80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the initial contact, but 44% of sales reps give up after 1.
Why is this? Well, poor communication and a failure to build rapport successfully during the call can make those follow up dials much more difficult.
Many cold callers over-rely on their natural confidence when communicating. While it has to be said that natural talent is important, skill and expertize are paramount for really possessing the ‘gift of the gab’, particularly when cold calling a prospective client.
The phenomenon where an individual may overestimate the effectiveness of their communication when engaging with someone they consider close is known by psychologists as: closeness-communication bias. In a cold call this is particularly problematic and can lead to misunderstanding, friction and even lost relationships if left unchecked.
If great communication skills are employed throughout each interaction, each cold call becomes easier and easier to convert.
Ensure that your prospect is kept engaged through a persuasive and compelling communication process. Get your 'gift of the gab' back on track.
Skip the jargon
After hearing a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories and only 5% remember statistics.
The 'gift of the gab' is down to being a convincing story-teller and being able to read a situation quickly. Many people mistakenly believe that filling up their phone pitch with jargon will add weight to their argument and increase their perceived credibility. However, this is very rarely the case and more often than not, over using jargon and industry acronyms only works to stop the flow of clear conversation.
Remember that your prospect is a human being – not a machine. Of course you need to know your product or service inside out and be ready to answer any specific questions if that information is required, however, this is not the most fundamental aspect of achieving clear communication that will convert.
Don’t make assumptions
Research shows that only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs.
When cold calling, avoid trying to step in and make an assumption during a period of quiet, or if your prospect is struggling to get their difficulties across. Instead of being helpful, the reality is that you are actually taking away from your prospect's ability to gather their thoughts.
Don't jump in with what you think they want to hear. Give them time and ask the right questions. Allow your potential client to fully explain their difficulties so that you can help them understand how your solution will add value to their business.
Be comfortable with silence
Dr. Albert Mehrabian conducted ground-breaking research which revealed that 93% of communication is non-verbal.
More than this, the 38% of communication related to how you speak is actually 5 x more important than the words you use. Communication is conveyed through tone of voice, gesture and a number of other aspects, silence being one of the most important.
Silence allows us to project the self-assured confidence that we refuse to be rushed by circumstances. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci ‘Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence’. Adding silence to your cold calling toolkit can make for very lucrative communication.
Pay full attention
Active listening is hugely important for clear communication on a cold call.
Being an active listener means that rather than passively hearing information while waiting for your next opportunity to speak, you are proactively taking in all of the information so that you can accurately reflect back to the speaker what they have conveyed.
If the person you are speaking to knows that you have genuinely understood their need then a much stronger relationship is built. Not only this, but you are able to facilitate an environment which encourages the person you are speaking with to go more deeply and even come to new realisations about what it is they actually want for their business. This can open up opportunity for cross-selling to other areas of the business.
Paying full attention on a cold call may mean that the conversation takes a different angle than you’d originally planned out – but being able to harness the spontaneity of the conversation and turn this into a sales opportunity is fundamental. This is one clear reason why a sales 'script' can be so limiting.
Master Tone of voice
55% of communication comes from body language and 38% of communication comes from the tone of voice we use.
When you are selling on the phone, your voice is the only tool you have in your kit. When did you last give it a health check?
Do you know how you are coming across? Strong, assured, trustworthy? Or, arrogant, unsure and even bored? Confident sellers may go into a conversation being pushy or loud – but this can be counterproductive and work to make your product or service seem cheap.
Mastering your tone of voice is a must for successful cold calling. You need to inspire confidence and trust in the listener. Perhaps not surprisingly, this means you need to be trustworthy and credible - a great tip is to try smiling while you talk to project positivity and build a good rapport.
Factually, the most successful sales reps use terms that inspire confidence 5 x more than low performing salespeople.
Terms such as: "certainly," "definitely," and "absolutely," can inspire confidence in your listener.
Although it might be tempting to make sweeping statements, agree with comments your prospect is making or make promises you aren’t fully sure about – in the long run this is only damaging to future relationships and will show that you haven’t been properly listening.
How does Cold Calling boost your bottom line?
In the current climate, lead generation is particularly challenging for B2B business.
The B2B sales environment of the past has evolved and communication technique on a call needs to evolve with it in order to be a success.
Often, an email can’t convey the right message or tone, whereas a phone call can quickly establish rapport and lead to a conversion and profitability for your business.
Don't let the 'gift of the gab' become a dying art in your sales team. With the right tact, cold calling can boost your profits and pipeline. Even if your call goes to voicemail, you can get across a stronger impression and pique your prospect's curiosity much more than through written communication.
If you need help motivating your sales team to pick up the phone, then we can transform the performance of your team.
Why are Pareto trained graduates skilled Cold Callers?
Pareto’s graduate sales recruitment process is unlike any other. For more than 2 decades we have been placing graduates across a broad range of industries. Many of our graduates have gone on to secure the very top sales positions in a very short amount of time and deliver exceptional ROI.
The most successful salespeople can foster real connections and make prospects feel that their voices are being heard. All of this comes through knowing how to understand people. Great salespeople harness the ability to speak directly to someone’s need in a way that they will be receptive to and this is what a Pareto trained graduate can bring to the fore.
We know that sales skill and communication go hand-in-hand, which is why our graduates go through an intensive training programme to fast-track their success. Our graduates know what it takes to pick up the phone and sell successfully.
Call us on 917-397-4059