There are two words that can strike fear into the heart of the most seasoned marketing professional: cold calling. The phrase can conjure images of bleak, gray-cubicle call centers, lifeless sales people, and a 3% success rate at best.
The truth is, cold calling works for the business owner who’s willing to work on cold calling.
Prepare for the Initial Conversation
You take a deep breath, dial the prospect’s phone number, wait anxiously, and then you hear “Hello?” What next? Crafting an intelligent, relevant conversation-starter can be key to closing sales or setting up meetings.
You can also turn cold calls warm with the following steps:
- Use research to understand your prospect and their needs.
- Use business social media, like Linkedin, to learn more about your prospect and even to make an introduction.
- Use referrals from existing customers to immediately establish authority and an exchange of business intelligence your prospect will find worthwhile.
Further, always focus on the call and the conversation at hand. Multi-tasking should be out of the question. When the person on the other end of the line has your undivided attention, they don’t feel like a random number dialed.
Train and Educate Continually
A sales staff needs constant training. If they are using hand-outs or printed materials, make sure those are updated frequently. Provide ongoing training on the products and services offered so your sales team has the proper tools to close sales. An educated salesperson is a confident salesperson. Additionally, listen to the calls, pay attention to what your prospects are saying. If your success rate is low, try to find out why and then adapt.
Call the Right Prospects
Most importantly, spend your time calling the right people. One of the reasons cold calling has gotten such a frosty reputation is because of the Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers are further restricted to certain hours for calling. Commercial emails are also under regulatory scrutiny, which just shows that marketing is becoming increasingly permission-based.
The question then becomes, how do you focus your cold calling efforts on the best possible prospects? Enter InfoUSA.
InfoUSA compiles and verifies the most accurate database of business and consumer phone numbers available. Choose from hundreds of demographic, firmographic, and geographic selections to create a targeted (and Do-Not-Call compliant) cold calling list.
When you’re calling someone from a list you know has been created just for your business, you can make fewer calls with a higher success rate. And, when you supplement your overall targeted marketing campaign with smart, timely, relevant outbound calls, your odds are better than ever.
Contact InfoUSA today for information on phone lists and how they can help your marketing strategy.