We know continuous and relentless cold calling can wear you down. It’s a numbers exercise at best, and unless you really enjoy leaving voicemail messages and constant rejection, the process can be boring and downright taxing. But, there are ways to spice things up so that you’re not only more engaged, but also way more productive. Here are five recommendations we have to help you:
1. Don’t make cold calls. Do something in advance to break the ice with your prospect. That way you are not some stranger on the other end of the line like so many other phone solicitors. Do you bring relevant experience to the table? Do you have particular expertise that might be valuable to this prospect? Do you have a track record of loyal customers? Perhaps you have some quotes from those clients that might be of interest to this prospect who doesn’t really know you yet. A Personal Marketing Resume or a good letter of introduction could communicate much of this.
2. Don’t make cold calls. Establish some credibility for how you do business before you call. What are your standards? Do you always learn about unique needs before making recommendations? Are the plans you sell truly tailored to each client you do business with? Do you have a few case studies you might send in advance that show how you have solved problems for other customers?
3. Don’t make cold calls. Prepare yourself. Get to know something about this prospect’s business. You can learn a lot from the company website. Be curious. Go beyond the home page. Do a Google search on the company and the category. In a few minutes you can learn a ton. If it’s a big prospect, sign up for a Google Alert on the company and you’ll get updates on news about them or their competitors. This is all easy to do in today’s connected world.
4. Don’t make cold calls. Prepare yourself. Get to know something about this prospect. The company website probably has their profile. You are on LinkedIn, right? Search for the person’s public profile. You can learn a lot. Google their name. You’ll learn more.
5. Lastly, we recommend you don’t make cold calls. Make warm calls. And, when you do, use all the information you gathered in the steps above to craft a very compelling valid business reason—one that would make the prospect want to meet with you very soon.
Have we convinced you yet? You should preheat your calls by breaking the ice first so they know who you are and establish some credibility for how you do business before you call. Sound like too much work for this prospect? Then why are you calling them anyway?
Editor's Note: This post was originally published February 4, 2012 and has been updated.