How To Generate Leads through Cold-Calling

How To Generate Leads through Cold-Calling

Midsection of a businessman holding his mobile phone, texting or preparing a business call

Cold calling can be a great way to generate quality leads. You get to speak to the gatekeepers and stakeholders and get a great insight into their requirements and influences. 

But cold calling is an art form. It can be daunting, it’s always a lot of work, and you always need to make a good impression. So you need to do it right. Following are some tips that will help you do just that.

Make notes about everything

Always write down all details of every phone call. Write down any names and titles you learn. Not just the name of the person you’re trying to contact. The receptionist’s name can be vital to remember as they’re often gatekeepers. Write down when you called and when you said you’d call back. 

Use a database or spreadsheet to record everything

You’ll never manage by hand, so Excel spreadsheets are a good option if you are starting out. If you’re prepared to invest in a real CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, that’s a great idea. Many CRM apps are available to suit every budget, but you should test out several to find the one that will work for your business.

Always call back when you said you would

Don’t let them down. They may not even remember that you committed to calling back. But if they do, and you don’t meet your commitment, you’ll lose valuable credibility and respect. And wherever possible, work to their schedule. You’re here to help them, not make things more challenging.

Always try to get on with the gatekeepers

Receptionists and personal assistants have significant influence and often do more of the actual work and decision-making than the person you’re trying to contact! Make friends with them, and you’ve got a foot in the door. 

Keep it short ‘n sweet

When you speak with someone, keep it short ‘n sweet unless they want to talk a lot. The purpose of the phone call is to get their attention, let them know you’re there, get their name and contact details, and assess whether they have any requirements for your services. 

Don’t use hard-selling tactics 

Don’t pressure people or make it hard for them to get off the phone. Tell them what you do and that you’d like to send them an email with a link to your website with samples and testimonials (or with an attachment containing samples), then leave them to it.

Follow up with an email

If you have permission, always send a follow-up email – and do so immediately. Be specific in your subject line. Address the email to them (e.g., “Hi Joe”), and keep it short ‘n sweet. Include only the essential info, make it easy to read and conversational, and bold the critical words or phrases as they’ll probably only skim it. Include a link to your website, reference the day and date you talked on the phone (and thank them for that time), and mention any names you learned (e.g., the receptionist’s name, especially if the receptionist gave you an email address but you didn’t get to speak to the decision maker), tell them that you’d like to follow up in a few weeks (assuming the conversation indicated that this would be a good idea).

Follow up with another call

If the lead looks promising, make sure you follow up. And when you do, always mention the day and date of the original call and the fact that you sent an email. Give a quick summary of who you are and what you do, and say that you’re just calling to ensure they got the email. Most of the time, you’ll find the lead will talk to you about your services if only to remind themselves of what you do!

Don’t expect to make too many calls

On a perfect day, I made 80 cold calls. Most days, though, you should be pleased to average around 40. You’ll spend a lot of time playing telephone tag.

Don’t leave a message

Don’t leave messages unless you absolutely have to (or you’ve just about given up on the lead). Most people have trouble returning phone calls from people they know and like; returning phone calls from someone trying to sell them something isn’t high on their list of priorities.

Don’t expect to qualify too many leads

Depending on your business, you’re probably doing very well if you get one good lead a day. 

Don’t expect immediate conversion

Unfortunately, most leads take a long time to come to fruition, so you must be patient.

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