7. January 2020 Blog

How to make sure your cold calls get you appointments?

How to make sure your cold calls get you appointments?

Tired of ineffective cold calling? Read more to see how to convert calls into meetings! We’re listing our best cold calling tips you can implement right away.

Did you know that less than 1% of cold calls actually convert into appointments? Given that 82% of potential buyers are likely to accept a meeting invitation, it’s a dreadfully low conversion rate. The takeaway from this is clear: there is something about this sales approach that has to be changed right away. Cold calls don’t just happen to be successful – the strategy needs to be pitch-perfect in order to make them work. Here’s how to make sure your cold calls get you appointments.

Why your cold calls don’t work

Usually, one of the biggest cold calling strategy mistakes is not doing enough research. To make your calls actually effective, you should keep learning about your clients, their needs, habits and values.

Brian Tracy, one of the most famous marketing gurus out there, thinks that it’s one of the most important cold calling tips. His advice is to remain focused on the client (or, in other words, the prospect). You shouldn’t be talking about yourself and your product throughout the whole call – this sales technique is long outdated. Instead, it’s much better to talk about the needs of your potential client and answer their questions. The key is to make your selling customer-centered.

Another thing that stands in the way of success is the self-fulfilling prophecy. The “I hate cold calling” approach won’t get you far. If you keep telling yourself that it’s not going to work out, it sure won’t. It’s true that cold calls don’t have the best reputation, but being negative from the start isn’t helpful either. You should focus on looking for opportunities for improvement rather than complaining.

How to improve your cold calls

Now that you know why your cold calls don’t work (and even if they do, they still could do better), what can you do exactly to improve the outcome?

There are many proven and tested cold calling techniques, and we’re listing our favourite ones below:

Revise your cold calling strategy

  • Cherry-pick the prospects – Reflect on your previous cold calling efforts. What are the best converting segments? Who are the best customers? Your time is precious so you need to prioritize accordingly. With the right call center software, you can analyze your previous efforts and see what works best.
  • Automate repetitive tasks – Cold calling can get tedious, especially after some time. This is why it makes sense to automate the process as much as possible – except for the call, of course, as this is where the magic happens! Luckily, all the small and repetitive things can be automated with the help of call centre tools. This way, you can save your energy to focus on the more creative side of cold calling.
  • Keep track of your goals – It makes a lot of sense to keep an eye on your KPIs while you work. Seeing how much you’re missing might be just the thing that keeps you motivated. Again, call centre software makes it much easier to draw inspiration from the data. Have a look at this example from CloudTalk:

CloudTalk call center for sales

Rewrite your cold calling scripts

Should you even be using a sales script in the first place? We know that conversations can take different turns, but even if you don’t stick to the scenario completely, it’s always helpful to have it handy. It’s also a huge time saver when it comes to onboarding new team members. With cold call scripts, your strategy is written and stored. This way, it can be easily passed on to other call center agents.

Of course, you can write your script in separate documents (or even on paper), but we highly recommended using a dedicated sales CRM for that. For example, Zoho CRM offers a built-in script builder. You can use your CRM to create scripts and then integrate it with your call centre software, such as CloudTalk, or you can make it even easier with CloudTalk’s Campaigns feature.

Alright, so how do you get down to writing a cold calling script that actually works?

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Mind your manners – Some industries may appear quite laid back, but you should never forget that you’re getting in touch with someone for the first time. Be sure to ask if this is the right time to talk and if it’s not, schedule a call for another hour. This has another advantage, as the prospect has to pick an hour that suits them, which means they’re making a commitment. This has a powerful psychological impact, which we’re going to describe later in more detail. 
  • Take time to do a little research – When you know it might be worth it, going the extra mile can work wonders. Go to the prospect’s profile on LinkedIn, read a little about the company and their role in it. Everyone is tired of generic cold calls so they’re sure to appreciate a little personal touch. For example, if they just moved to another company, you can ask them how the new job is going. If you went to the same school, or worked with the same people, it’s even better, as you already have something in common. Don’t hesitate to use that as an ice breaker!
  • Keep it short and sweet – We all got a lot on our plates, so skip the lengthy introductions and get straight to the point. You only have around 15 seconds to convince your client that you can offer some real value to them. Be sure to deliver a hook, a short and convincing pitch of your product that is focused on the client’s needs.

If you still need some more guidance, here’s how to create the best cold calling script for your needs.

Use some psychological tricks to help you out

  • Smile more – Fake it till you make it, or something along these lines. Have you heard of the pencil-holding experiment? You need to hold a pencil between your teeth for a little while, so your mouth forms a smile. As a result, this is supposed to make you feel more relaxed and more confident. It may sound funny, but it actually works! Working with these simple facial feedback techniques can help you step up your cold calling game.
  • Use a positioning statement – Ask your prospect a question like this one: You’re a busy marketing professional that could use some more automation. Would you agree? The point is to use a statement they have no choice but to agree with. It’s one of the easiest ways to come up with an effective sales hook.
  • Give your prospects a choice – When agreeing on an appointment, allow your interlocutor to choose the date that suits them best. You can use a tool like Harmonizely and send a scheduling link. The meeting will appear in both calendars after choosing a time slot, simple as that. As we’ve already mentioned, it will make the participant feel more involved in the meeting – after all, they picked the date themselves, haven’t they?

Key takeaways for effective cold calls

As you can see, cold calling is not so bad after all. If you would like to get it right, you need to start with a little research and some personal touches. Investing some time in your strategy is sure to go a long way. Happy cold calling!