Cold-calling is often necessary for business development; it’s also disliked by even the best sales reps. The next time you face a list of phone numbers, use these techniques to improve your approach:
- Qualify leads. Make sure you’ve done your research before tackling your list. Place calls only to people the research shows will be interested in what you are selling. You’ll increase your productivity and the likelihood that the person on the end of the line will want to talk to you.
- Think differently. Don’t place the call with only the objective of selling. Take time to connect with each person.
- Ditch the sales plug. Make your script conversational and less rehearsed. People will respond better if you don’t sound like you are reading from cue cards.
- Know what you are talking about. Practice so much that you have all of your points memorized. You’ll sound more natural and knowledgeable.
— Adapted from “Hate Selling? How to Get Over It—and Get Good at It,” Geoffrey James, www.inc.com.