Posted 18th February 2015 | By James Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager

Love or hate it, cold calling is still an essential way for a company to get new business. Even in this digital age where everything is at the touch of a button or the scroll of a screen, picking up the phone and dialing for business still works.

I have been cold calling companies/people for years and although I don't profess to be an expert I have picked up a few things along the way, so thought I'd share a few of my top tips to making a successful cold call.

  1. Make sure you do your research – Find out who is the decision maker for the service/product you are trying to introduce. Know the company you're calling, look at their website to make sure you know what they do and that the service/product you offer is relevant to them.
  2. Be straight to the point – There is nothing worse than a sales person waffling on for 5 minutes about their service/product when it's not something you need or already have. Tell the person what you do and see if it's something they need or use already. This save wasting both of your time.
  3. Don't be pushy and oversell – Most people don't like being sold to at the best of times, but when you are ringing them and interrupting what they are doing at that moment they like it even less.
  4. Build rapport – Once you've established that there may be an interest, work on that to find out how your service/product can benefit them. Ask the potential client questions that are relevant and of interest to them. Most of all be friendly; people buy from people, and rapport with your client is so important to making the call successful.
  5. Have a goal from the call – It might be to close the sale, arrange a meeting, email details then call, or call again in 6 months time to stay on their radar. It takes time in some cases to sell to a company and if you think every cold call you make is going to lead to a sale then you're going to be in for a shock. A cold call is just the start of the sales process.
  6. Follow up – Make sure you do what you say you are going to do at the end of the call; you'll be making the right impression to the client and also get a step closer to the sale.

As I say I'm no expert in cold calling but I know what works for me, so hopefully you can take something from this and use it in your next cold call to make it more successful.

Written by James Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager at ExtraMile Communications.

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