I can’t think of many people who actually like cold calling. For most it’s like anticipating a trip to the dentist. But if you’re going to run a business it’s critical that you learn the skill if you want to succeed. Even if you are thinking about hiring other people to sell for you, you need to know how to sell yourself. I promise that nobody can sell your product or service like you can. Selling is one of the most important skills anyone can learn.
The first thing you need to do if you want to have a successful cold calling campaign is to be prepared. Start with a script and rehearse it several times. You don’t want to sound like a telemarketing robot, just get yourself familiar with the script so you really know what you’re talking about. Then you will feel comfortable about going off script.
The first call is always the hardest so you can warm up by calling a good friend. This should be someone that will put you in a good mood. It helps to be motivated and in the right frame of mind before you start calling people out of the blue. Tell yourself that what you have to sell is valuable and the buyer will be lucky to have it. Selling is about solving the other person’s problem. Before you can convince the buyer, you need to convince yourself that what you have is worthy of their time.
Make some warm calls first. These are to people that you have a connection with. Maybe they came from a referral or you met the person at an event. These calls with be slightly easier and you’ll have a better chance of the conversation going well. Every call that goes well will get you more excited about making the next one. It will also boost your confidence, which is incredibly important in the area of cold calling and selling.
The first person you will likely encounter will be the gatekeeper. That will either be the secretary or receptionist. Expect in advance that he or she will have to screen you. Be prepared for it. Make a friend of them and make it easy for them. Get this person on your side. You will likely be talking to them again and they can help you. Take the time to establish a rapport with them and ask questions. You want to make sure you are contacting the right person and this is the time to find that out.
Practice makes perfect. The more calls you make, the better you’ll get at it. Along the way you’ll be perfecting your message and learning what works and doesn’t work. As your sales success increases, so will your confidence. And pretty soon you’ll grow to love selling over the phone. Okay, maybe you won’t love it, but once you see that it works, you’ll want to keep doing it.