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4 Tips for Cold Calling

by Debbie Boucher on Fri, Mar 28, 2008

One evening when I was reading a bedtime story to my 7 year old son, he exclaimed, "Mommy, please slow down, you're talking too fast!" His remark took me by surprise; I had no idea I was reading so fast.  This one statement made me realize that in my desire to share a story, I had lost my target audience. 

Now, I consider myself a seasoned and professional cold caller but his comment made me take a step back and realize that while I need to hold the attention of a potential prospect, I also need to deliver information to my audience in a way they can absorb.

If you are in the Inside Sales game, you probably average 52 calls a day.  Industry data proves that 80% of that time you are leaving a voice mail message.  So what do we do when someone actually answers the phone?  We are all guilty of trying to get out as much information as possible.   Subconsciously you may be thinking, I've finally connected with the person . . . here's my chance! 

But before you race through that bedtime story, remember the following:

  • Carefully Target Your Audience - Do you know what your Ideal Customer Profile looks like?  Do you understand the role and responsibilities of the person you are prospecting?  Are you prepared to talk to them about issues that are relevant to their market? 
  • Be Prepared, Do Research - Learn as much about the organization as you can before getting on the phone.  Focus on the key areas where your company can bring value to their organization.  Be ready to articulate how your solution can eliminate the challenge(s) they may be experiencing.
  • Be Concise - Outline what you want to say on paper before calling.  If you reach voice mail, use your outline to help you remain clear and to the point.
  • Clearly Articulate Your Contact Information - Clearly state your first and last name as well as your company name.   When leaving a voicemail, remember to say your phone number slowly as if you are writing it.  I like to say my phone number twice (I know others will argue this point, so use your own personal preference).

So, net/net, whether you are speaking to a 7 year old or a "C" level executive, it's important to know your audience and communicate with them in a way they are comfortable with and that delivers the message.  

Topics: cold calling, sales tools, inside sales tips

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