How to Cold Call Businesses Effectively
The other day I was sharing a beer with a close friend and business associate of mine. The subject of cold-calling came up and his lip turned up, his furrowed brow encapsulated a sinister feeling that I had engulfed within him for bringing up this seemingly taboo topic.
He made a snide joke about cold-callers being the Jehovah Witnesses of the business world, knocking at your door when you didn’t even invite them.
He soon changed his tune when I reminded him that we wouldn’t currently be doing business together if I had not cold called him almost a decade ago!
There is a good and bad way to cold call/email a potential client. Seeing so I have previous experience in this field as a cold-caller and the person who is being cold-called, here are my top tips to turn that cold stranger into a warm, money-giving client.
Know your client
One of the worst emails I can receive goes a little something like this:
I really like your blog and I’d love to do business with you, yada yada bs…”
…This person doesn’t mention my blog, why s/he loves it so much and they didn’t even go to the 3 seconds trouble to find out that I am a man.
Even if I like what they are selling I judge them as unprofessional and I am less likely to work with them.
Don’t be that person.
Don’t take rejection personal
Real talk right here; some people love cold calls and some don’t. Some people will swear at you and put you down for doing it. Accept this and move onto the next.
The reaction to cold-calling is often a cultural thing. I have personally had the most ruthless of shutdowns by Brits and Australians, but I don’t cry about it as it’s just the nature of the beast.
Canadians and Americans are the most used to it, but don’t let nationality alone put you off. Grow thicker skin and go through your list.
At first cold-calling will feel weird if you are new to it. Like anything the more you try the better you will be at it, so make sure to aim for a certain amount of cold-calls per day and don’t cop out – make it a high amount!
Tell them what value they can get from you
Don’t be sleazy and spend most of the time talking about how amazing you are. Sure, offer your credentials to the other person on the phone/screen but make sure you’re constantly framing what is in it for them and get that in as early as possible.
Find something that the company does that you genuinely find impressive and let them know. If you lie they will probably feel it so make sure that the compliment is pure and real, the client will possibly open up to you for congratulation them.
Gareth Willmot is a serial weird festival collector, coffee snob and a neurotic last-minute traveller who is passionate about marketing, ultramarathons and yoga.