Master cold calling in 8 steps
We’ve talked about how cold calling isn’t dead and how failing faster is the only way to grow and succeed. Taking these two lessons to heart, here’s how you can put this mindset to practice and master cold calling. Follow this guide and stop getting turned away.
Write a script. Ask your seniors for advice to get started, but write your own structure for calls. It’s important to do this on your own, so that you’ll eventually understand exactly how something works or doesn’t work.
Start calling. Stick to the script, almost word for word. It’s a good idea to have some situational awareness, but keep the calls as faithful to the script as you can. Make lots of calls.
Did it work? No? Good. Analyze why people aren’t interested and exactly at which point you start losing their attention. Is the script too long? Are you using phrases that are too complicated for first calls? Does it feel like you’re just reading a paper your sales director handed you?
Start fixing it. Use the kaizen principle of continuous improvement: acknowledge the problem, identify the problem, lay the problem out, fix the problem and start over. Remove unnecessary information and try to make the script sound personalized. If you have trouble with people not even letting you start with your pitch, figure out why they should listen to you. Come up with a hook, like “I spoke to this person and they told me you were the right person to talk to” or “I came across your profile on LinkedIn”, to move past that first firewall of uninterest and get rolling with your call.
Start calling, using your revised script. Make lots of calls.
Did it work? No? Repeat steps four and five. If you get through the whole script about 60% of the time, you’re on the right track. Sometimes you’ll call someone at a bad time, sometimes they’re the wrong person to talk to, and that’s all good. Call again or try to get the name of the right person in the organization to call to.
When you’ve found a script that works, share it with your coworkers. Make it public knowledge inside your company and teach the script to others. You’re all on the same team, after all.
Eventually, when you’ve created a working script and done it enough times, you can repeat it without consulting the script. Then you will have mastered the art of the cold call. Use your skills and use them often. Your boss and your bank account will be fat and happy.