Tuesday, February 23, 2010
9 Tips for Successful Cold Calling
Cold calling is one of the most widely used marketing tools. However, it also remains one of the most feared methods, due to its painstaking nature and hostile, vague replies. The basic principle behind cold calling is, 'If you want business, you go for it.' If used effectively, cold calling will help you to achieve the desired response. It can be easily defined as the first step in turning prospects into customers. Follow these useful tips to pitch successfully to your clients or customers:
Tip 1: Make a Specific Caller List
Browse through various telephone directories to obtain the telephone numbers. You can also use the local library to create a detailed list of contacts. Keep track of your calls to avoid calling the same caller twice.
Tip 2: Make a Conversation, Not a Sale
Try to make a conversation with the prospect instead of selling your product. Begin with a short greeting or introduction, and make the receiver feel comfortable. Write down a polite opening statement like, "Sir/Madam, is this the right time to talk to you?" and use it to get the permission of the customer. Do keep the purpose of the call in mind and do not stray away from it. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 'best time to call.' Call during the work hours, when you are fresh and motivated.
Tip 3: Prepare a Detailed Script
A bound script will prevent you from wandering away from the topic. It will also act as a teleprompter if you forget your lines. However, the conversation should not appear staged. Maintain a free low of words, and add your spontaneous inputs whenever necessary. Maintain a polite phone manner throughout the conversation.
Tip 4: Covey the Purpose
Without wasting time, come to the purpose of the call. Briefly explain about the reason for the call and the nature of your firm and service. Allow the customer to offer his opinion in between. Do not interrupt the customer at any point of time.
Tip 5: Highlight the Benefits
Explain to the customer how he can benefit from the particular service. Include topics such as special discounts or incentives in the beginning of the conversation. This helps to keep the interest of the receiver intact.
Tip 6: Understand the Customer
Understand the customer while communicating with him. Find out information concerning occupational details during the course of the call. This will help you to gauge whether the particular customer can afford your service or not.
Tip 7: Fix an Appointment
Set up an appointment with the customer if he is interested in your product or service. Fix a time and place depending upon the customer's convenience.
Tip 8: The Follow-up
Sales goals are realised only after persistent meetings and calls. Maintain a regular contact with the customer.
Tip 9: Seek for References
If the particular contact is not interested in your service, then politely ask him to divulge contact details of friends or family members who might be actually interested.
Practice is the key to effective cold calling technique. Practice on a regular basis to master the art of cold calling.