Cold calling is still very effective. If anyone tells you otherwise, he or she is just refusing to see the possibilities. With cold calling, you will be able to get new clients for your digital agency. It has to do with numbers, but when you can call 20 or more numbers each day, you are sure to get a few prospects who are interested in a service you provide. If you understand how to pick up your phone and dial a number, you will get your business up in no time.
What Is Cold Calling?
Cold calling has to do with the traditional means of placing spontaneous phone calls to prospective business leads with the expectation of selling a service or product to them. The call is categorized as “cold” because, before the call, the caller and recipient never have had any interaction. It is quite hard to develop the capacity to make a stranger feel comfortable and let them open up during a conversation.
Professional cold callers will have to learn to handle continuous hang-ups and rejections. It is not ideal to see cold calling as just a game of numbers. When you effectively perform cold calling, it is the means of connecting to an individual via phone in a manner that is honest, professional, and open, and offering them a reasonable proposal.
Why Do Many People Stay Away from Cold Calling?
Over the years, cold calling has become famous for the numerous hang-ups that can occur if the caller has no experience or does not handle the call the right way. The stigma associated with cold calling has further increased because of the way telemarketing invades people’s personal lives.
For many, being a part of the number games of call centers as they make efforts to attain their conversion goal is an experience that is rude and disrupting. This terrible reputation of cold calling is what comes to the minds of individuals when they consider using this practice to promote the services they render. Because of the experience of being the recipient of many poorly placed cold calls, we wrongly presume that this practice is flawed and is not a great one for promoting one’s business.
People to Cold Call
Before you place a call to sell the services of your agency, you need to have a few people in mind already. Consider who your top prospect may be and what your ideal client may seem like. If you were in an area filled with teachers, will it be easy for you to pitch them an online marketing service or website?
Subject to the size of your organization and the sector it is in, there are perhaps diverse methods of getting the information you require to contact these individuals. For instance, insurance agents are not required to cold call. This is because they make all their information public to get a call from someone who wants the coverage.
Also, you need to make sure you are calling the person who calls the shot. You don’t want to waste your agency’s resources and time calling low-ranking members of the organization you want to sell your services to. This is because they don’t have the power to make any decision concerning the digital marketing of the company.
If you are trying to connect to a large company with a workforce of more than 100 individuals, your target is probably the chief marketer. Your goal here won’t be to reach out to junior staff members; however, you don’t want to be placing calls to CEOs of organizations so huge that they are not bothered about their site. If you are contacting these large organizations, good for you. This is because they usually have a huge budget and have more knowledge of what it requires to implement marketing strategies that you can handle.
If you have to contact the gatekeeper, you need to understand how to deal with that situation also. Gatekeepers are those managing a company’s incoming calls. These could be secretaries or whoever is given that role in the organization. Gatekeepers are crucial if you view things from the angle of a well-to-do business individual.
Not many individuals who are running a successful organization will want to bother themselves with every individual coming to them with sales pitches. Learning to go beyond the gatekeeper is a skill you have to become better at in addition to cold calling. Gatekeepers can give you a direct link to the decision-makers, and that is why it is essential to learn to deal with them. However, you need to understand that like everything else, doing this will need lots of practice.
Common Cold Call Objections and How to Deal with Them
While cold calling, you will most likely get hung up on numerous times. This may not necessarily be a bad thing as it means your leads are not wasting your time because you know where they stand.
It’s more frustrating to deal with individuals that become real prospects and lead you on for a long time without the aim of making a purchase. For many people, it can be difficult to show they are not interested in your organization, and unless you can figure out these objections, you will end up wasting your resources and time chasing these leads.
Below are some of the common objections you may deal with during a cold call and how you can deal with them:
“I don’t know you.”
They are cold calls because the recipient does not know you and is not expecting your call. They don’t even know anything concerning your services, products, and organization. For this reason, the first words you say are vital.
Also, even if you can get past the introduction, your prospect may still be irritated, closed off, and even suspicious. He or she does not like hearing from strangers, especially those trying to sell them a service or product.
How to Overcome
The first step you need to take is to get more odds in your favour. Always keep it in mind that your prospect may have inadequate time, may not be in a good mood, or maybe at work. Make it less complicated for them so that they will give you some of their time.
“I need to have a brief conversation with you concerning a product we believe suits your business. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? I assure you it won’t take up much of your time.”
Then offer evidence of the excellent reputation of your agency or achievement that will astound your listener.
“We recently let out a new service for [X kind of business owners] that will help solve your [X issues] fast. We have assisted more than 1,000 organizations like yours in achieving their [X goals].”
Objections that Have to Do with Money
Other major objections you are most likely going to come across during a cold call are those relating to money. Some of these are as follows:
- “This is a bit pricey for me presently, but thank you!”
- “Our budget cannot support this purchase.”
- “I don’t have enough funds to invest in this.”
For most prospects, the shortage of funds is the default objection. It may sometimes be a real issue they are dealing with. However, lots of times, it’s just a fast way of ending a conversation as the real problem may be something entirely unrelated. Below are a few ways you can address it:
Below are a few ways you can address it:
Offer Them a Discount if They Decide to Go Further with the Process
Split the cost into fewer parts and offer them comparisons they can relate with. For example, “If you pay thirty dollars each month, you will get [X benefits] and features that will help with [X issues].”
Offer a referral or case study that boosts the proven value that your service provides. This way, you sell the value and make them think less about the cost involved.
Satisfied Client Objections
Many times, your prospect already has an agency offering the same services that you do that they are satisfied with, and the response you get is something in the lines of “Thank you, but our present agency is just fine.”
This is one of the most common objections that you may come across. Your role is to convince the client that your agency offers better. You can ask questions that are not open-ended but instead offer you a yes.
For example, “If our service offers you similar benefits to the one you are utilizing currently but at a lower cost, will it interest you?”
This way, you can get the prospect to begin a conversation and talk about new options that will make their operations more straightforward.
Dealing with cold-call rejections can be difficult. This is especially the case if you don’t know how to go about it. Learning to master responses and rejections are crucial for your success in cold calls.
The objections we have covered above can be of help if you consistently do the following:
- Be prepared: Put your sales scripts in order, take essential notes during calls, and record conversations you have with prospects so that you can listen later to determine areas you can improve.
- Practice: See every call like a game of numbers. Do not let failures or rejection get to you. It is a necessary step for growth. Try your best and keep going.
- Be persistent: Give yourself a daily, weekly, or monthly target. Irrespective of how you feel, ensure you hit that target even if you make no sales. Being persistent can help you go past any obstruction down the road.
Getting Over Cold-Call Fear
Developing a fear of cold calls is normal. This is the case especially after you have received a few rejections and limited success. However, if you spend time imagining who you are going to speak to, what you are going to say, and the way the conversation is going to go, you may never pick up the phone.
Instead, there are a few steps that can help you deal with this fear. They are as follows:
Carry Out Proper Research
In the eyes of many people, cold calling does not have an excellent reputation. Most of the time, this is because cold callers do not do the necessary research. That is why this point is very vital before you dial any number.
You need to know who you are calling and what your goals are before you pick up the phone. Will the person need your services? Run a Google search for his company first. Does the name seem hard to remember? Get it in memory before you pick up the phone.
Doing some research can ensure that you and your prospect will have a comfortable time on the phone.
Be Ready for Rejection
For most cold callers, one of the main fears is picking up the phone and getting rejected after making a great pitch. You need to understand that rejection is a part of it. Not everyone you call will need the services of your agencies. Don’t let it hold you back. Remember, that it is just business and nothing personal.
Make a Plan
In addition to preparing your introductory line, you need to have a plan ready for what you would cover. Try to list out your key points and have that list close before the call. Doing this will allow you to pass the information you want to without the need to overthink. This way, you can channel your focus to other areas, like being warm.
However, ensure you don’t get sucked into the mistake of reading directly from a script. Even if you have placed numerous calls during the day and you are exhausted, doing this will make you sound robotic, and nobody finds that impressive.
Be Tenacious but Well Mannered
When you place a cold call, you do it with a goal, whether it is to schedule another call or to make an appointment to discuss things further. You need to move things toward your set goal fast. If you are unable to reach a person, try again as many times as possible.
The moment you can get a hold of the person, don’t waste any time in politely sending the information that you want to. Respect is vital, especially when you are speaking to a gatekeeper.
Do not forget that the receiver was probably busy with other stuff before your call came in, so make sure you thank them for the time spent even if the outcome is not what you desire.
Do Not Be Discouraged by Voicemail
There is a likelihood that you will be reaching lots of your prospects’ voicemails. This may not be a pleasant experience, especially when you want to get a hold of the prospect.
As annoying as this may seem, the right voicemail message covering all the appropriate areas can get you a callback. If this doesn’t happen, it can at least position you for an easy follow-up call. Keep it sweet and short as this will increase the probability of your prospect listening to the entire message.
On a final note, remember that if a person says that they have no interest in what you are offering, then take them off your records totally if they ask. Not doing this can result in a huge fine if you are reported to the ICO.
Closing a Cold-Call Sale
All individuals in sales know that they have to close sales because prospects won’t do it. However, you may not be aware that it is equally crucial to close your cold calls. If you want to make close calls on behalf of your agency, you need to learn how to close a cold-call sale.
The steps below can be of help even if your goal is to close for an appointment instead of a sale.
Have Specific Targets
A little knowledge can be a powerful tool. To ensure you have a great chance of getting an appointment, before you try to make an appointment or meeting with any individual, you need to have a precise idea of the following:
- Who do you want to speak to?
- What industries should they be in?
- What geographical location should they be in?
- What organization?
- What should be the target budget?
When reaching out, the responsibility and power to make specific targets are in your hands. If the person on the other end of the line has the appropriate profile, you have a better chance. But if they do not, no matter how skilful or polite you are, you have a slim chance of getting that sale.
Don’t Aim to Close the Entire Sale
Trying to close the entire sale via your cold call is not the best route to go. The truth is that it hardly ever works. It is almost impossible to ultimately attain information about the needs of a prospect and provide them a solution via a single short call.
This is only possible in the slight event that you call a prospect who had plans to make a purchase but has not made a move yet. In this situation, the prospect may extend the length of the cold call to allow you to complete the entire sale in a single call. However, this is something that rarely happens.
During most of your calls, your objective should be to ensure you get an appointment with the prospect. This appointment could be a long phone call or a physical meeting. It could also be a webcam meeting. Another goal you should have during a cold call is to qualify the prospect partially during your first call so that you can minimize the possibility of wasting the prospect’s time and yours if they are unable to purchase from you.
If your goal is to get the prospect to set up an appointment, your job during the entire call should be to let him or her see how beneficial a future meeting is. Prospects are not bothered about your numbers, but instead, they want to know how it benefits them. And you only have minimal time to show them via the phone. This is why during the call, you must try as much as you can to let them see the benefits you can provide.
Have an Amazing Opener
The first step when you want to close an appointment is to get the prospect to remain on the phone for as long as you need. For this reason, the most crucial part of the whole call is the first words out of your mouth.
If you can create and deliver a fantastic opener, you will pique the interest of your prospect, and he or she will want to hear you out. If you are unable to pique the prospect’s interest immediately, there is a high chance that he or she will come up with a reason to drop the call when he or she finds out you are trying to sell a service.
When you have kicked things off with a fantastic opener and you have the interest of your prospect, what you need to do next is to ask for his or her consent to ask some questions. You can offer this as a benefit to him or her by saying something in the lines of “I know you are a busy person, so before I obstruct your day any further, I need to be certain my service is suitable for you. Could I please ask some questions?”
Now that you have made the prospect see that you don’t want to waste his or her time, he or she will have a higher possibility of hearing you out.
Finish the Close
If the prospect remains qualified after the steps above, you can begin finishing the close. Remember, it is crucial to place your scheduled appointment as something that will be of benefit to your prospect. You can openly do this by providing the prospect with a free trial of your service.
If this won’t work, you need to let the prospect have a glimpse of what he or she stands to gain from using the services or products your agency offers. However, if you keep talking about the service or product, you may lose the interest of the prospect. The idea is to pique the prospect’s interest just enough so that he or she will look forward to the other things you have to say during your appointment.
Other Ways to Get Clients for Your Agency
If you want to go beyond cold calling for getting clients, there are other ways to go. One of these is going online. The internet offers you vast ground to draw in clients. Here, we will be covering the various ways you can get clients for your agency online.
Place Ads on Craigslist
Craigslist is free, and even though it sometimes get negative feedback, it still pulls in a tremendous amount of traffic. If your company is already a huge one, it may not seem like a great idea. However, if you are a start-up digital marketing agency, posting a Craigslist ad can do a lot of good in bringing you clients. Just take the time to develop a full ad that shows the benefits your service provides.
Sometimes, to find new clients, all you have to do is make it easier for people to run into your agency or find you. Instead of advertising the service you offer, you can say something about it.
A great way of doing this is through blogging. You can build your agency and yourself into an authority in the sector by developing fantastic content. Speak about the issues in the sector or strike a conversation through blogging.
You can easily do this by keeping a blog for your agency where you frequently post content and share through email newsletters and social media platforms. You can take it up a notch by guest blogging for top websites in the industry. Note the present trends and pick smart titles if you want to make an impact. Make sure your content is credible and unique, and you will be amazed at what this can do to enhance the exposure of your agency and draw in new clients.
Rank Your Website
This is a challenging route to take mainly if you are in a huge city. However, if you are unable to rank your site, how do you plan on convincing knowledgeable prospects that you can perform this service for them? Rank your site for long-tail keywords or relevant things your customers search for.