Perfecting the Cold Call
To perfect the cold call, you must have discipline. Yes, discipline.
Cold calls are generally powered by automatic dialers, and those dialers send the calls over to human operators once they’re answered. Human operators don’t get much of a warning that they’re getting a call other than actually getting the call.
Because of that, operators seeking to perfect the cold call need to be prepared at all times. Once a call is served, distractions must be dropped and all attention must be focused on the phone call.
Once on a call, you should sound like you have energy, are pleasant, and are genuinely interested in speaking with the person you’re calling.
We Must Be Prepared
We must know exactly what to say, why we’re calling, and what to expect. Any hesitation or misstep perceived by the respondent could be enough to discourage them from taking the phone call. So it’s necessary for operators to employ their utmost professional behavior on every call.
“Utmost professional behavior” means answering calls quickly and well-prepared. It also means that the person we’re calling will not have to wait for us to speak, get involved in “hello? battles”, listen to us speak to our neighbor, or get hung up on.
We should also avoid asking people how they’re doing while we’re cold calling. Asking people how they’re doing without giving them a chance to answer is rude and doesn’t help in convincing them to take the call.
Remember that we have a very limited amount of time to introduce ourselves, explain why we’re calling, and convince people to take the call.
Despite the fact that we don’t always know if a live person answered (because some dialers transfer phone calls a second too late), we need to answer every call as if a live person answered.
Assuming every call is answered by a live person will usually result in higher production. Even though it may be annoying to find out that no one is on the line or that you’ve been speaking to an answering machine, it helps avoid wasted opportunities.
Approaching calls this way will show the people who do answer that we’re engaged and not playing around on their phone. Naturally, this will build trust and make people more likely to take the call.
In other words…
We must begin introducing ourselves the moment we get a call, regardless whether we know someone is on the line or not, and regardless whether we think they’re interested or not.
Tools to Perfect the Cold Call
- Your Attitude – Try to remain positive and friendly. The way you feel affects your behavior, and ultimately, your effort.
- Your Voice – The way things are said says something in itself. Speak with energy and try animating your voice, be entertaining.
- Preparation – Know what you’re going to say. Know why you’re calling. Know what to respond to frequently asked questions.
- The Mute Button – Make sure it’s only on when necessary – while sneezing, coughing, asking supervisors a question. The mute button should be off by default.
- Failure – Learn from what isn’t working and adjust. Avoid letting failed attempts fester. Change the words you emphasize on. Could it be your delivery? Do you sound interested? Analyze these things.