Tips for B2B cold calling

In today’s increasingly digital world, businesses are finding themselves with ever more outbound marketing and sales tools at their disposal.

However, when it comes to generating new leads and converting those leads to paying customers, it’s important not to overlook the classic cold calling technique.

Check out our top tips for B2B cold calling:

Target

First things first, if you want to optimise the success of your cold calling campaign, you need to ensure that you’re speaking to the right people.

Although it can be tempting to Google your target companies and start dialling, this approach is unlikely to be effective. Instead, seek out the right contacts at the right level, ideally the direct line of someone who has the power to make decisions on what you have to offer.

The more you find out about your potential customers, the better understanding you’ll have of their wants and needs.

Preparation is key

When it comes to B2B cold calling, preparation is key. Before you even think about picking up the phone, make sure that you have all of the information you need to hand and that you’re well versed on the subject you’re going to discuss.

You should also prepare for objections. By putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes and anticipating their potential concerns, you’ll be able to reframe the conversation in order to put them at ease and present a solution to their hesitations before they even have a chance to vocalise them.

First impressions count

The first 15 seconds of a cold call is the most important. This is your one and only opportunity to make a good first impression and to engage with the person on the other end of the phone.

So, prepare a strong opening statement that will appeal to your prospect and won’t give them a reason to end your call before you’ve even had the chance to make your pitch.

Tone of voice

When you’re calling potential B2B customers, it’s not just about what you say – your tone of voice can make or break the call.

Think about it, what busy decision maker is going to want to spend their time speaking to someone who isn’t sure of what they’re talking about, or someone that sounds off? No matter how unsure and self-conscious you are about making the call, make sure your voice sounds cool, calm, and collected, without verging into arrogant.

The ideal tone for cold calling is one that is warm yet business-like and curious yet straight to the point.

Focus

No matter how many potential customers you speak to in a day, it’s important that you give each and every one of them your undivided attention. Although it’s easy to get distracted when you’ve already had the same conversation multiple times that day, never lose focus and never try to multi-task.

Don’t give up!

No matter how much of a cold calling pro you are, it’s unlikely that every call will successfully result in a sale and those calls that do generate a lead can take months to close.

To find out more about how we can help you optimise your B2B cold calling results, give us a call on 0345 241 3038 or get in touch.

5 ways to get past the gatekeeper

If you’re involved in telemarketing or sales, you’ll almost certainly have encountered the ‘gatekeeper’.

Tasked with preventing people from accessing the key decision maker, the Gatekeeper is usually a personal assistant, secretary, receptionist, or switchboard operator who will ensure that only a select few callers will make it through.

With this in mind, the first challenge of any successful call or pitch is to get past the gatekeeper, allowing you to reach the all-important decision maker. Of course, that’s easier said than done!

Here are our top 5 ways to get past the gatekeeper:

Treat them with respect

Although they might not be decision makers, Gatekeepers are typically respected individuals within their firm. With this in mind, it is important that you treat them with the respect they deserve and express your gratitude for the help or information they provide you. This will also keep you in their good books so you will stand more chance of getting through to the decision maker next time you call.

It’s understandable that you might become frustrated if they are trying to stop you getting through to the person you really want to speak to, but don’t take this frustration out on them – they’re only doing their job and the last thing you want is to end up on a blacklist!

Build a rapport

As well as respecting the Gatekeeper, you should also try to build a rapport. Rather than trying to push past them as though they’re nothing more than an automated system, focus on building a positive relationship with them.

For example, as soon as you learn their name, be sure to write it down and start addressing them by that name every time you call.

Sound senior

Within any business, those in management roles can be treated differently by other employees. If someone believes you are important or high up within an organisation, they may think twice about putting the phone down.

So speak slowly and articulately, keep calm and relaxed, and never divulge more details than necessary. If the Gatekeeper senses that you have a senior position, they won’t risk offending or insulting you by probing into your reasons for calling too deeply.

Don’t sell

The Gatekeeper has no power to make a decision regarding the products or services you’re trying to sell. And, to be honest, they’re probably not interested in your sales pitch. So don’t waste your time, or theirs, trying to deliver your sales pitch.

Instead, when they ask what the call is regarding, provide an answer that doesn’t sound too ‘salesy’. Perhaps mention previous correspondence you’ve had with the decision maker.

Call before or after hours

One way to avoid the Gatekeeper is to call when they’re not there! Executives and decision makers often arrive before and leave after normal working hours. If you call during these out-of-office hours, you might well find that their Gatekeeper isn’t around and they are answering their phone themselves.

 

To find out more about how we can help you optimise your telemarketing results, give us a call on 0345 241 3038 or get in touch.