Cold calling techniques?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Kerwin, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    I need to get in contact with a range of organisations I have never spoken to before. I'm fairly sure they will be interested in what I have to say but I've never really done much cold calling before. Does anyone have any tips for things I should do?
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #1
  2. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,346 248
    By phone or on the knocker?
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2019 By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #2
  3. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    Telephone.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #3
  4. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,261 950
    There are whole books and courses on this, so we will only scrape the surface on a forum thread, however a few pointers to get things rolling:

    • Identify and research the individual you need to speak to
    • Have a clear and compelling reason why they will want to listen
    • Have a defined outcome for the call and stick to it - don’t over sell
    • Script and learn the opening stages of the call (eg getting PST the ‘gatekeeper’, opening statement to the prospect)
    • Learn and use open and closed questions in context
    • Questions get them talking - don’t talk at them
    • Get little bits of agreement as you go along
    • Once you have your desired outcome, STFU and move on (politely)
    • Ignore anyone who says cold calling doesn’t work, or that they always tell cold callers to F off - I’ve cold called over 30 years and it has never happened to me
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #4
  5. stuartm1962

    stuartm1962 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    59 11
    Good points from Mark on this.

    Try reading Lessons from 100,000 Cold Calls, it covers pretty much everything that you will come up against and advice on the initial call, through to closing.

    Also Sean Mcpheat writes some really good free articles on selling. His company is MTD training.

    It's worth signing up with him, just for the weekly tips.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: stuartm1962 Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #5
  6. davidlee21

    davidlee21 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    39 4
    Cold-calling is one of best techniques to generate. We generate majority to our leads through cold calling. When it comes to learning cold calling. You need a basic knowledge about it. If you follow 2-3 books on cold calling you can learn the theoretical part of it. Other than that you need some experience in this field.
    I will suggest have a basic knowledge and start it.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: davidlee21 Member since: Dec 27, 2018
    #6
  7. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,853 286
    It hasn't been mentioned here, but I would suggest that you write to your targets before your call. Keep it brief and to the point. Say when you will call. Give them the chance to opt out or suggest a better contact. Always follow through. Good luck.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #7
  8. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,446 371
    Very good point from @Nochexman above.
    It has been said before plenty on this forum that as people move away from a certain medium, it becomes much more effective (less people doing it). This is true for cold calling by phone, but also for writing a good old fashioned letter.

    It is very easy indeed to delete an email without reading (I do it myself 10-20 times a day), but generally a letter will be opened and read. Follow that up with a phonecall while it is still fresh, and you will be very effective.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #8
  9. stuartm1962

    stuartm1962 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    59 11
    Morning Peter

    Good advice here. Years ago we would make an initial enquiry call and then send prices and a brochure by post and 3 days later, a follow up call.. The conversion rates were much higher than pure telesales, as you had broken the ice, plus they had something physical to look at.

    Today everyone receives tons of emails each day, whereas they don't receive a letter personally addressed to them.

    Try for example 20 posted letters and follow ups and 20 cold calls and monitor the response to each method.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: stuartm1962 Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #9
  10. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,759 3,424
    Follow the advice of @Nochexman and @Mark T Jones to the letter!

    I suggest you send a physical letter to the director (or other key person) as an introduction.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #10
  11. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    Great idea to send a letter first before I make a telephone call.

    I have an Excel spreadsheet with a list of companies and their registration number on Companies House so I can get the directors name and address from there but do you happen to know of any quick ways to import that data into Excel so I can do a mail merge in Word? I haven't used the postal service in quite a long time so this is all new to me :).
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #11
  12. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,446 371
    https://support.office.com/en-us/ar...eadsheet-858c7d7f-5cc0-4ba1-9a7b-0a948fa3d7d3

    That link will walk you through how to connect Word to your database for a mail merge.

    If what you are asking is how to scrape companies house directors data into excel, then I'm not sure it is possible. You might be able to buy some kind of scraping program but then if you are using that data for commercial gain there will be legal implications to doing that.

    Depending on how long your list is, you could just go through companies house data for each company one at a time...
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #12
  13. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,261 950
    I don't know how many people you are thinking of contacting or what the value to you of a client is, but time spent on a little research via the company website, LinkedIn, Companies House etc can repay you many times over. You could even add a little note specific to them.

    Scraping data isn't ideal unless you really are in the high volume, low margin arena
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #13
  14. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,346 248
    Can you give a better indication of what you are selling as the letter first, phone call first - the whole approach even - can often determine the way you open a sale?
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #14
  15. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    Problem is the Excel spreadsheet has 8000 companies in it :D. I have a feeling I'm going to need to buy some extra coffee. I can't sell to all of them, but they are all in the market I am targetting. I might do batches of 24 letters since that is the size of an A4 sheet of address labels.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #15
  16. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    Oh, since we are on the subject. Where does everyone get their stationery from? I need address labels and envelopes primarily. I would normally just use Amazon but wondering if I could get better prices elsewhere?
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #16
  17. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,261 950
    Because you have 8,000 names doesn’t mean you have to sell to all of them at once

    Again, questions like the lifetime value of. Customer, buying cycle and your ability to meet demand come into play here data is cheap (often free) the value lies in what you do with it

    Subject to the above, your process might go something like:

    • Select 20 companies a day. Probably those closest to your targe; arguably further away as practice prospects
    • Identify the individual to target
    • Potentially connect via LinkedIn (or possibly not at this stage)
    • Send concise letter introducing yourself and confirming you will call in 7 days Consider a personal para, freebie, hand-written envelope
    • Put detail on proper CRM such as Zoho or Hubspot. Aim to get business emai address and link to Mailchimp or similar
    • Diarise call on CRM
    • Call when you say you will
    • Diarise future action
    Etc, etc. It’s a process, not an event or 2 events.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #17
  18. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,446 371
    You have a list of 8,000 companies....you could automate a mail merge to send 8,000 letters, but there is no way in the world that you're going to be able to follow up all 8,000 with a phone call in good time.
    Break it down in to chunks - do 20 per week. That gives you time to find the director's names on Monday, send out the letters on Tuesday, follow up with phone calls Thursday and Friday.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #18
  19. MandaBarnes

    MandaBarnes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 2
    Can I ask why you would choose to use this technique? I get very frustrated when callers phone me out of the blue, so I would never use this method in business. Have you considered a walk-in technique to approach them if they are local? I feel that a friendly face with a good pitch is much better received than a call that comes in. I know many use cold calling, but I just can't find any situation in which I find it acceptable.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: MandaBarnes Member since: Feb 7, 2019
    #19
  20. Kerwin

    Kerwin UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 7
    I know cold calling can be annoying at times, but I have a disability that makes leaving the house difficult, so face to face stuff isn't an option for me. I think I'm going to go ahead and send out 24 letters and see what happens from that. If no one is interested, then I'll move on to the next idea, but if I get some interest, I'll persevere.

    The list of companies comes from the government as they are companies working in the public sector.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: Kerwin Member since: Dec 1, 2018
    #20