When do you think cold calling was first created?
Or when the phone was first created by Alexander Graham Bell back in 1876.
You’d be surprised to hear that the first cold call, or often referred to as a prospecting call, was documented back in 1873 by John Patterson, before Alexander Bell submitted a patent for the first phone.
John Patterson who went on to create the NCR Corporation was the first to create a patterned and scripted face-to-face client prospecting method.
It includes the same basic fundamentals of cold calling that we see today.
John’s legacy can be found in the routes of the National Cash Register Corporations teachings, having a major impact on the development of modern selling.
This includes the creation of an intricate system of management to monitor and train company sales professionals.
If you have time, I recommend spending some of it researching John Patterson (hint you won’t find him on LinkedIn) and what he did for the selling world.
But moving on from the past and into the present, I have 4 top tips that I want to share, that will help adapt and enhance your cold calling activity.
Find your target audience.
It is easy to think that cold calling is all about Googling people that you consider to be in need of your services, and start calling. We’ve all been on the receiving end of those calls.
But as John Patterson once mentioned in a NCR conference, it’s important to narrow down your audience and focus on the people that are more likely to convert.
Think, who is your ideal audience?
- Job title
- Company size
- Who has previously brought your product or service and what makes them unique?
- What proven examples do you have that your product or service will work for them?
Knowing your ideal audience will decrease the amount of time spent on wasted calls.
Make use of social media.
Consider, have you spoken to your prospects on social media, are they aware you exist before you start calling.
Remember it can take between 8 and 12 touches to convert someone, if you can achieve some of those touches via social media before you start calling it will increase your chances of success.
It will also help you narrow down your audience and increase that 2% cold calling conversion stat that I’ve mentioned throughout my previous cold calling blogs.
Make sure you prepare.
With 63% of sales representatives saying cold calls are the worst part of their job, it’s easy to understand why so many feel hesitant to pick up the phone and call.
For me, preparation is key. With it you can reduce fear, anxiety and give yourself a clear roadmap of what it is you hope to achieve.
I’ve seen it time and again, sales professional becoming nervous while calling and forgetting what it is they need to say, how to handle questions and hesitations and remembering what their initial goal was.
If in doubt download my pre-call plan from my website which will help you set out your goals for each call.
Remember that cold calling isn’t a life or death situation.
Finally remember that if you do get it wrong, if someone does say no or even hangs the phone up on you it’s not the end of the world and no one was harmed because of it.
After watching Wolf on Wall Street or listening to social media influencers who try to pass themselves off as sales professionals, it’s easy to believe that your next call is a life or death situation, but it’s not.
If the call isn’t going the way you hoped, remember to thank the prospect, hang up, write down any notes that might help you on the next call, and redial someone else. Sometimes cold calling really is that simple.
one two final tip(s) would be
If you would like to know first-hand what worked for me and what hasn’t when then grab my book Funnel Vision – Selling Made Easy.
Additionally as a cheat sheet download – 8 Tips to Get You Past The Gatekeeper