Cold Calling – Top Tips to Improve Your Telemarketing Skills, Make Calls Effective, and Get Results

In spite of the legislative environment restricting the telemarketing industry, cold calling is still a popular means of generating sales leads and increasing revenue. It is unrealistic to assume that your office will be thronged by clients unless you go after them aggressively. By using telemarketing calls effectively, you can attract more customers and boost business.Here are some tips that can improve your success rate with cold calls.1. Define the goal of the telemarketing callThe goal of a cold call is not to sell but to pave the way for a sale. The first conversation is about getting an appointment or some form of positive response.2. Know your target audienceGood market research should precede a telemarketing campaign. After defining the target audience, you should research the person or company you will be calling. By doing your homework, you can align the product or service with the prospect’s needs and make your call’s relevance come through.3. Select an opening line for the telemarketing callPrepare an opening line to start the conversation. This helps to avoid any mistakes and keeps the telemarketer focused. Don’t open with “Can I talk now?” or “How are you?” These statements give customers the chance to terminate the call. Start with a greeting and address the person by name (preferably with a Ms. or Mr.). Follow it with an introduction – just name and organization. From there move into a dialogue. Use your knowledge of their business to present your product or service as a possible solution for their business needs.Have the opening statement in your hand before making the cold call. Don’t read it off the notes. Use it just as a guideline.4. Prepare a script to follow throughout the telemarketing callA script prepares the telemarketer for any questions or objections that may be raised by the prospect. Lay out the benefits of using a product or service. Think of possible objections and their resolutions. When a prospect has a question, you would have a response ready. This strategy also projects confidence. The prospect feels she is talking to an informed sales person. Again, the script is for guidance only and is not to be read verbatim.5. Be specific with time and date when asking for an appointmentSpecify a time and date when asking for an appointment. Say “Can I meet you at 10 am tomorrow?” If it’s inconvenient, the prospect will suggest an alternative but specific time and day.6. Respect the people you talk toIn telemarketing, callers often connect to gatekeepers of the decision makers. Treat them with respect and remember their names. Getting on their good side is critical to getting your call forwarded to the right people. Be polite when asking them for information or details of the person to contact.7. Send promotional items – something small but distinctiveSending a unique promotional item to a prospect keeps your business in their mind. When they receive a call from you, they recognize you immediately by connecting your name with the gift.8. Make telemarketing calls early in the dayDecision makers have more time and energy in the mornings. Catch them early in the day rather than when they’re swamped by meetings and other work.9. Follow up repeatedlyMajority of the telemarketing calls show successful results only after the fourth or fifth conversation. In spite of this statistic, some telemarketers give up after the second follow up. It is important to be persistent.10. It is a numbers game indeed More calls you make the more you would sell. Let us face it. Not every call would get you a sale or an appointment for further discussion. But if you make enough calls, some percentage will bring success. Key is to continuously improve so that you can sell more with lesser number of calls as you gain more experience. The art of telemarketing gets better with practice. Experienced telemarketers have the experience of thousands of calls and have handled a varied set of customer responses. Keep at it and soon you’ll become an effective telesales person.