Cold Calling Still Works – If You Do It Right
Whether you use cold calling scripts or go impromptu, this article will show you that cold calling still works in achieving the results that you want. Keep reading to learn more.
In this article:
- What Is Cold Calling?
- Sales Reps Hate Cold Calling and Prefer Emailing
- Cold Calling Is Alive and Well
- Cold Calling Scripts: How To Actually Get Results From Them
- Cold Calling Mistakes to Avoid
- Cold Calling Tips to Try
- Cold Calling Is Not Dead: Watch the Webinar
How to Do Cold Calls Right | Effective Cold Calling Scripts and Strategies
What Is Cold Calling?
Despite what a lot of people may think, cold calling still works. You only need to know how to do it right.
Before we begin to prove this to you in this article, let’s first start by defining what cold calling is.
Cold Calling Definition: A sales approach where a salesperson calls a potential client they’ve had no initial contact with. In the call, the salesperson tries to get the other person interested in the company’s products or services.
Cold calling is one of the scariest, most intimidating part of sales. Millennials, in particular, hate cold calling because they are used to having all the information they need online, at their fingertips.
They think it’s useless chatter, it’s bothering the customer, and not getting them results. The truth is, cold calling still works, with a conversion rate of 6.3%, and that’s why everybody’s still doing it.
Sales Reps Hate Cold Calling and Prefer Emailing
In fact, the “Sales Cadence” research report that XANT Labs released last year showed some concerning facts about how sales professionals approach their leads. Here’s the sum-up:
- The most common outreach practice is a single email (32% of respondents use this method)
- 61% of first contacts happen via email
- The second most utilized cadence is a single call and a voicemail (6%)
I found it mind-boggling that the most common communication channel for sales reps today is email. It’s certainly more convenient than a phone call, but the truth is sales reps who are not cold calling are missing out on incredible opportunities.
Cold calling is a chance to start a meaningful conversation with their prospects.
Cold Calling Is Alive and Well
At XANT, we have collected information on billions of sales transactions, and our machine learning engine analyzes this data continuously. The results help to produce new insights on sales best practices.
And guess what the latest results were? Cold calling is alive and well, and we have proof.
We analyzed over 1 million cold calls, and 6.3% of these actually resulted in meaningful conversations with a prospect. By comparison, cold emails open and click-through rates are absolutely dismal, at around 0.5%.
“For cold emails, the open rate is anywhere from 1 to 10%, and of these, anywhere between 0.2 and 0.5% will click through to offers. This is from a marketing standpoint, but even when the email is personalized and comes from a sales professional, cold emails still don’t work very well.
What really makes a difference is when users are opting into your company’s communication. That’s when you might see a 5-10% open rate, and a 1-2% click-through rate for emails or more,” said Derek Boggs, Demand Generation Manager for XANT.
Now, obviously, these rates are different for every industry. However, wherever I looked, success metrics for cold email don’t look very good– at least no better than cold calls.
The cold call allows you to make a real connection, build rapport with your prospect. Aside from that, it will enable you to find out more about the prospect’s needs and problems you can solve.
Cold Calling Scripts: How To Actually Get Results From Them
Plenty of cold callers may encourage you to ditch the cold call script. However, if you’re intimidated by the prospect of cold calling, cold calling scripts can really help.
When you’re making your sales calls, a sales script is there as a guide. Although it’s your guide, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to use the sales call script as a direct basis for conversation.
You can use cold-calling scripts in several ways that will produce results:
- When customers present common objections, a sales call script can help you provide counterpoints to these objections.
- A good script will be less about selling and more about solving a prospect’s problem. The script can help you point out common issues that your service or product can be the answer for.
- Your script can help you stay focused on the goal or the reason why you’re calling.
Cold Calling Mistakes to Avoid
There may be many reasons why you’re not achieving any of your goals when you’re cold calling. To help you, below are some common cold calling mistakes to avoid.
- Letting your script dictate your conversation. You’ll end up sounding artificial, which is unattractive to your potential customer.
- Having the same sales pitch between the gatekeeper and the decision-maker. These two have different roles in the company, so it’s essential to personalize your pitch depending on who’s on the other end of the line.
- Not introducing yourself to the person on the other end. Who would want to talk to someone whose name you don’t even know?
Learning about the common mistakes people make can help you make better decisions. It’ll also help you achieve your prospecting goals by knowing what to avoid.
Cold Calling Tips to Try
Here are a few tips to help you improve your cold calling results.
- Set the right goal for the call. Your reason for calling isn’t purely to get a sale, but rather to encourage the other person to have a more detailed conversation with you.
- Keep the focus on your prospect. Instead of talking all about how great your product is, let your prospect talk about their problems and themselves.
- Be quick. After all, you’re intruding on someone’s time, so keep the talk short.
Cold Calling Is Not Dead: Watch the Webinar
To find out more about how sales professionals can adequately use the power of cold calling, I tapped into the vision of Jason McElhone, Director of Inside Sales and cold-calling expert at MarketSource. Jason has spent the last 27 years cold-calling, and his results are out-of-this-world.
Tune in to the XANT webinar with MarketSource to learn:
- Why cold-calling isn’t dead if you do it right
- How experts execute a cold-call to win
- Cold-calling tips (by analyzing real cold calls)
How did your last cold call go? Did you use a script for it? What are some of your go-to cold calling scripts? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 8, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.