19 Effective Cold Calling Tips For B2B
People say B2B cold calling is dead, but many companies still rely on it to generate more profit. Here are the best practices to make cold calling a breeze.
In this article:
- Ask These Questions Before Cold Calling
- Understand the Structure of a Cold Call
- Use a B2B Cold Calling Script
- Manage Objections
- Mind Your Tone
- Pitch at the Right Time
- Become Fearless
- Never Multitask
- Use the Power of Three
- Define a Successful Sales Call
- Turn Rejections Into Opportunities
- Don’t Think of a Strong Accent as a Hindrance
- Use the 30/50/50 Rule
- Leave Pre-Recorded Voice Messages
- Use a Sales Dialer
- Value First, Then Price
- Don’t Be Afraid to Bait-and-Switch
- Handle Difficult Prospects with Grace
- Use Friendly Strength
19 B2B Cold Calling Tips
1. Ask These Questions Before Cold Calling
Your mindset during a cold call determines how successful it will be. Ask yourself these questions before picking up the phone.
- Why are you calling?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- How are you going to accomplish this goal?
2. Understand the Structure of a Cold Call
Without a solid plan, it’s going to be much harder to close that deal. While not all sales calls follow the same route every day, a cold call should roughly follow the same steps:
- Introduce Yourself: Start a conversation with your prospect and build rapport with them. Make sure they’re engaged and ready before starting your pitch.
- Ask the right questions: During the first call, you should ask questions to help you assess your lead.
- Pitch your product or service: Now that you’ve gotten your prospect’s attention, this is where you deliver your sales pitch.
- Be prepared for objections: There’s no such thing as an easy sell. Continue reading to figure out how to address common objections you’d get from customers.
- Finish with a Call to Action: Not having a call to action, like a check-in or follow up call, means you must go back to square one with that prospect.
3. Use a B2B Cold Calling Script
What is a cold calling script? Also known as a sales script, this is a script (for marketing professionals) or a set of talking points sales reps use to talk to prospective clients.
B2B cold calling scripts force you to structure your sales process. It allows you to focus on what’s important and what value to communicate to prospects.
The main benefit a cold calling script brings is the ability to listen to what your prospect is saying instead of thinking on what to say next. This, in turn, allows the team to be more responsive to the customer.
4. Manage Objections
Hearing many “no” responses is the nature of the cold call. As such, objection handling is a must-have skill for sales professionals.
Here are the most common objections you hear and learn how to respond to them:
- Asks to send an email so they could leave a reply: This is a common tactic of someone who wants to get off a call. To keep them on the phone, ask enough questions to keep the conversation going.
- Says they have no time to talk: If your prospect tells you they don’t have time to talk, ask them when’s the best time for a quick call. Prospects usually stay on the line if they know it’s going to be short.
- Prospect not a decision-maker: Make sure they understand what they need to do between now and the next call. Also, let them know what they need to move things forward.
- Requests for more information: Use the same tactic as what you would use for prospects asking to send an email.
5. Mind Your Tone
It’s not just what you say but how you say it that matters.
- Volume: Too soft, and you won’t attract prospects; too loud, and you may come across as too pushy and aggressive. Aim for just a little louder than average.
- Pacing and Cadence: Speak fast enough to sound like you know what you’re talking about, but don’t rush through everything.
- Body Language: Yes, even when you and your prospect can’t see each other. Change your position as if you’re talking to them face to face.
6. Pitch at the Right Time
Pitching way too early in the call eliminates your chances of closing that deal.
Don’t just throw darts and hoping one sticks. Ask open-ended questions to map out what your customer needs and tailor your value proposition as a response to them.
More importantly, listen to your customer. Feel out and test before you pitch.
7. Become Fearless
Many sales reps and entrepreneurs avoid cold calling whenever they could. It’s not because they’re not good at it, but more of because they’re afraid of rejection.
Here are some techniques you can do whenever your fear of cold calling starts to get to you:
- Acknowledge and verbalize your fear.
- Aim for failure instead of avoiding it.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Discover that there’s nothing to fear.
- Crush it!
8. Never Multitask
Your prospect deserves your full attention. Having your full attention means you’ll be able to notice the little cues and be better engaged.
9. Use the Power of Three
Limit yourself to three main points in your pitch. With so many distractions abound, prospects won’t have the attention span for long conversations.
Just extract the three main highlights and make sure you have their attention when it matters.
RELATED: Tips on Texting in B2B Sales
10. Define a Successful Sales Call
Two things define that define cold calling success:
- Clearly defined next steps
- A prospect excited to take those steps
11. Turn Rejections Into Opportunities
Every bad sales call you have is an opportunity to grow and be a better salesperson.
12. Don’t Think of a Strong Accent as a Hindrance
Some people have strong accents that make it difficult for prospects to understand them. To minimize any issues, here’s what you can do:
- Meet face-to-face whenever possible. If not, ask for a video call.
- Speak a little more slowly than usual if you need to talk on the phone.
13. Use the 30/50/50 Rule
Asking how to improve your sales isn’t enough. You need to know the metrics that define successful cold calls.
- Reach rate is the amount of decision-makers you reach. Aim to get 30% and above.
- Qualify rate is the rate of qualified leads (or decision-makers you get to talk and ask questions to) you get. Aim for at least 50%.
- Conversion rate is the amount of deals that go from lead to the next step. Anything less than 50% signals trouble.
Knowing where you stand on these metrics can give you insights on how successful your cold calls are.
14. Leave Pre-Recorded Voice Messages
Cold calling hundreds of people a day means some calls end up in someone’s voicemail. To prepare for this, record a voicemail message and play this whenever you end up in the mailbox.
15. Use a Sales Dialer
What is a sales dialer? A sales dialer is a device that dials a prospect’s phone number for you.
Sales dialers remove the need to dial numbers yourself so you can go from one lead to the next. This isn’t the same as robocalling services, which is a common tool in marketing automation that makes the call for you.
16. Value First, Then Price
Make sure to communicate the value your product or service brings to the customer before talking about the price tag.
17. Don’t Be Afraid to Bait-and-Switch
What is bait-and-switch? A sales tactic that attracts a customer to an inexpensive item but prods them to buy a more expensive one.
This takes skills, but when done right, this strategy can be effective. Just make sure your bait truly provides value to your prospect.
18. Handle Difficult Prospects with Grace
Some prospects are just difficult to handle. Here are some challenging prospects you’ll talk to and the right ways to handle them:
- Refuses to answer questions: Try to control the meeting such that you’re the one leading the conversation.
- A ton of objections: Listen to them talk first, and then ask which one of their objections is a deal breaker.
- Says they will buy soon: Directly ask them if there’s anything directly blocking them from signing the deal.
Of course, if their minds are made up, it’s okay to walk away from that deal. Sometimes, you and the prospect just aren’t a good fit.
19. Use Friendly Strength
Some types of prospects require you to handle things more firmly:
- The hostile and aggressive prospect
- The withdrawn, tight-lipped prospect
Good cold callers can firmly stand their ground, but at the same time, exhibits empathy to the customer’s needs. They also know how to make nurturing and mutually beneficial relationships with their clients.
These are just some B2B cold calling tips to have in your arsenal. A lot of people hate cold calling, but it need not be a pain when you keep these tips in mind.
What B2B cold calling tips worked for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.