Cold calling is tough. With nothing but someone’s name and phone number, you must interrupt their day and try to sell them your product or service.
In the age of the internet, this seems like a boring and seemingly impossible task. Did we mention that, among all the marketing tactics, cold calling has the worst reputation? Oh, it also happens to have the lowest success rate, with the success of a cold call at just 1 – 3%.
Which brings us to the question: Does cold calling still work?
You’d be surprised that companies, including some Fortune 500 giants, still rely on cold calling to bring in fresh leads and drive revenue. The key lies in the cold-calling strategy you use.
With the right strategy—rooted in research and planning—you can drive sales with cold calling and succeed where others have failed. And we’ll show you how to do it.
What Is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is a form of telemarketing where a sales executive attempts to sell to prospects with whom they’ve had no prior contact over the phone. With cold calling, you try to introduce your products or services by phone to people who aren’t aware of your offerings.
Although cold calling has a bad reputation, one must not forget that it’s also the first step of the sales process. Studies show that 82% of buyers prefer to speak to the salesperson who reached out to them, so cold calling is here to stay.
Does Cold Calling Still Work?
In short, Yes. Cold calling isn’t dead. According to Forbes, cold calling is still an effective outreach strategy in the 21st century. It might not be as prevalent as it was decades ago, but it’s still an effective outreach method that can work wonders if done right.
However, there’s still a caveat. If you approach it with the same strategies employed in the early 2000s, you might as well skip doing it. The modern consumer detests telemarketing calls, and any signs of a ‘salesy’ pitch will get your number blocked.
How To Win Prospects With Cold Calling
Now that you know cold calling works, how do you approach it to win clients?
1. Gather Intel Ahead of Time
The key to succeeding in cold calls lies in your ability to research and plan everything ahead of time. Crunchbase found that the top sellers spend an average of six hours a week gathering information about their prospects. But where do you even begin?
Glad you asked! First, you’ll need reliable data about your prospects. Many platforms, such as Lead411 and Apollo.io, allow you to find high-quality prospect data, including direct cell numbers, verified email addresses, and more.
Lead411 is more reliable than Apollo.io because it provides unlimited data. Apollo, on the other hand, is very limited on direct dials, allowing only 125 exports per month.
Once you’ve found the perfect B2B data provider and have exported the data, take the time to learn about their business needs. You can also visit their social media platforms to learn more about their personal preferences, hobbies, etc. This will allow you to tailor your call to their priorities and hold their attention.
Through research, you might also be able to connect with key figures in the organization, such as HR managers, sales directors, etc. Remember, you might need to talk your way through some of these figures to reach the CEO or your target.
2. Draft A Call Intro
Next, draft a winning intro script that ties together basic information about your company with an open-ended question. Create a unique script for each prospect and keep it short (not longer than 20 seconds). Each script should include the following info.
- A quick intro about you and your company
- A point of connection – a referral or something you have in common to help build rapport
- The reason you’re calling. Make sure to highlight key pain points you can help address. Your research will come in handy here.
The rest of the message will depend on how the prospect will react to your call or respond to your open-ended question.
3. Educate and Inform The Buyer
If the prospect is interested enough to stay on the line, take the time to educate them on your offerings. Introduce your value proposition and let the prospect see how they can benefit from your products or services.
You need to have a deep understanding of your products/services so you can confidently answer any questions the prospect may ask. You’ll have just a few minutes to “sell,” so your pitch must be compelling enough to persuade the prospect to take action.
In other words, it must inspire curiosity to make the client want to try out your products. Own the conversation and make sure the unique features of your products are well articulated.
If possible, provide a verbal testimonial about a company (preferably in the same industry as the prospect) benefiting from your products.
Cold calling can still work for you in 2024. All you need is the right tactics and approach to make it work. The tactics above should help you land your first client. Additionally, you’ll need to know when to call, what to say, and be prepared for follow-up.