Why is cold calling so hard?!
Maybe it is speaking with strangers, the expectation to meet specific goals through the campaign, or the fear of rejection. But, no matter what the reason, cold calling is challenging. Otherwise, why would there be an array of articles on the internet trying to give you cold calling tips?
As a calling software company, we have insights to offer to help you through a nerve-wracking cold calling campaign. Whether you are a sales team, a political campaign, or a nonprofit – everyone needs to run a cold calling campaign, and we’ve got tips for all of you!
Let’s explore cold calling tips for a smooth campaign.
Cold calling tips for a successful campaign:
Cold calling is used across industries to reach out to new customers, voters, donors, survey participants, and more.
However, the only way you will see significant results from your campaign is to do it effectively, i.e., follow our cold calling tips listed below for the best results.
Before you begin cold calling
Here is a list of cold calling tips to follow before you begin your campaign.
Stay compliant with the law
Calling campaigns have been subject to increased scrutiny over the years. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is made more stringent with regular complaints of ongoing calls. Some TCPA regulations include:
- Permitted call timings and days. This varies from State to State, but TCPA has mandated that cold calls can only be made within a certain number of hours.
- All callers need to disclose their identity on the call.
- If people wish not to receive any further communication, they must be opted out of your calling list.
- The purpose of the call needs to be stated at the beginning of the call so that people can decide whether they want to continue the conversation or not.
Therefore, before you begin a cold calling campaign, you need to ensure you know local laws and stay compliant with them. Violation of regulations can lead to penalties between $500 and $1500 per violation, and this means that you will need to shell out the penalty amount for every call that violates regulations.
We have listed TCPA compliance laws and how you can ensure you are compliant through our article Your Cheat-Sheet to Tick All Boxes on a TCPA Compliance Checklist. Read to know more.
Research your prospects beforehand
Prospect research and clean lists (lists that do not include DND numbers, include people interested in what you have to say, etc.) become more manageable from a great database. List cleaning is essential because:
- It helps you save time by skipping contacts that do not fall under your target audience.
- It skips DND calls, so your campaign does not flout calling regulations.
- It removes contacts whose information, such as name, number, location, etc., is missing. Alternatively, it serves as an opportunity to gather such data.
Managers need to ensure that lists available to calling agents are relevant and clean.
However, as a calling agent, you might want to do cursory research on your calling list and understand the type of people you will be talking to.
You can research prospects through social media, a quick Google search, or LinkedIn. 78% of sales reps say that when they study prospects, their calls go better. Now you may not be a sales rep or trying to sell anything. Maybe you’re calling to talk about your local elections; research is still essential. It ensures you have a personalized conversation with each contact without relying entirely on data available against the profile or on the script provided.
Be relevant to your audience
The quickest way a person will cut your call is knowing that you are not relevant to their interests. Your audience needs to know that your cold call is relevant to them, and they need to know that quickly. There are two ways of ensuring that:
- Creating personas of ideal customers/target audiences:
Ideal customer personas or your target audience is people who will most likely benefit from your call, are most likely to purchase from you, or vote for your campaign. It could be based on their age, gender, income level, educational status, or location – any combination of metrics can help you create an ideal target audience profile.
It helps you understand the best people for your cold calling campaign. You will also quickly realize who does not fall into your target audience.
The more relevant a call is to your target audience, the less likely your campaign is to be reported for spam.
- Using features such as dynamic caller ID
Another way in which you can stay highly relevant to your target audience is by using features like dynamic caller ID. The dynamic called ID feature reflects a local number on the receiver’s phone – no matter where you are calling from.
How does that help you stay relevant? People are more likely to answer your call if they see it is a number with a local area code. We’ve found that pick-up rates increase by 20% on campaigns that use this feature.
However, you need to note that ‘spoofing’ phone numbers to reflect a local number is monitored stringently now, and new regulations are in place. Speak to your calling software partner to know how to stay compliant.
Use a calling software
A good software is 50% of the work done. Using it helps you:
- Ease your workflow.
- Track your previous calls.
- Segment your lists.
- Increase your speed and efficiency.
- Save all your data on one platform.
- Boost follow-up by offering text or email follow-up features.
- Stay compliant with the law and more.
Why is this a cold calling tip? Because a large part of successful cold calling allows you to focus your energy on the call entirely and not on the administrative aspect.
For example, CallHub includes a Timezone calling feature that helps agents stay compliant with TCPA regulations by allowing the manager to set the timezone when building the campaign. Additionally, CallHub also allows managers to enter a campaign start and stop time before and after which agents cannot make calls.
Know the best times to make a call
One of the best cold calling tips we could give you is to know which is the best time to call your audience. It is easy to see why a Monday morning or a Friday evening might be the wrong time to call someone, and they might just be starting their week or ending what must be a tough week.
A lot of research has gone into figuring out the best times to make a cold call. At CallHub, we studied ~800,000 calls to determine the Phonebanking Timings That Have the Best Answer Rate.
Know your goals
This is two-fold:
1. You need to know how to frame your call. For example, if your goal is to sell a specific product or service, you need to find ways in which you can include it in your conversation at each step.
2. You need to know your daily and weekly call numbers and plan backward. For example, if you need to make 400 calls in a week, your daily goal in a 5-day work week would be 80 calls. Understanding this number helps you calculate and manage your time on each call.
Understanding what the goals of your campaign are is the most significant way in which you can make the most out of your campaign. Without clear goals in mind, you may not know how to track progress, the areas that did not show results, etc.
On the call
Here are some cold calling tips for when you are on the call.
Don’t give them an easy exit
On a cold call, sometimes people are looking for the easiest way to exit a conversation; after all, who wants to listen to a stranger—especially if they are likely to make a demand or ask? Your next cold calling tip – certain magical questions lead them right to the escape they might be hoping for.
Easy exit questions include:
Is this a good time to talk with you?
Would you be interested in chatting with me for 2 minutes?
Would you like to hear about ___?
It is easy for a call recipient to say ‘no’ to these questions and cut the call. If you want to keep them engaged, avoid using such exit questions. So what do you do instead? Read the next cold calling tip to know.
Have strong opening lines
A strong opening sets the base for a successful phone call. More so because you only have 10 seconds to make an impression. When you have your contact hooked onto your call, chances are they want to continue hearing what you have to say.
The best opening lines help you make an impression quickly, and in fact, they lead to higher call success rates. Here are some opening lines to consider:
How are you?
How have you been?
The reason I called was…
I noticed you…
I saw your post about…
These lines are likely to improve your chances of success 2x-6x.
Be open to spontaneity
Scripts are a great guide to frame your conversations and are especially helpful when training beginners. However, no two conversations with people are the same.
You will be introduced to several situations when you are on your cold calling campaign – a child picks up, someone needs to be persuaded to speak with you, another adult picks the call, and you need to make it count.
The only way you will be able to deal with situations such as these is by–
- Knowing your script well before the call.
- Speaking with your manager about possible call scenarios and how to deal with them.
- Staying open to shift your conversation to accommodate any curveball thrown your way.
|Want to know how to craft the perfect cold calling script? We have resources across industries:|
Craft The Perfect Cold Calling Script For Insurance
How to Write The Easiest Fundraising Cold Call Script | CallHub
Use These Powerful Sample Telemarketing Scripts for Your Business (and additional tips!)
Building Call Center Scripts that Motivate Action (with examples)
Sales Script Examples (and how to write one!)
Phone survey scripts: Sample scripts and best practices
Don’t waste their time
When you are cold calling, you dial hundreds of prospects with no idea how their day is going, what they are doing, and if you are catching them at the right time. While you want to share every information from your end, our cold calling tip would be to keep the conversation short and relevant.
Avoid wasting a person’s time by sharing an overload of information they are not prepared to handle. Alternatively, you can split your call into two and follow up with contacts later if you catch them at the wrong time.
Maintaining a call log and taking notes is important when running a cold calling campaign. If you are calling contacts more than once, you may not remember conversations you previously had with each individual. Also, when you are unavailable and your colleagues need to speak with contacts on your list, they need to know important information about a contact.
Adding notes helps you understand and remember a previous conversation. This is also a great hack to make a good impression on your contacts. When you use information from the last call to build rapport with them in the next, they will feel valued.
Follow up with text messages or email
Prospects who are sent text messages after a call have a 40% higher conversion rate.
Make follow-up with a contact a part of your calling ritual. You can follow up in these scenarios:
- When a contact asks to reschedule, immediately reschedule calls on your system and share a text reminder with the discussed date and timings.
- Share information or links you may have brought up during the call via text or email.
- Share an email with more information relevant to the conversation on call—for example, candidate information for a political campaign, insurance details for an insurance company, etc.
- Call back exactly when you said you would.
Share social proof
We all check reviews before we buy something. We do that to receive social proof – that is, to know something has worked out for other people and therefore has a high chance of working out for us.
When you are cold calling a person, they know nothing about you. Why would they trust you enough to take the action you ask them to? This is where social proof comes into the picture. Build trust through social proof by:
- Speaking about other customers or famous people whose similar problems you solved.
- Sharing your recent success stories and any awards you received.
- Talking about how people have benefitted from your proposition.
- Speaking about how you have utilized money previously if you aim to fundraise.
- Sharing social media posts or testimonials from other customers.
Beyond tips, you also need to understand the hurdles in a cold calling campaign.
The biggest hurdle to cross when cold calling is your own mind. Cold calling is as much a mental game as it is a goal-oriented hustle. Two mental limitations one needs to overcome are–
Call reluctance: 80% of cold callers fail due to call reluctance. While it is normal to feel jittery before making calls, overcoming it is important for you to succeed in this campaign. You can:
- Listen to relaxing music before you begin calling.
- Remember all the great conversations you have already had.
- Chat with colleagues about your feelings and see if they feel the same. Chances are, they do. Also, take tips from the more experienced callers for parts that you feel most nervous about.
- The more you know about what you will say, the better. Keep learning more about your sector to improve confidence.
Fear of rejection: Rejection is demotivating and especially if it is one call after another of rejection. That’s how you get better. Here’s how you can deal with rejection:
- Use cues from each call to improve the next.
- Remind yourself that it is a game of percentages. You only need a percentage of calls to succeed.
- Seek guidance from your manager or experienced team members.
Following these cold calling tips can help you improve your calling campaign and boost results.
Cold calling is fun when you turn it into a game. CallHub’s software allows you to have an agent scoreboard to gamify your cold calling campaign. Check out CallHub’s software for free for 14 days to experience it yourself.
Featured Image Source: Karolina Grabowska