10 Unbeatable Cold Calling Techniques To Generate More Leads
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Cold calling is a term that often conjures up images of annoying salespeople bombarding you with offers you have no interest in.
But what if I told you that cold calling can be a powerful tool when used correctly?
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of cold calling strategies and why it’s still relevant in today’s digital age.
What is cold calling?
Let’s first get the basics out of the way.
In its simplest form, cold calling is making a direct phone call to someone who may have never heard of you or your business. It’s a technique that lasts less than a minute and its sole purpose is to book an appointment with that person.
Expert Tip 🧠
This is not the time to sell your product or anything like that. It really is a time to say just a few words to get the person to agree to take the time to talk to you.
Your goal is to sell the idea of having an appointment with you where you will begin to sell your product.
Why is cold calling still relevant today?
So, why is cold calling important? Despite the perception that it’s outdated and annoying, cold calling remains a valuable strategy for several reasons.
First of all, it seems outdated, because when you think cold call, the image most people have is of the pushy salesperson from a telecom company:
Doesn’t that seem like a pain? 🤨 So, here’s why it’s still important today:
Basically, the image we have of the cold call is everything you shouldn’t do as a cold calling technique; it’s that horrible, spammy call that’s so off-putting.
So what’s cool is that today, because people have that bad image, it’s very easy to differentiate yourself in your cold calling technique. Because the average level is super lame.
2. Modern Approaches
Modern approaches in prospecting often revolve around automation tools on platforms like LinkedIn, with La Growth Machine being one of the top choices due to its mul)ti-channel capabilities.
This trend reflects an evolution from earlier methods where email blasts attempted personalization by simply adding recipients’ names and company names.
However, it became evident that these outreach messages were fully automated.
Expert Tip 🧠
The new approach involves smaller, highly segmented mailing lists of 30 to 60 recipients, creating a genuinely targeted and personalized experience.
Additionally, you need to adopt a multi-channel sequence to really simulate the fact that it’s not automated wherein you visit their LinkedIn profile, you check their Twitter, you send them an e-mail, send them something on LinkedIn, and so on.
With this approach, cold calling comes last. This goes hand in hand with the previous point whereby you differentiate yourself completely by:
- First, getting the lead to become familiar with you: LinkedIn profile visit, Twitter follow, etc.
- Then, softly introducing yourself: LinkedIn message, Twitter DM, etc.
- Only then would you “cold” call them.
With this approach, you stand out not only from the “bad” cold callers but also from the spammers.
3. Targeted Outreach
Gone are the days of mass email campaigns with generic messages. To succeed in modern outreach, you need to narrow down your target audience and focus on quality over quantity. By using cold calling techniques, you can engage with a highly targeted list and increase your chances of success.
When you start targeting profiles that are somewhat attractive, you encounter specific challenges.
For instance, say your client is in the HR field, recruitment, training, CSR, or outplacement.
Since these HR individuals face high demand but typically have limited budgets, they become highly attuned to prospecting attempts. Simply resorting to traditional prospecting methods through LinkedIn or email is bound to yield unfruitful results.
That’s why calling them is so effective — it shows the prospect that you’re not just another random, automated message, but rather a human attempting to reach out to another.
Cold calling techniques that work:
Cold calling, is a tough nut to crack. It’s emotionally draining to face rejection throughout the day, and very few are willing to do it. Even among those who attempt cold calling, most struggle to do it effectively.
In order to help you succeed, here are some of the strategies to follow:
Strategy 1: Segment your list of leads well:
The first thing to do is to segment your database. You’re not going to call just anybody. You really need to call the people for whom your product is going to be most relevant.
At FasterClass, in their cold calling strategy, they took a meticulous approach. Instead of relying on phone directories, they focused on reaching out to specific individuals, particularly Human Resources Directors or Managers.
Their goal was to reach these decision-makers with the right message, in order to acquire customers quickly and efficiently. The key to their success lied in their ability to segment effectively.
Strategy 2: Don’t take too long:
A great cold call lasts one minute. The longer the cold call, the greater chance you have of being rejected.
This is because most people don’t want to be on the phone for too long. So, keep it short but sweet.
The maximum time you should aim for is 2 minutes.
Strategy 3: Focus on your tone:
The first ten seconds are crucial, and you must engage your prospect immediately. The tone of your voice plays a vital role as a lot happens through the energy it conveys.
Before making the call, remember to smile! Yes, literally smile with a big grin on your face!
It can be heard over the phone, it’s a big boost for the other person, and overall positively impacts the conversation. Approach the call with a cheerful attitude, as it can make a significant difference.
Expert Tip 🧠
We have the exact same tip for using voice messages on LinkedIn. The tone of your voice will reflect in your message and help build trust with the recipient.
You should also keep in mind that your purpose is not to inconvenience your contact but to assist them if they have a need.
Be confident, maintain a relaxed demeanor, and try to use formal language but address the lead by their first name.
Strategy 4: Have your script always nearby:
Make sure you have your script close by, so you can easily refer to it if needed. Here’s an example of what it might look like:
And this is where you get them! Your lead sees a random number who knows a lot about them calling them, which gets them intrigued, they’re asking you why. So now you got your 30-second window to do your pitch! You can simply answer:
Really talk to them as if you were talking to a stranger on the street. Just be nice and respectful.
And so here, basically, you just need to have the three key arguments from your script that makes them want to meet you:
- Introduce yourself
- What you do
And bam, you got your meeting!
Strategy 5: Handle rejection gracefully:
Objections should also be part of your script. Once you’ve made your pitch, the lead can not say yes right away and raise a few objections.
If they decline right away, it’s not necessarily the end. You should seek to dig and understand why and what their current situation is.
This opens the door for further conversation. Find out when would be a better time for them.
They may say something like, “We’re swamped right now. Can you call me back after the summer or in October?”
In this case, set a reminder to call that person on the specified date. This way, you have a reminder to follow up when they suggested.
Anticipate the most common objections and prepare smart responses.
For example, if the prospect says, “It’s not the right time,” how would you respond?
Some may ask, “How did you get my number?” Be ready with an explanation. You can say, “We found it on LinkedIn and thought it would be more convenient to call you for a quick decision.”
If they express concerns about privacy, suggest they remove their information from LinkedIn.
Basically, try to find workarounds to your most commong objections!
For objections like “I don’t have time” or “Send me an email,” you need to have countermeasures.
One approach is to propose a provisional appointment. Instead of saying you’ll call them back, which might be challenging, suggest setting a preliminary appointment.
Book a 15-minute slot three months ahead, and if it doesn’t work for them, you can always reschedule. This way, you already have something on the calendar.
Finally, don’t be disheartened by rejections. Remember that you don’t know what kind of day the person on the other end is having. They might be overwhelmed with calls, or something else could be bothering them.
Don’t take it personally. If you secure even one appointment a day, it’s a win and a step forward for your business. Which gets me to my next point:
Strategy 6: Have daily or weekly targets:
Targets serve as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve, and they provide a tangible measure of your progress. Aim for realistic targets, whether it’s making a certain number of calls per day or securing a given number of appointments per week, or both!
Here’s a breakdown of what you might aim for:
- 400 calls per week, which is around 80 calls per day.
- Out of those 80 calls, you can generally expect around 20 to 30 people to answer.
- Your weekly objective should be to secure 10 appointments, which means an average of 2 appointments per day from those 80 calls.
These are considered good statistics in the cold-calling world. It’s worth noting that achieving 2 appointments per day is a strong performance, especially when compared to other startups that get around one or one and a half appointments per day.
In some cases, your team may even exceed these expectations. In that case, reward your high-performing individuals! Consider granting them a day off as a reward for their exceptional performance.
Cold Calling tips & tricks:
Now that we have our cold calling techniques out of the way, it’s time for you to learn some of the tricks of the trade from the cold calling experts among our clients at La Growth Machine:
1. Use Onoff:
Onoff is a French company that offers a powerful mobile application that grants you separate professional phone numbers for your cold calls. Consider using it to avoid compromising your own number and having it blacklisted.
Here’s how it works:
- Download the OnOff app to your smartphone.
- For just 5€ per month (for a French number, 15€ for an international one), you’ll get access to a new phone number dedicated to handling your cold calls. This number serves as your professional line for making calls to potential clients.
2. Book meetings during the call:
Another key point to remember is that at the end of the cold call, if the person agrees to set up a meeting, do it right then and there instead of scheduling it for later.
This way, you can ensure that they receive the meeting invitation and accept it with you present, avoiding any potential mishaps.
Expert Tip 🧠
Try to include the “Purpose of the meeting”.
This is typically something you should include in your script (if you don’t already have it) since it’s very repetitive. Something along the lines of:
Purpose: To ensure a smooth transition from our initial phone conversation to our upcoming video call.
- You (Lead): Provide a comprehensive overview of [Lead’s company name]’s current challenges and needs.
- Me (Your Name): Illustrate how our innovative solutions can effectively address your specific requirements.
Furthermore, using a CRM tool, you can directly schedule appointments on both your calendar and the recipient’s calendar.
Right after scheduling the call, you can confirm if the invitation was received, assuring a successful arrangement.
This approach helps ensure that your conversation isn’t forgotten or dismissed as just another pain-in-the-butt call in the lead’s calendar.
3. Engage your leads at the right time for them:
Finding the right time of day that works best for your lead is also important.
In fact, depending on your line of work, you’re going to have time slots
that work better or worse.
For CEOs, late evenings around 7 PM tend to work well. This timing ensures they are not in the office, allowing for a more relaxed conversation.
However, for HR professionals, it’s better to call between 4 PM and 5:30 PM or from 11:30 AM to 1 PM, just before lunch breaks.
Ultimately, the ideal call timing depends on your specific target audience, so testing different time slots is crucial.
4. Test. Analyze. Iterate:
You should maintain detailed reporting on your cold calls, tracking who you called, call timings, and durations. This data will help you analyze response rates based on weekdays and call times.
Consequently, you can optimize your calling schedule for better results.
Additionally, once a call is scheduled and confirmed, the lead’s contact details should be immediately (whether automatically or manually) logged into your CRM.
This means the lead is placed at the beginning of your pipeline. From there, your sales workflow should run smoothly.