Updated May 12, 2022
Cold calling’s considered a key component of a company’s sales cadence. But the success rate of a cold call is just 1-3%. This stat can feel depressing. But the long and the short of it is that many businesses still practice cold-calling – methodology has simply changed in this day and age (phone call? Email? DM? Finding the right time to call someone fully remote amid a pandemic?) But if your approach is considered, you’re likely to see results. Moreover, consider this tricky sales approach as a challenge; there’s ample opportunity to improve your cold calls and boost the quality of your overall outbound sales process. You can still make cold calling work for you in 2022 and beyond. Here are 10 tips that will help you do it.
Why Cold Calling Still Works in 2022
It’s easy to see that consumers have moved toward independent research and online purchases… and away from talking with salespeople.
Although marketing and sales have evolved hastily, cold calling is far from useless. Data suggests that cold calling still offers unique benefits. Here are some of the statistics, according to RAIN Group…
- More than 50% of decision-makers prefer to be contacted over the phone
- Over 71% of buyers say they want salespeople to reach out when they’re researching ways to boost their business
- Up to 50% of sales go to the business that makes the first move and reaches out to the potential buyer – not the other way around
And perhaps most significantly, cold calling has proven to be 5-10 TIMES more effective than email marketing campaigns. So, if you’re allocating time and resources to email marketing, you should be cold calling as well.
Think about it. There are plenty of business owners out there who want to improve their business, but don’t know where to start, and don’t have the time to do extra research. They’ll keep using the same familiar methods until someone introduces them to something better.
Cold calling is still highly effective. According to ValueSelling Associates, phone calls are the #2 most successful method for B2B salespeople (after referrals). However, if you keep making the same mistakes when you place a cold call, you’re not going to see much success. It’s not about measuring how many phone calls you can place in a day, or even how many conversations you can have.
It’s important to capture the buyer’s attention in less than 30 seconds. The key is to remind them about THEIR pressing business problem only YOU can solve. Let’s discuss more specific ways you can achieve more success with cold calling through 2022 and beyond.
15 Tactics For Getting More Out Of Cold Calls In 2022 And Beyond
Arm yourself with enthusiasm
Wait – before you even pick up the phone, remember that you can’t sell a product you don’t believe in. All of your salespeople need 1. An airtight understanding of your products and 2. A passionate belief in them.
Gaps in understanding will become glaringly obvious during a cold call. Lack of passion or faith will never seal the deal.
Your sales force should be genuinely excited to share your products or services. Excitement is contagious, even on a cold call. So don’t bother with those automated cold calls – enthusiasm and personality will attract the right buyers.
Side note: Product understanding is essential, but no one knows everything. If a customer asks a question on a cold call, but your salesperson doesn’t know the answer, it’s best to practice honesty. They might say something like “I can tell you about how one business uses this feature, but I’m still learning more about it.”
Focus on buying time, not closing a deal right away
You use cold calling in your sales cadence because you believe it will increase your outbound sales. But your focus during each cold call shouldn’t be on closing the deal — at least not right away. Rather, your first goal is to turn the five initial seconds you have with a buyer into five minutes.
According to LinkedIn, the longer your cold calls are, the likelier they lead to a meeting. So keep them on the phone with you. You don’t need to convince them to buy your product right away. The following tactics will show you how to do this.
Don’t be afraid of a little small talk. It’s okay to ask your prospect about their day or what projects they’re tackling this week. Build a little rapport and try to gauge the customer’s level of interest in the conversation. Once you’ve established a relationship, immediately offer something valuable (like a sample, a free resource, or some other free information). For more ideas, keep reading.
Don’t use “Did I catch you at a bad time?” Try this instead
This line is a classic cold call opening. The theory behind it is that people like to say no so that they can feel like they’re in control. So when you ask this question, and they say no, you’ve already opened the window to make your pitch.
However, the data has shown that this approach is less effective than you think. Try using this question instead:
“How have you been?”
It’s a question that will throw your prospects out of their automatic rejection mode and get them talking – and getting your prospects talking is key to securing that meeting.
Research is everything
This tip is a common one, but it’s included on this list because of its importance. Research truly is everything when you’re improving your cold calls.
Before you make your calls, you should understand the following:
- What makes the person’s company unique
- What makes the person tick
- The pain points this person and their company may be feeling
- How your product or service will work as a solution for them
Talk about THEM – not your business
Being personal and friendly will set you apart from every other cold caller. The truth is, your prospect doesn’t care about what products you offer. They care about how you can make their life easier!
Show genuine interest in them as a person and in their needs. Mention something interesting they’re working on, or something you appreciate about them or their achievements. Help them open up so they can share their day-to-day inconveniences with you.
Once you know how you can fix their problem, explain it to them. Don’t ramble on listing the features of your product or service… instead, hone in on the one that will make their life significantly easier.
Prepare an Outline
You probably only have a few seconds to prove that you’re worth, because people are wary of cold calls. Introduce yourself, and then pique your prospect’s interest with personalization. A personalized opening statement connects you to your prospect. It might be something like:
- A compliment on a recent professional accomplishment
- A comment about recent content (blog or social media posts)
- Mentioning a mutual connection (person or company)
Once you have a strong opening statement, write up an outline. Jot down a brief plan that you can refer to while you’re on the phone. Consider how you will quickly engage the person and encourage them to set up a meeting to learn more about your product or service. Your outline should address all of the questions your call recipient will have, like…
- Who are you? (Introduce your name and company)
- Why are you calling me? (Make a connection)
- Why should I hear you out? (Concisely and persuasively describe their problem and how you can fix it)
- Can we talk more later? (Transition into setting up a meeting for a later date)
Develop a pre-call ritual
It’s best to warm up before you launch into a cold call. Build your confidence before dialing by practicing your personal statement and outline. Consider a few different scenarios and work through them before you place the call.
It’s important to shake the nerves off before you make the call. Take a moment to remind yourself that every cold call is a learning experience, and therefore beneficial to you regardless of the outcome. If you’re still feeling nervous, you might relax with essential oil, some deep breathing exercises, a favorite song, a 10-minute walk, or a quick conversation with a friend.
Talk more than you listen
Some people believe that listening to their cold call prospects is more important than making their pitch right away. The reasoning is that, by listening, the salesperson gains valuable insight into what makes the prospect tick and how that can be leveraged to make a sale.
In other outbound sales settings, this might be true. But talking is much more important than listening when it comes to cold calls. The data shows that successful cold calls have an average talk/listen breakdown of 55% to 45% and unsuccessful ones have an average talk/listen ratio of 42%/58%.
Understand that rejection is not the enemy
No one can close 100% of the prospects they pitch. Rejection is an essential part of everyone’s outbound sales process. That’s easy to understand intellectually, but it can be tough to truly embrace after waves and waves of denials.
However, there are some tips you can try to make the process a little easier on yourself. For example, create a “rejection” slack channel with your fellow sales team members. You can share your funniest rejection stories and commiserate with one another when times are tough.
You might also shift your focus from disappointment to using that rejection as a growth opportunity. For example, you can ask the prospect that rejected you what made them do so. Or you can run through the scenario again with another member of your sales team to see what you could have done differently.
Learn from every cold call you make
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Every cold call that you make provides you with valuable data. You can leverage that data to improve your success rate gradually but significantly over time.
For example, most cold calls begin with a script. As you continue using that script, patterns will start to emerge. You’ll find that you’re consistently getting rejected at a certain spot in the script. Once you’ve noticed that, you can make adjustments until you’ve resolved the issue.
As time goes on, you’ll find dozens of opportunities like this where you can make subtle tweaks to the processes you use. Taking advantage of these opportunities is what will separate you from the pack.
Take acting classes (seriously)
Too often, salespeople who cold call read their scripts in a robotic, monotonous voice that turns the prospect away instantly. To be truly successful, you need to make your script sound like you were saying it for the first time. You need to bring real emotion to the table and convey that emotion to your prospects in a palatable way.
To make all of this happen, you need to be a good actor. And most of us aren’t naturals. So you might consider taking an acting class or two. Doing so will help you develop the skills you need to instantly connect with each prospect you speak with.
Make sure your calls take place at the right time
The timing of your cold calls can sometimes be just as important as their content. For example, you know that most people are in the office from about 9 am-5 pm each day. But you’re more likely to get a few minutes of someone’s time when they’re not already engaged in work.
That’s why you might want to leave your cold calls for the lunch hour, the beginning of the day, or the end of the day. Some firms have even started leaving their cold calls for days that they believe their prospects are the least busy. Apparently, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best time to reach out.
Learn to leave strong voicemails
If your target doesn’t pick up, you may still be able to salvage the call by leaving a strong voicemail. Here are a few tips for doing that:
- Keep your messages short; 20 seconds or less is best
- Make sure to reference that you were recommended by someone they know and trust (if that’s true)
- Don’t try to sell in the voicemail; just try to get them to call you back
- Use an upbeat, friendly tone of voice
- Use your prospect’s name and your full name
Use this closing question to book your meeting
All of the pointers above should get you to the point of closing your cold call by asking for a meeting – but even this question can produce varied results.
You only have one chance to close, so you need to make the most of it. This is exacerbated by the fact that most prospects are already very familiar with closing cold calls down, and many will have several excuses lined up in their head before you make the ask.
The key, then, is to find a way around your target’s pre-packaged excuses. This question is our favorite way to do that:
“Do you have your calendar handy?”
This closing is super effective because it essentially voids out all of your target’s prepared excuses at once. You aren’t asking them if they’ll meet with you – just if they have a calendar handy.
If the target says no, then that becomes a much easier rejection to work around than them saying they don’t have time for a meeting. A target may still ultimately deny you. But using this question will give you a much chance of success.
Utilize software to improve your cold calling success rate
Finding the cold calling strategies that work for you and using them consistently is a big part of boosting your success rate. But you may be able to bring that success rate up by adding the right cold calling software to your routine. Here’s why.
Try A Free Demo Of LeadLander Today
Software optimizes your schedule
You only have so much time to make calls during the day. So you want to make sure you use that time wisely.
This is where cold-calling tools come in. They allow you to create a cold calling schedule based on prospect value and optimal follow-up timing. This ensures you’re not wasting too much time on low-value cold calls when you still have high-value opportunities remaining.
Automatic dialing is a big time-saver
Most cold calling software also has a feature called automatic dialing. This lets you input a list of phone numbers and automatically move on to the next one after speaking with the preceding number on the list.
The time you save from this automation can add up over the day. It could be enough to speak to significantly more leads during your cold calling hours, which would improve your sales figures.
Pre-recorded voicemails guarantee you nail it every time
Another cool feature of cold calling software is the pre-recorded voicemail. This lets you record a voicemail message and then automatically leave it with prospects you can’t get in touch with.
This gives you complete control over the points you hit on in every voicemail. You won’t have to worry about forgetting anything important, and you can fine-tune the message until it sounds just the way you want it to every time.
AI-recommended scripts can improve performance
Many brands of cold calling software are starting to include a feature called conversational intelligence. While this capability is still in the works, it has the potential to impact the strength of your cold calls.
It automatically analyzes your conversations by recording and transcribing. Then it looks for subtle opportunities in the conversation that influence the end result (really).
For example, this feature could tell you that you perform best when using a particular introductory line. Or it might ask you to focus on one specific feature during the beginning of your call instead of saving it for the end.
It can be tough to find these insights on your own without introducing some personal bias into it.
Use LeadLander To Improve Your Outbound Sales Process
Cold calling can still work for you in 2021. You just need to use the right tactics and tools to get the most out of it. The tactics above should help with that. But you should also be looking into tools that can provide you with more value-rich data feeds about your prospects. LeadLander is perfect for this.
Think of LeadLander as an extension of your sales team. It provides a wealth of valuable information about your website visitors, which you can use to:
- Discover new leads
- Validate interest from cold calls
- Receive real-time alerts about when clients visit your website so that you can call them at the perfect moment
- And so much more
Best of all, you can try LeadLander without any risk. We’re currently offering a free 14-day trial that you can sign up for without having to give us your credit card information.
You can sign up for LeadLander’s free 14-day trial today by visiting this link. We look forward to helping you optimize your outbound sales processes.