choosing how to open a cold call
Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash

What does it take to excel at cold calling? The very thought of calling a person at random who has never spoken with you has neither any interest in you nor what you have to offer, and just downright has an inbuilt sense that you are intent on perpetuating a scam does not sit well with most of us.

Far from a natural skill, being thick-skinned must come either from self-realization that you are but a channel for the message of somebody else or despite what you are saying, in no way reflects on your integrity and sense of self-worth.

Tips and Tricks

There are several tricks and techniques that one can use to cold call. An article here on dezzain.com discusses several tools you can use to be effective. But there is not so much as to how to get around the inevitable butterflies you feel.

With every article, hopefully including this one, your first sentence has to contain a hook. There has to be something in your voice, the words you chose, and what you want to offer that at least keeps the person listening for the next sentence. You have to entice the audience with the promise of something. And it has to be offered in such a way that it does not sound fictionally improbable. Offering a million-dollar bounty in the very first few seconds is bound to raise suspicion.

What one has to do is get a sense of the person with a few questions while establishing some credibility with the person you are calling. The questions should enable you to figure out how to go about keeping the prospect on the line and obtaining enough information to fashion the next sets of questions.

Being polite is important. And that can come across in your tone. As will asking the usual throw-away line of how are you? But it is also important to get across some information about who you are, your purpose, and that you promise not to take too much time.

Imagine, for example, you are selling printer supplies. After the initial opening, you certainly want to be sure that you are reaching somebody who buys office supplies. An easy way to broach the subject would be to say you are conducting a market survey, perhaps trying to establish local demand or rank consumer knowledge.

choosing how to open a cold call
Photo by yang miao on Unsplash

Most people, by their nature, more than likely you included, are perfectly happy to share an opinion; and probably on things you never thought long about. The simple act of saying to somebody, hey your opinion is important to me, is disarming. From there, you can steer the conversation accordingly.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

It is this reason why, in general, cold callers should have different scripts from which they can quickly switch depending upon the reaction of the prospect. Saleshood.com talks about the many different scripts and offers some tips on video prospecting too.

It is also important to keep in your own mind that just because you are soliciting work, it does not make you a bad person. You are offering a service, paying for the call, and in a very real human way, helping the market know that whatever it is you are selling, it is available. Sure, there are going to be rude responses. You cannot predict where a person is in his or her day, life, or how they were raised. But you do know you. And at the end of the day, it is you to yourself that you answer.

Put It In Writing

Writing to people unsolicited is a different challenge. Here, the entire page appears at once. In such a situation the first paragraph must have a strong hook and you cannot tailor your next statement based on the response. Instead, you have to rely on having a good balance of text, graphics, and content.

If you consider, while slightly different, what web-page designers build, you might observe that there are few pages that is bursting with content – unless for example, they are news. Instead, they try to pace themselves and follow established patterns.

The difference though between web, cold calling, and writing is that when writing, you have a separate document that introduces you and/or what you are offering. And that is what purpose a cover letter serves.

With that letter, you are trying to hook the audience into considering the rest of the contents. When writing to a company, if you already know about the audience, you can tailor your introduction. If not, then you might be going after a market segment, and again, though more generic, you can tailor your pitch accordingly.

Putting your best foot forward. While an old saying is a mantra that continues to apply. Keep it in mind either when the person at the other end of the phone says hello or opens up a letter you have written.

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