How could I improve my cold calling skills?

  • 10-03-2020
  • In: Marketing
  • Door: Olivier Janssen

Is cold calling allowed?

Cold calling is always tricky. The caller has to convince a stranger, and the receiver never really wants to listen.

It’s reminiscent of American films about successful salesmen closing huge deals on the phone. But those films are from the days when there was no internet and life went a lot slower. And that’s exactly the point.

The on-demand era

Is it strange to ask for someone’s time when you don’t know each other? And that in a lightning-fast era in which time and attention are two scarcities? It doesn’t sound very logical.

We want to decide for ourselves when we gather information about a product or service. That information is usually easy to find online, so we don’t really need a salesperson for that anymore. And we like to do this online search in our own time: on demand.

Only three per cent of your target group needs your service or product exactly when you call. So you’re always calling at the wrong time. Companies that have been registered for more than two years are cold-called on average 17 times a week. That’s quite a lot.

How does cold calling work?

Does this mean that cold calling should never be done nowadays? Not completely. Only it is important to understand what works, and what doesn’t! Djoea, one of our most experienced sales colleagues, says that he discovered the answer. It was actually incredibly simple. The goal shouldn’t be to sell, but to build a relationship. And that’s a huge difference.

The goal is to build a relationship

Building a sustainable relationship with your potential client should be your goal. Through LinkedIn and social media you know within one minute who the person is you want to get in touch with. Then make that connection by calling or contacting them directly via LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Do not try to make an appointment but create the start of a relationship.

Don’t push, pitch!

What exactly should you pitch during your first call? Of course, you keep an elevator pitch – but its purpose is to make contact, not to sell directly. Use the right tone of voice. What you don’t want to do is push. What you do want is to make it clear that you are relevant to the customer.

Djoea usually keeps it simple and down-to-earth. Djoea: “Maybe it’s relevant for you, but maybe it’s not. One thing’s for sure, if I don’t ask you, I won’t find out.”

Keep in touch: make sure they don’t forget you

Your next goal is to keep in touch and build a relationship. That’s what it’s all about. Make sure they don’t forget you! If the customer reacts positively to your message, include them in your content marketing strategy.

Make sure you send content that is relevant to your target group on a regular basis. What are the challenges they are facing? It is important that what you communicate is about the customer’s issues, not about you as a company, so that you can bring added value to the customer.

In the beginning you have to put in a lot of effort and show interest, but in the end that is more than worth the investment. With B2B, there is a very good chance that the moment they need you will come later. But by then, you will be on their radar. And that’s what it’s all about.

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