Cold calling for business.
Planning Cold calling for business is important. The first step in the process is to create Ideal Client Profile (ICP), because you have to avoid wasting time just concentrate on selling your services / products to people who:
- Can afford what you’re selling.
- Want it.
ICP should also contain information about: What industry/s your service caters to? Do have a list.
- Who is your customer [The Person]? – His / Her profile? Are they the decision makers?
- What’s your geography [The Place]? Please don’t say it’s the globe. Be realistic.
BY NOW YOU HAVE THE 2P’s, the PEOPLE and the PLACE. These are the two of the 4 Ps of marketing.
You’ll need some leads lists, look into some of the following options:
- Industry directories
- Trade association membership lists
- Company websites with employee rosters, etc.
Start with at least few hundred names, you should not be surprised that only a few calls will get through, around 30% of the total calls.Don’t persuade the “no” people to change their minds; just, thank them for their time and move on to the next call.
Only the 25% of the 30% is where the clients are. Some of them will have an immediate need, and you can set up a meeting with those. Others might take a long time before they get back to you, at times this duration can be 3 or more months. Do follow-up periodically with such people.
Always have a script for Cold Calling – Use a brief, pre-written script. Having a clear and focused speech is needed – you don’t have to think and talk. [As the first call is going to be more of an informative call]
Usually, the response to your call is a very polite “No, thanks.” At times responses are not that polite, but that’s part of the business and you need to understand it.
If the conversation turns into a question and answer session, it’s an indication of probable success. The conversation could be about your past project work – here the probable customer is collecting information which could help him decide.
At times your call will land into the voice mail, just follow the message script which you had prepared.
Example: “My name is Vikrant, and I’m a freelance from and I’m calling to see if I can assist with web designs and development. You can reach me at [firstname.lastname@example.org] or my website, mumbaifreelancer.com.”
Some people interested enough may return via the website contact form.
Remember while Cold Calling: Don’t get too excited. Be professional and have a flat, neutral tone. You’re going to get a lot of rejection, being emotional about those “no” answers, will only hurt. Staying detached will help you persist.
Have the mathematics done: How many calls an hour? How many a day?
- Get a phone with a headset, it’s going to be a lot of calling.
- Don’t let your throat dry out, keep a water bottle handy.
Take printouts of your contact list, which will help track completed calls. Here’s my coding system:
- M Left message
- N Said no
- R Requested further information
- NA No Answer [Keep calling till you get one of the above 3 responses]
Keep tracking your efforts – stay on track with your calling goals. Never forget that this is a numbers game. The more calls you do, the better is the probability of finding a client.
Email marketing can be an option if you feel cold calling is not what you like to do. But do remember in that case there is a high probability that you won’t get any replies. But it won’t be a bad idea to send an email followed up by a call. You never know when someone might be interested.
At the end of each calling session, the 10-percenters get entered into my contact manager along with the “follow up date”. After your call do send a brief e-mail that pitches my services and thanking for the time given to hear you on the call.
Update your contact manager regularly, some contacts will be added, edited or even need to be removed.
Remember Marketing and sales is a numbers game.
You have to keep playing. No matter what the economy’s doing.