Most sales and marketing professionals will argue that the cold call is dead—an outdated mode of pitching your services that potentially creates more potential ill-will than sales.
But if you think cold calling is dead, you are wrong. Cold calling is an essential part of new business development. The best business development professionals know exactly what they want to get out of a call before even picking up the telephone, and what to say. ‘Call mapping’ can be the difference between the start of a successful relationship and a few rude words then dial tone.
Before you start your call mapping however, background work is required to figure out who to talk to. You don’t want to give your best call pitch only to be told you are talking to the wrong person. So figure out who your real target first and foremost. Then, map your call.
Make an introduction & qualify them
The goal of the introduction is very simple: get the in the right frame of mind, ideally building rapport, and qualify them for your elevator pitch. You don’t need to pitch anything in your first sentence or two— just say your name, your company and ask them one or two questions that qualifies them.
- Hi, this is Sam from Z Software Ltd. You are in charge of operations, correct?
- I believe you have been using a ‘x’ as your distributor. Is this right?
Ask a few more questions to get them talking
Once you have established you are indeed talking to the right person, you now need to ask deeper qualifying questions to find out if they are happy with their current situation and get them to admit their current pain points (which you should already have established or have a good idea of).
- How are you currently doing "x"? Does that work with “x”?
- What is your current business phone system? That doesn’t integrate with mobiles, does it?
Deliver the elevator pitch
You had a successful introduction and asked a few important questions to reach a real understanding of your prospect. Now it is time to offer your elevator pitch – a succinct explanation of a solution that will solve their pain points and provide benefits they may not currently have. It should not be an explanation of your entire product—but rather selling them on the objective of the call, i.e. a follow up meeting, another call, a proposal, a quote, etc.
- We would streamline your process by …
- We could save you ‘x’ dollars each month by …
- We can solve your security challenge by ...
A prospect almost never bites on the pitch with no questions or concerns. So, during this part of the call you anticipate objections and manage and address them.
- This is something I hear frequently, but we actually do it so that “x” doesn’t happen.
- I understand what you are saying. Most of our customers had the same concern. Let me tell you how we are addressing this today ...
End with a call to action
Finally, all sales calls should end with a call to action. If you don’t have a call to action (i.e. another call or a check-in after the prospect has their proposal or order form), then you will face an uphill battle the next time you try to get a hold of them.
- Are you around next week for a meeting?
- When is a good time for us to speak again?
Bonus: Use a VoIP business phone system that aids your efforts
Phone technology has come a long way since the early days of cold calling. Now you can use technology to help you make the entire cold call process easier and quicker. Call mapping + phone technology = successful call.
A good VoIP business phone system will allow you to record your call so you can review it before you get in touch with the prospect again (no more trying to remember their cat’s name). It will also let your boss listen in and whisper a few pointers on the line that only you can hear. And most importantly, today’s advanced IP business phone services integrate with your CRM system, automatically logging calls and offering a pop-up dialogue box to easily enter call notes. There are also other advantages such as call reporting, mobile twinning and integration with browsers.
Cold calling may seem daunting, but with the right phone technology and a call map—you may find your efforts quickly rewarded.
VTSL is the leading VoIP business phone service provider in the UK, offering a range of unified communications solutions. With CRM integration, mobile integration and a variety of purpose-built applications for SMEs, VTSL offers solutions that help organisations to work smarter. To learn more about how IP business phones, VoIP business telephony or unified communications solutions can help your business, get a quote from VTSL today.