Cold Calling is Alive and Well With New Rules

Cold calling is one of the most targeted, efficient and effective ways to reach potential customers but there are new rules for cold calling in the twenty-first century that will help you get better results.

Misconceptions About Cold Calling

There is a prevailing myth that cold calling is dead.

  • It doesn’t work.
  • Prospects don’t answer cold calls anymore.
  • Social media and email have replaced the telephone.
  • Cold calling is old-school.

But this is not true. Those who disparage cold calling are totally missing the point.

In terms of sales engagement, cold calling is actually one of the most targeted, efficient and effective ways to reach potential customers. Nothing beats having a real conversation with a prospect.

Cold calling today is direct, targeted and above all it’s a communication skill.

The New Rules For Cold Calling Rules in the 21st Century

In today’s business environment, however, it is imperative to understand the rules, what has changed, what works today and what will simply waste your time.

Start With Targeted Lists

Before starting a cold calling campaign create a profile of the ideal prospects you are trying to reach.

Describe this ideal customer in specific detail. Use criteria like:

  • Industry
  • Location
  • Title or Organizational Role
  • Challenges or issues that your product or service can solve

These are your “qualifying parameters,” the parameters that describe your ideal prospect. If a prospect does not meet your parameters, they are not a qualified prospect. You will spin your wheels and waste your time trying to reach them and they will not buy or not buy very much.

Focus Your Approach

Once you’ve built your targeted list, focus your approach. Generic approaches don’t work on cold calls.

Your cold calling approach must be targeted to the market and the individual that you are calling. It must be relevant and you must be prepared.

Preparation counts, big time. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your prospects’ challenges?
  • Their history?
  • Current situations?
  • Which problems can you solve for them?
  • How might you help them.

To create an approach that will resonate with prospects you must dig deep to understand them. Do your homework and do the research. They will not tell you; they’ll expect you to know.

Prospects today are busy. They are bombarded from all sides. If you want to get their attention on a cold call you need to be compelling and relevant.

Taking time to research and understand your prospect and their unique situation will enable you craft an approach that will grab their attention and compel them to engage.

Know Your Objective 

Many people confuse cold calling with selling. Do not make this mistake.

Every sale goes through a cycle from the introduction to information gathering to offering a solution to closing.

Cold calling is not closing. That comes later. Cold calling should be focused on setting appointments, qualifying, or having an initial conversation. The cold call is not the sale–it is the introduction.

On cold calls you are not asking the prospect to buy from you or to agree to let you replace their current vendor. You are only asking to have a productive conversation.

This approach has two advantages:

  1. Your prospect feels far less pressure.
  2. You feel less pressure.

This objective should frame your entire approach to the new rules for cold calling.

The bottom line is that no matter where you find a lead, whether from networking or a referral at some point you will need to speak with that prospect on the telephone. If you are not able to communicate the value of the product or service that you represent, you will not engage the prospect.

Seeking a higher conversion rate from cold calls? Take cold calling campaigns to the next level with our FREE guide: Seven Steps to Building Effective Prospecting Sequences

About the author

Wendy Weiss

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling™, is an author, speaker, sales trainer, and…

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