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8 cold calling tips for improving your close rate

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Phone calls are a powerful tool in sales.

But it’s not easy to make good sales calls. Sometimes salespeople start pitching too soon or accidentally interrupt prospects to describe another great feature. And although sales calls are effective, many of us still try to avoid picking up the phone to call a prospect.

That’s why we collected top tips for overcoming your cold-calling fears and turning a cold lead into a hot prospect.

Here we go!

1. First of all, be prepared

You don’t always have enough time to do thorough research on your prospects and their industry. But you still need to come prepared and show your competence. Have a list of points that you want to discuss with your prospect to keep the conversation on track. Before each call, try to find out as much as you can about your prospects.

If you are not prepared with a list of names before you start you will spend too much time looking for who it is you need to speak to. Remember those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

2.  Plan your sales calls

Set aside a block time each day dedicated to making calls. Cold calling, like anything else, requires discipline. We always seem to put it off waiting for the right time, though there never is a right time.

3. Keep the conversation personal

Remember every phone call is an interruption, you need to overturn this interruption in the first 15 seconds by creating interest.

Make a great first impression by addressing the person by their first name and pronouncing it correctly.

Being professional is great, but you’re even better at being yourself. As you probably know, it’s no longer business to business, it’s human to human. When you think about it, what sales calls did you actually enjoy? Probably the ones with a relaxed salesperson showing some personality rather than a stressed-out salesperson who’s too nervous to be themselves.

4. Make sales calls about your prospects and their needs

It’s better to ask open questions starting with How, What, Where and When to establish your prospect’s needs.

The best way to find out their pain points is to ask them to describe their workflow. Be curious and write down what they’re saying. Save most of the questions until they’re ready and get back to details once they’ve finished.

5. Be professional during your sales presentation

It’s important to keep it personal but you still need to show your prospects that you know what you are talking about and have their best interest at heart.

Have 100% knowledge of your product, knowing its features, advantages and benefits. There’s a high chance that your prospects also know a lot about your competitors and what they offer. Make sure that you are up-to-date with the recent industry news and trends to answer any questions or concerns that your prospects and leads might have.

6. Follow up with more information

If some questions are unexpected, allow yourself to think before you reply. It’s not easy to always know an exact reply. If you don’t know the answer or need time to find out more information, promise to get back to them… and deliver on your promise.

Getting back with correct and detailed information is so much better than trying to come up with a good reply about something that you’re not sure of.

7.  Be ready for objections

The largest reason people fail on a cold call is their inability to overcome objections. Always clarify the objection with your client. Have a list of questions that will help you get to the root of their concerns.

8.  End every call with a Next Action

Every call should have a Next Action. It can be either a follow-up email or a meeting. Persistence is one of the key virtues in selling success. Most sales are made after the fifth call and most salespeople quit after the first, so stop putting off those important calls. Start today! Remember sales calls drive activity, activity drives sales.

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