Which is the best cold-calling trick?
Hi. I am not into cold calling much now, but, I was quite successful with it for a time. The key to success is patience and understanding the psychology of the customer.
Cold calling is mostly down to experience and taking your lumps from making mistakes. Now that being said, one golden trick that I will share in this answer helped me a ton as I was starting out.
Let’s discuss more.
Before I get to that, just for due diligence, here are a few general cold calling tips:
#1 Listen to the customer
#2 Understand your product/service and its competitors
#3 Don’t follow the scripts too hard. Be spontaneous.
#4 Don’t over-promote your product/service. Sometimes over-selling will turn off an interested prospect.
#5 Select the proper time to call a customer.
#6 Have a good hold over your communication skills.
#7 Respect the emotions of the customers, try to get personal, but not overly personal.
#8 Have clear goals in your mind that go beyond “get a sale.” For instance, you can have a goal to get at least one person to agree to a pricier package. What you don’t shoot for, you have no chance to hit. Aim for an awesome sale and settle for a normal one. It’s better than aiming for any sale and settling for nothing.
#9 If possible, use social proof.
#10 Have control over the pitch of your voice. Catch yourself from going high out or nerves.
#11 Be positive throughout the call. Even if a customer says no, the world will keep turning.
Okay, time for me to unveil my best/golden trick:frame control.
So much of how business conversations play out, especially between a salesperson and customer, is about frame.
If you’re unfamiliar, a frame is a concept in psychology, basically how you personally perceive the interaction. Your frame should be that you are qualifying to see who is a good fit for what you have to sell. Do not approach it from the frame of having something you need to sell, no matter what, and this person is your next chance to get a sale.
There are three reasons why this “are you a good fit” frame is far, far better than the “do you want to buy this from me” frame:
1: People feel special if they qualify for something. If it’s about them qualifying, then suddenly the spotlight is on them and they feel either a eagerness to prove themselves, or a nervousness about missing out by saying the wrong thing. And DO NOT tell them they are qualified, make them prove it.
2: When you are qualifying them as a good fit for the product, there’s no reason to be nervous. If they’re not a good fit, you didn’t miss out on anything. It’s a sale you would know better than to push for.
3: Being a part of something implies future benefits in a way that the customer appreciates. If they qualify for something, they can qualify for something higher too, potentially. This improves the chance of higher-ticket sales and decreases the frequency of customer support issues. Qualified customers have a greater urge to handle problems on their own.
You don’t really say anything different in the literal sense, usually, when you control the frame. But when pushed, I used to do an intentional frame reversal on a difficult prospect. Here’s an example:
Customer: Look, I know this is just a sales call, man, so can we wrap it up to the price?
Me: The price?
Customer: Yeah, just tell me how much so I know if I can afford it or not.
Me: (Slightly offended) Well, [name], my goal here is not to just take anybody’s money for nothing. My job is to find the few people most qualified to make good use of this product, because it leads to fewer customer support issues and helps us organize more fun events and rewards. We like to do a lot of cool stuff for our customers. Stuff that costs us time and money, but we like to do it. In exchange, we want to know we’re only doing that for the people who can’t just afford our product, and not just people who are a great fit for our product. We want to work with people who can turn into inspiring success stories, or who we at least know are in a position and have the motivation to really change their lives with what we’re offering.
Customer: (spooked) Right, yeah, I understand. Well, I do think I’d be a good fit for it. I was just eager to hear the price.
(Note: he did not sound eager when he told me to hurry up to the price. Now he is backwards-rationalizing that he asked out of eagerness. A good sign.)
Me: Great. Just another minute and if you’re found to be a good fit for this, we’ll talk about price. (And onward with the script, asking questions to make sure they’re ideal)
This alone will help massively because most people have no idea how to deal with it. They assume someone cold calling them is just itching to take their money. Pull back, come at it from “do you deserve the opportunity to be our customer?” And you’ll snag a lot more people due to that confidence.
Just don’t be a jerk. People will sense if you are faking that confidence out of insecurity. It may take practice, but frame control is extremely powerful in high-pressure interactions with strangers, which is pretty much all cold calling is.
If you’re already familiar with that, I have a little more I can share before wrapping up.
As I said, I was into direct sales, and in all formats, not just cold calling, I have found that there are five common objections that customers usually have when buying from you, regardless of niche, product, you name it. Those are:
#1 No Time/Too Busy
#2 Seen It
#3 Not Interested
#4 Yeah Right
#5 Will listen Later
I have discussed those objections and their solutions in my post: 5 Deep-Seated Customer Doubts That Kill Your Sales (And How to Erase Them). After I understood those objections and tested out their solutions, the success rate of my calls started to get better. That worked for me before I mastered the whole frame control and reversal thing.
Since then, I always recommend working on objections and framing to everyone who does the cold calling, especially for sales. By knowing this trick, one could easily shape the flow of conversation and steer the customer to a bigger sale.
Remember, listening to others patiently and responding in a way that makes them trust you is an art. It is the ability to hear more than what is literally being said and then act accordingly to get what you want. No one will say it’s easy (unless they’re selling you something), but if anyone who does cold calling masters this art, they basically have mastered in-person sales, since cold calling is even more difficult than door-to-door, and way harder emotionally than online marketing.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions.