For a new salesperson, what are the best cold calling techniques?
Hi there! First of all, it’s totally okay to be nervous. Every master salesperson was once a beginner, they all have their funny stories about messing up, and most of all: cold calling is not a bad thing and you aren’t hurting anyone.
If someone really doesn’t want to talk to you, they’ll either not pick up the phone at all or hang up suddenly, no harm no foul. It’s not like you’re pranking somebody. And if you are selling a good product that more people should know about, one that could make their lives better, aren’t you doing them a disservice is you don’t tell them about it?
No one is born a skilled salesperson. It comes with experience. There is no hacking your way around that initial rough stage, but I have done cold calling for a long time, starting at the bottom, and I promise you, that initial stage is never as long or painful as you’ve likely built it up to be. When you’ve over the initial hump, you will wonder to yourself what was so scary about it in the first place. When you get uncomfortable or nervous, focus on that future version of yourself. You will get there, and every call is one big step closer.
With that said, here are a few techniques for you based on my experience and tips from field experts to help you get skilled and fully comfortable as fast as possible.
#1 Use social proof in your conversation while discussing your product/service.
#2 Choose the perfect time to call after collecting lead info. For instance, Tim Ferriss had a story about how, when working in phone sales, he discovered he could get all his calls in on a certain time of the morning, because he was calling CEOs with receptionists, and during that brief period most receptionists weren’t in their offices yet, but the CEOs were. So he could collate his calls together in the course of a couple of hours and be done with it, spending the rest of his day on getting more leads for tomorrow.
#3 Look for long term relations. Be prepared to set up follow ups. Most really effective and profitable phone selling models pass the customer along through a couple different calls. Even if you sell on the first call, it doesn’t hurt to set up check-in calls to get customer feedback and show you care beyond just getting their money.
#4 My best trick for rejection: when you get rejected and don’t get the sale, and the call ends, take a deep breath and then immediately say whatever dramatic, negative thing is on your mind. “I’m terrible at this. I’ll never get good.” “I should quit. In fact, I should quit working any job, forever.” Blow it up to sound as ridiculous as possible. Then laugh. Laugh at how silly what you just said sounds, when you know it was just based on a single phone call with a random person, someone whose circumstances and attitude you have no control over.
It should come easily, because even if you feel really bad after getting rejected, all that your body really wants to do is react viscerally for a little while. It’s like having an itch in your throat. Better to cough and clear it out than carry that tension into your next call.
#5 Research your product/service well before calling. Obvious, but important. Be ready to cover all your bases and answer as many questions as possible. Some niches have customers that will ask a lot of stuff, but most not so much.
#6 Ensure the proper working of your headset and other basics for clear communication.
#7 Be a patient listener. Most inexperienced salespeople talk too much. Make it a point to ask questions, to check in for their feedback and status. You shouldn’t ever be talking continuously for more than 30 seconds. Even if it’s just to say “Does that make sense so far?” pause and get a response from them.
#8 Show emotions in your communication. Don’t get emotional about the sale itself, though, as that shows a lack of confidence. Be independent of that. Instead, be emotionally positive about the product and supportive of the customer’s needs.
#9 Adjust your voice pitch according to the flow of communication. Resist the urge to talk faster, to get it over with. It makes a person sound nervous.
#10 Record your every call for better learning, even if the automated system does that. You can learn from your mistakes more easily this way.
In addition to the above techniques, here’s a golden suggestion for you that I have discovered after talking to countless experts in sales. When it comes to interacting with customers, be that through cold calling or door to door dealing, there are five universal objections that customers usually have to buy from you. I have discussed those objections and their solutions in my article: 5 Deep-Seated Customer Doubts That Kill Your Sales (And How to Erase Them). As a salesperson, especially as a beginner, one should be familiar with those objections, as tackling them effectively will help you grow as a salesperson much faster.
It’s undeniable that, as a salesperson, what matters most are your figures. To rule on the sales chart, one should make it their business not just to know their product and their typical customer, but to know their strengths and weaknesses in communication, and steadily grow those skills.
Please feel free to reply to me if you need any clarification.