It is likely that at some point you will have to pick up the phone and attempt to convince strangers of the strength of your product or service. It’s a business fact of life, but inevitably, so is getting rejected – cold calling gets around a 5% success rate if done very well - so the most important thing to do is develop a thick skin.
Cold calling is not all about making an instant sale. It can often be used for gathering information, or trying to arrange a meeting, so launching straight in with the breathless description of your product may not be the right approach. Calling to confirm names, titles and contact details can be a good way to start. You get information confirmed, and you might be able to take it further.
If cold calling isn’t something that comes naturally, then consider a script. But be very careful - sounding like you’re reading from a piece of paper is off-putting to the person on the other end of the line, as you probably know from being cold called yourself. Perhaps a better way of using a script is to remind you of the points you need to make, rather than be a word for word recital tool. You have to be able to be flexible, and listen to the needs of the person you’re calling.
You will get people who put the phone down straight away (don’t you do that occasionally?) but don’t be scared of this outcome or let it get to you when it does happen. It’s not personal. Keep calm and smile, and this will come though in your voice and make people more receptive. Monitor your success rate and attempt to strategically perfect your approach.
If you ask for information by using open questions, and keep your voice friendly and inquisitive, you’re more likely to get people’s interest. The aggressive sale usually won’t work in this context because people are so wary of cold calls.
Offer meeting times if it looks like you won’t be able to make a sale, and confirm in writing.