Cold Calling Tips: Prospecting

  1. Whether trying to ascertain a good time to call your prospect back or trying to schedule a meeting, it is a good idea to give alternate choices. ‘Is this afternoon good, or would tomorrow morning be better?’ It is much easier for your prospect to decide ‘when’ rather than ‘whether.’
  2. Call when the prospect is in. Call when you know you can reach the prospect. Early, late, lunchtime…. Your industry may have times that are specific to that industry. Call when the secretary said to call back.
  3. Keep adding new telephone numbers to your list. You do not want to keep calling the same numbers over and over. You want to keep adding telephone numbers, so that you are calling a mix of new leads and older leads.
  4. If you keep reaching a secretary or assistant, do not call that lead more than 3 times in one day. This is one reason to keep adding new names to your list. If you keep reaching voice mail, however, you can call as often as you wish.
  5. Enter all the information you gain from a prospect into your database! The better your records, the easier your calls will be.
  6. If you are put on hold at the switchboard, go on to another call. If you are actually holding for your prospect and you’ve been on hold for a while, you can hang up and then call back. Say, ‘I was holding for (prospect’s name), and I was disconnected. Is she available?’ This way, you’ll either get through to your prospect or find out when to call back.
  7. If you are setting up meetings for someone else, you can say things about that individual that they themselves cannot. Don’t be afraid to gush. Point out all relevant personality traits: ‘She is so talented.’ ‘She is so down-to-earth.’ ‘She really understands this business.’ You get the idea. Coming from a second party, these types of statements are very powerful. If you say them about yourself, however, you simply sound like a braggart.
  8. If you are trying to name the prospect and you reach an automated telephone answering system, the type that is sometimes used to replace the receptionist (dial 1 for this, 2 for that…), try to find a way to reach a human being. Dial 0 for Operator and try, ‘Before you connect me, I need to reach your (prospect’s title). Who would that be please?’ Another option: Randomly dial numbers until you reach a person. Identify yourself, and say, ‘I’m hoping you can help me… I need to reach… Who would that be?’
  9. After a success, keep calling!

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