“Cold Calling”, or reaching out to a potential customer with no prior interaction, can be one of the most daunting aspects of sales. So much so that it often keeps good people away from the profession! The question almost everyone asks when diving into a sales role is “Do I have to do cold calling?”
There is a wave of thought that believes the era of cold calling is dead. Networking seems to be the way to become successful in sales, as this is where all the big deals take place. Senior-level contacts will often not accept cold calls, and the only way to meet them, connect, and build a relationship with them is initiated in a networking avenue. Or, an introduction comes from a referral from someone else.
In many instances, it’s a must to network in order to build a sales territory or book of business. People are busier than ever trying to stay ahead of the game, and to land the “big fish” you may need to network in order to meet people away from the traditional business avenues. However, is cold calling dead? Or is it a useful tool to have in your arsenal, especially with networking events being few and far between during COVID-19?
Being prepared for cold calls will make the process not only easier, but more successful. Having these calls be more efficient and effective means you’ll spend less time worrying about the process and more time seeing results. One of the biggest ways to prepare is to research the company or the individual you are about to call. Know the business, and know how your services will fit with what they’re doing. Having this confidence will lend a lot to the call and give you some background to work off of.
Knowing and understanding when to call is also helpful. No one wants a sales pitch on Monday morning or Friday afternoon, and most people will be away from their desk for lunch. Choose to call mid-week, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon, to have the best chance and getting your potential client on the phone. If they don’t answer, don’t be afraid to leave a voicemail. Keep your message short but straightforward, leaving details on your name, company, and why you’re calling. Also, be sure to leave your contact details so they can get in touch!
It’s also important to remember that cold calling doesn’t just refer to phone calls. It could refer to email messages, social media outreach, or even tabling at a conference or event. Refining your skillset and approach to cold calling will not only ensure you’re prepared for any kind of situation that presents itself, but it may prove to be a useful skill that you can apply to other facets of the job as well.