-built vendor integration. You can also communicate with the marketing as well as product development team to understand which prospects fit the picture of your buyer persona. This not only helps you to focus on the individuals who might be genuinely interested in the product but also helps you to understand them better. When you have the basic information like name, age, demographic location etc. you can tweak around your pitch according to their requirements.
2. Prepare for the Call
• This is one of the most important steps while cold calling. It is essential that you understand that you are the representation of the company for the consumers. The way you talk and what you talk will lay the foundation for the future interactions between both the parties. Hence, it is vital that you are prepared and not fumble during the conversation.
• It is a cold call and not a blind one. Hence, do adequate research before jumping in. It is important that you know your prospects as better as possible. Choose a cloud customer service software that allows you to develop an insight into the previous purchases, likes and dislikes of the purchasers. This will not only help you to understand them better but will also help you to see whether they qualify the category of your ideal buyer persona.
• The outbound calling software should be amalgamated with the leading social networking platforms. This allows the callers to develop a better insight into the needs and preferences of the consumer. Knowing more about the clients beforehand gives them an impression that you have done your homework well and are serious about the interaction.
• Having a better understanding of the customer can help you to be mentally prepared for the call. Even if you do not use the information that you have researched, knowing them better will boost your confidence. It is important not only to know about your consumer but also about the product. Be prepared for the questions that might arise and have comebacks planned for the same.
3. Have a Framework Instead of the Script
• Once you know who you are going to talk to, start focusing on how you are going to start and carry forward the conversation. It is vital that you have a plan of action in mind. This is especially true for introverts who are not very confident while talking to people. Many companies tend to think that scripts can make amateur callers sound good on call.
• On the contrary, a script can make you sound robotic. The buyers can smell the rehearsed pitch from afar and this can be a big put off for them. Instead of written scripts, have a framework that gives you the freedom to structure all that you want to say in the way you want.
• This does not mean that you restrict yourself to talk only that is planned. The pre-decided guidelines will help you to keep track of all that is being said while talking. It is vital to remember that the main objective of cold calling is not selling but introducing the company and winning the right to sell. Hence, plan the pitch accordingly.
• In case you wish to have a script with yourself, remember to make it more personal and interactive in nature. Don’t write it word-to-word. Just include a few pointers or keywords that can be your crutches in case you become nervous. Keep it short and precise with only three to four lines describing the organization. You can elaborate depending upon the interest of the buyer.
• The biggest disadvantage of making a caller too dependent on a script is that it takes away the spontaneity of the call. If the customer asks something that is not a part of the script or raises an objection for which the executive has no rebuttal, he starts to fumble and this takes away your golden opportunity to build a relationship with the buyers.
4. Embrace Rejections
• Cold calls are probably the most detested conversations by the agents. The reason is plain and simple. More than often the buyers are not interested in talking and instead very rudely slam the phone down when the caller is trying to make an interaction. However, it is essential to understand that this is a part of the business. Rejections will come your way despite you being fantastic or the offer being interesting.
• Don’t let the refusals dishearten you. Instead, think of how you can refine your approach so that the customers are compelled to display an interest in your offering. More than often you cannot see your own shortcomings. Hence, it is important that you ask the customers the reason behind the denial. The more you get rejected, the greater are the chances of honing your skills.
5. Anticipate the Objections
• Very few consumers will allow you to continue with the conversation in the first instance. On every cold call that you make, there are bound to be objections raised by the customer. Rarely is the case that the clients tried to rebuff you. More than often, there is a genuine reason behind the opposition. Whatever be the case it is vital that you are prepared for it.
• The key for overcoming a contradiction is to be prepared for it. When you have the right come back for it, every objection can be turned around into a potential opportunity and you can convince the buyers that you have something valuable for them to offer. This ensures that the door is left open for further communication between both the parties.
• For example, a spa center used the call center software solutions for small business in order to connect with the probable customers. The agents very frequently used cold calling in order to get more consumers try their products. However, more than often they were met with refusals and, as a result, the interaction was left unsuccessful.
• The managers then decided to analyze the previous conversations using the recording feature of the outbound telemarketing software. After proper analysis and discussions, it was decided that the callers need to be prepared for every contradiction that came from the buyer. When the responses from the agents were right, the communication was carried out some time later.
• As a result, “I am too busy right now,” was countered saying, “Let me know the right time when I can call you. You surely cannot miss out this amazing offer.” Oppositions with regard to price and the competitive brands were dealt with responses like the quality and USP of the product.
6. Try Bringing Referrals
• The prospects will give you their time only when they trust you. The easiest and the fastest way to develop a bond between the buyer and the company is to approach them through their social circle. When you contact them through a trusted source, your credibility goes up. Instead of looking at you as a hurdle in their routine, the customers will pay attention to you trying to know what the reason is that prompted their friends to take the plunge and if the merchandise can be beneficial to them as well.
• Having a recommendation allows you the opportunity to connect with the prospects that have never been a part of your lead list. If you are trying to connect with the customers on social media, bringing up common connections improves visibility and increases the chance of a positive reaction. Have an effective referral system and put up incentives and rewards for the same. If you know any buyer in your database who is connected to the prospect that you are calling, ask him if you can take his name.
• Cold calling can be a tricky situation and many callers usually tend to ignore it. However, instead of running away it is vital that the agents practice for the same. With enough preparation and skills, cold calling can be beneficial for the business in the long run.
• Try the technique of mirroring and think about the interaction from the customer’s point of view. This will help you to predict the questions that the client can ask and you can be better prepared for the same. Even if you are not on call, act like you are pitching to a buyer. If you are committed to being an excellent caller, make at least two cold calls each day.
• Do not give up the practice because you have failed initially. Many assume that they are not good with cold calling and that if strike the conversation a potential customer will be lost. However, the call center software solutions come with the feature of monitoring and barging. Thus, the supervisors will always be available to help you in the case of tricky situations.
It is essential that you keep a track of all the calls that you have made. It will not only help you to know what style is working but shall also help you to better understand the practice. Make a note of which time of the day is working, what kind of pitch is accepted and how the consumers are reacting. While it is true that each consumer is different, having these things noted shall help you to craft your strategy accordingly.
Top 3 Cold Calling Tips To Speedily Increase Sales
Cold calling refers to acquiring a potential customer without any form of former interaction.
Often referred to as telemarketing, it is considered to be by far, one of the oldest and most common forms of marketing for salespeople.
More often than not, cold calling salespeople face rejection and failure.
However, to reduce such cases, they should research the area of which they are operating and adequately prepare themselves according to the demographics of the prospects of their markets.
There are various ways in which the process of cold calling is performed:
1. Visiting a prospective client without any former appointment
2. Making contact via calls.
3. Making phone calls for generating sales and for seeking donations.
However, this method is illegal in various countries making it impracticable in various countries.
Tactics used in Cold Calling
The most important tactic that a person should employ in the field of cold calling is preparing and researching the prospective clients.
This helps salespeople to influence the target audience in a more effective manner.
Successful salespeople extensively research the demographics before they pitch their products to prospective clients.
They begin by striking out with an interesting conversation that addresses the needs of the company and satisfies one or more of the client’s needs.
Other tactics used in the process of cold calling are as under:
1. Listening carefully to enhance the flow of the conversation – When a salesperson contacts the clients, he stresses equally to listening as he does while speaking.
Active listening helps the salesperson to learn new information throughout the conversation that can help steer in various surprising directions.
It is very much important to listen as well while conversing as without actively listening, the salesperson will fall back on a prepared script which can ultimately put an end to the conversation.
2. Focusing on solving the client’s problems –
In all fields of business, it is all about the customer and not about the product.
Therefore, salespeople should always focus on how to help the clients with their problems.
The client grants time to the salesperson, hoping that they are able to solve some of their problems.
Solving the client’s problem helps the call to delve deeper into the salesperson-client relationship.
This, however, is only possible when the salesperson spends some time digging down to the root of the problem for a solution.
3. Thank the client for their time –
It is a no secret that the client gives his valuable time to the salesperson to know what they’re offering.
Therefore, it is a basic point that the salesperson should express gratitude to the client.
The last impression is equally important to the first one.
According to surveys, sales representatives spend only 37% of their time on actual selling activities.
The majority of the remaining portion of the time is spent by them in researching and prospecting.
Therefore, they are commonly recommended to save their time by utilizing it for researching about the prospective clients whom they can help and at the same time achieve their targets.
• BZS banks used the best telemarketing software in order to connect with more potential prospects. While most of their trips were taken up by the already existing consumers, they wished to expand their customer base. As a result, the managers decided to initiate the practice of cold calling in order to get more clients.
• They gave the agents a script with everything that needed to be conveyed to the buyer. Every caller was asked to make at least 3 cold calls per day. However, despite having technologically advanced cloud based call center solutions and services par excellence, they were not successful in closing the leads.
• After careful analysis, the managers then decided to change the approach a little. While earlier the consumers were selected on a random basis, the supervisors now tied up corporate companies in order to get in touch with new employees who might need an account. The outbound calling solution was amalgamated with popular suppliers like JustDial so that the callers could easily get the contact information.
• Instead of the script, few pointers were given to the representatives. The pre-crafted pitch made them sound artificial. Instead, the agents were given the liberty to allow the conversations to flow free until all the essentials were communicated. The training sessions were arranged frequently in order to brush up the product knowledge as well as company information.
• Emphasis was given to listening to the customers. They were allowed to voice their concerns and issues. The callers were better prepared with comebacks and rebuttals for objections and rejections without being too pushy. Special training was given on how to talk to the gatekeepers. They are usually the first recipient of the cold calls. Also, a referral system with rewards and incentives was put into use.
• The cloud contact center solutions were linked to the social networking platform. This gave the executives an opportunity to know more about the consumer. Instead of their previous random approach, they decided to find a problem faced by the buyer and present a solution to them in the form of their product.
• A remarkable change was seen in the quality of the calls. While it was true that not all turned into leads, the number of calls cut midway in the conversation was reduced. The agents utilized the social networking platform to warm up to the buyers before making the conversation. As a result, not many purchasers were left frustrated. This improved the possibility of further interactions between both the parties.
Cold calls can be a daunting task for the callers. However, when done in the right manner this can also be one of the ways for business expansion. Not all calls that you make are going to be successful. The key lies in learning from the failures and improving yourself. Utilize the best call center software to its maximum, hone your skills, have the right timing and tone and you may never know which conversation clicks.