Cold calling is usually viewed as a frustrating and time consuming activity that leads to rejection and misery. If that’s the case, why do we continue to leverage this strategy? Many advisors still find it is a cost effective way to shake up the prospecting tree and increase pipeline activity.
Cold calling is a learned skill; mastering it requires practice and a written process. Advisors and sales associates often expect immediate results. When positive results are meager, many give up because they are convinced cold calling doesn’t work.
Whether you rely on referrals, social media, or events as primary prospecting methods, at some point the conversation needs to advance. Cold calling drives you to take the next step and move potential clients further into your sales funnel. To gain progress and an impact to your prospecting pipeline, you need to look at the strategy as a process that must be studied, modified, and tested.
Use the following tips to make cold calling more effective and profitable for your firm.
Research Your Prospects
- Know who you are calling. The best sales teams build prospect personas to determine who aligns with your ideal client profile definitions and are most suitable for your products and services. A good persona should identify what motivates a prospect. Outline specific demographics such as industry, profession, and life style, and most importantly, what their biggest challenges are. Honing in on this information helps you develop a relationship and position your offering.
Write Your Script
- Once you have determined who you’re calling, think about what you want to say. Write a brief script (no more than three or four sentences) that introduces yourself, explains what you do, and what services you provide. Keep in mind, an effective script asks for an appointment early in the conversation. The purpose of your script is not to communicate massive amounts of information, but to earn the opportunity to talk further in detail about how you can provide a valuable service during a scheduled appointment.
Rehearse Your Script
- Practice your script over and over until you can recite it in your own words. It’s critical to have a conversation with your prospect and to not read your message. Don’t fly through your script like a pushy salesperson; pause and encourage your prospect to engage in a conversation with you.
Prepare For Objections
- One of the hardest parts of a sales position is learning how to overcome objections. Keep in mind, objections are common and most of your calls will be met with at least one. Your goal is to be prepared with a convincing response that opens the door to continue making the sale. Some of the most common objections include timeliness, authority, need, and value. Create and practice a response to each potential objection until you can communicate it naturally. Build credibility and trust by asking open-ended questions that delve further into the core of their objection and continue to ask for an appointment.
Stay Confident & Positive
- Attitude is everything. Foster a positive self-image by seeing yourself as an expert in the industry. Believe that you are competent, have valuable information to offer, and that you can help your prospects overcome their challenges and reach their personal goals. Confidence will help you convey your message more effectively, provide motivation to make calls, and reach your sales goals.
Leave a Message Only if Necessary
- Most voicemails don’t receive a call back. The reason: most sales people say something like, “Hi, I’m just checking in…” which offers no compelling reason for a prospect to call back. Instead, your voicemail needs to be targeted and include relevant information and value. Keep your message under 30 seconds and start with the reason for your call rather than your name, “Hi Tom, I’m calling today to…….” Finish the call with your call back number, name, and the name of your firm. When you reframe your message with this format, the attention is moved from yourself to the solutions and value you provide.
Always Track & Measure
- The key of tracking and measuring isn’t the number itself. Pinpoint how you can make the numbers better. Ask yourself these questions:
- How many calls were made during a specified time frame?
- What time of day produced the best results?
- How many quality discussions took place?
- How many appointments were set?
Tracking cold calls should serve as a benefit not a burden.
Be determined to excel at cold calling by setting realistic goals, repeating your process on a daily basis, and making adjustments whenever necessary.
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