We've all been there, the jitters before the notorious cold call - it's enough to make even the most seasoned salesperson break out in a sweat. I remember my first cold call like it was yesterday. I was a hot mess, stuttered over my words, and made such a poor impression that I'm pretty sure the person on the other end hung up before I even finished my intro. But hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right?
So what is it that makes this dreaded experience so nerve-racking? Well, for one thing, it's completely outside of your comfort zone. You're essentially calling someone you don't know out of the blue and asking them to do something- that can be pretty scary!
So let's avoid that cringe-worthy cold call experience and make a killer first impression with these tips:
Present yourself in a calm, yet confident manner: This is the first thing you'll have to do if you want to avoid sounding like a nervous wreck. If you're too excited or anxious, it will come across in your voice and make it difficult for the person on the other end to focus on anything else. So take a deep breath, sit up straight in your chair, and try to sound as relaxed as possible (even if you're not!).
Ask for help and set a time commitment: (Here's my intro that gets a follow-up meeting booked about 85% of the time) "Hey John, it's Brian Nichols calling from BNC. I was looking to see if you could help me really quick... do you have two minutes?"
By asking for help and setting a time commitment, you're making it clear that you don't want to waste their time. They know they can say no if they don't have two minutes, so there's nothing awkward about saying "no thanks" when they do.
Confirm they're the right person you should be speaking with: "Great, thanks. I was looking to connect regarding the SDR team and their prospecting efforts. Is that something you handle, or should I be reaching out to someone else?"
Now, this is AFTER you've done your research and you should know that they are the person you want to be speaking to. But just in case, this allows you to confirm that you in fact have the right person. This is also a good way to get some context around what they do and how it relates to your topic.
Keep it simple and to the point with your purpose for the call: "Perfect. I was reaching out because I've been working with some other SaaS companies who've been looking to increase the number of qualified opportunities that their SDR teams setting. Is that something that's made it to the top of your list this year as well?"
No beating around the bush. No extra fluff or niceties right now. This is a cold call. Your goal is to keep your purpose for the call simple and straightforward. Get right to the point. Address a common issue or concern that you KNOW your prospect has, or that you've seen other companies struggle with. The purpose of this call is not to try and convince your prospect to buy from you right now. The purpose of this call is to set up a next step.
Set up a follow-up meeting to continue the conversation and to qualify: "Gotcha. Well, John, if it makes sense, would you be open to hopping on a call two weeks from today where we could sit down and talk about how we might be able to help your SDRs set more qualified appointments as well?"
Again, you're not looking to make the sale on this call. Right now, you're simply setting up next steps to have a more formal conversation about your company, as well as to qualify for the sale. If you don't get an appointment set up on this call, there's no harm done. Maybe it’s not the right time… if that’s the case, set them as a task for later in the year. And then you can just move on to the next prospect in your pipeline and continue moving forward with your sales process.
So there you have it, folks! A tried and true approach to cold calling that will help you avoid the jitters and make a killer first impression. Remember, the key is to present yourself calmly and confidently, ask for help and set a time commitment, confirm you're speaking to the right person, keep it simple and to the point with your purpose for the call, and set up a follow-up meeting to continue the conversation and qualify.
I hope these tips will help you in your own cold-calling journey and make the process a little less intimidating. Just like with anything in life, the more you practice, the better you'll get. So don't be discouraged if your first few calls don't go exactly as planned. Keep at it and soon enough, you'll be a cold-calling pro!
And hey, if all else fails, remember my first cold call experience and take comfort in knowing that even the best of us can have a rough start. But it's all about learning from your mistakes and coming back stronger.
So pick up that phone, take a deep breath, and let's go make some sales!
P.S. - Looking to boost your sales even more? Email me at email@example.com and we can set up a call to walk through my different coaching packages for individuals AND businesses that will have your sales soaring in no time!