As a sales rep, you might be handed hundreds of names and phone numbers you need to contact before the day ends. The simple strategy to get the work done might look like keep dialing.
However, is things as easy as it looks?
Simply giving the contacts a cold call is not enough if you fail to bring any conversion. That’s why merely giving a cold call is not enough; one needs to understand the actual objective behind cold calls.
To understand it, let’s first start by learning more about cold calling.
What Is Cold Calling?
During a cold call, the sales rep contacts potential customers for the first time. The intent behind cold calls is to sell a product or a service.
Primarily, the sales rep uses a sales pitch script to make the conversion easier during a cold call. However, at the same time, it is essential to know that one opening line will not work for all prospective clients.
Personalizing the opening statement is the key to reaping the maximum benefits of such a call.
The Purpose Of Cold Calls
During cold calls, the sales reps talk to a prospect to help them move forward to the next step of the buying process. Basically, it is like creating a foundation for future conversation.
Previously, cold calls were guesswork. The sales rep used to call a prospect and hoped that the message or the generic opening statements would work.
With the advancement of technology, sales reps have said goodbye to guesswork in a cold call. The guesswork during the cold calls wasted the time and energy of everyone.
To eliminate the guesswork, the sales professional should study more about the prospect and the business. With this information, personalization comes easy, and chances of conversion increase.
Now that we know the prime objective of cold calls, let us see how we can craft the perfect sales call.
How To Craft The Perfect Cold Call Opening Line?
It is no secret that giving hundreds of sales calls in a day can be a daunting task. However, you can engage in a successful cold call with the right opening line.
Here are a few ways to craft the perfect opening line to make this strategy a success.
1. Greeting Is A Must
You cannot simply give prospects a cold call and start pitching your product or service. It is a rookie mistake. The first thing you need to include in your cold call opening line is a good greeting.
As soon as you greet someone on call, an immediate sense of warmth is introduced, which can help build long-term relationships.
Further, do not go for any random greeting. You are engaging with the prospect for a professional reason; therefore, go for a formal greeting.
2. A Proper Introduction Of Yourself
You need to include a perfect introduction in the opening line of the cold call. Why should the prospects give you their time? Who are you?
Therefore, craft a crisp introduction. Within a short interval of 20 seconds, you should be able to give them a solid introduction to engage them in a conversation.
Example Of Proper Introduction
Are you wondering how you can introduce yourself while creating a good impression within 20 seconds during a cold call?
Here’s an example to help you come up with a good introduction:
“I am Estella, a sales rep of ABC company.“
Yes, that’s it! You need not tell everything about yourself in the introduction. The name, position, and company you are working for would suffice.
3. Include Permission In Sales Openers
Let us consider a scenario:
Sales Rep: Good morning, ma’am. I am Estella, a sales rep for ABC company. Our company helps small businesses like yours to scale up. The companies we have worked for witnessed a 30% growth, and we would like to help you.
Prospect: Hangs up
Even after a greeting, introduction, and how the sales rep can help the prospect, the potential customer hangs the call.
What is wrong in this situation? Did the way the prospects respond wrong, or was something else at fault?
The answer is simple; the sales rep did not ask the prospect if they could take the call further. They did not consider the availability of the prospect’s time. One should avoid this mistake while making cold calls.
Try keeping yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Imagine the prospect is in the middle of an important meeting; the sales rep gives a call and starts talking without seeking permission or finding out whether the potential customer is busy or not.
Such an opening line in a cold call also indicates that the sales rep lacks empathy. One should not barge into someone’s day in such a manner.
Therefore, include permission in the cold calling opening line of the cold calls.
A simple question like, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” would suffice for most prospects and would introduce the prospect to your etiquette.
If there is a positive response, you can go ahead to talk about your services. However, if the answer is negative, you can ask them when they are free for a call.
4. Explain To Them The Reason Behind The Call
Once the prospect gives you the green light to go ahead with further discussion, thank them for their time. It will help you to keep the cold call on a positive note.
When stating the reason, focus on the elements in which the prospect will be interested.
It simply means that you must explain to the prospect how your company can prove to be beneficial to them.
Only when prospective customer realizes that you can add value to their business or company would they be interested to know more about the product or service you are selling. Drop your value proposition as soon as possible.
5. Include The Challenges Of The Prospect
After informing your prospect about the values, you can add, ask your clients about their pain points. It is only when you understand their pain points that it would be possible for you to tailor the pitch to interest the prospect further.
Keep your value proposition limited, and focus more on solving the potential customer’s problems. Subsequently, tailor the sales pitch to tell the prospect how your product or service can solve their problems.
The Correct Order Of Crafting The Perfect Cold Call Opening Lines
Let us now summarize the correct order of including different elements while crafting the cold call opening lines.
Firstly, you need to start with a greeting to create warmth. A crisp introduction of yourself should follow this. You are conversing with the client for the first time, and they need to know who you are. After introducing yourself, you need to find out whether the prospect is interested in having a call with you or not. So, in the next step, seek permission.
After getting permission from the prospective customer, you need to tell the prospect about the value proposition. However, it would be best if you did not reveal it all. Ask the prospect about their pain points, and then tailor the features of the products or services you are selling to solve their problem.
Before You Make Cold Call
Generic cold call opening lines will not work for all the prospects. Before you pick up your phone to make a cold call, it is essential to conduct primary research.
You need not know all about the client’s profile, but at the same time, you should not be clueless. A basic LinkedIn search of the client name will give you enough information to personalize your cold call,
Try to find if you have any mutual contact in common in your basic research. You can use it to your benefit to build rapport. Try to find out the products and services that they are currently using. This information will help you explain to the prospect how your product or service is better than the product or service they are currently using.
5 Things To Avoid While Making Cold Call Opening Lines
Now that we know how to craft good cold call opening lines, it’s time to shed light on the things you should avoid at all costs.
1. Beating Around The Bush
You are talking to a prospect for the first time; they don’t know you. In such a scenario, beating around the bush is not a good idea. Stay focused!
When you are making a sales call, keep everything direct and crisp. Avoid wasting time and energy on the prospect and yourself. Talk only about the things that are relevant to make a conversion and eliminate all the unnecessary conversations. However, while doing it, remember to stay empathic.
2. Not Telling About Duration Of The Call
At the beginning of the sales call, tell the prospect about the expected length of the call duration. Having this information will help your client to focus on the call better.
If you do not tell the prospects about the call’s duration, they might keep wondering how long the conversation will last.
Therefore, to increase the commitment from your prospects, tell the time duration of the call beforehand. Further, ensure that it is not a lengthy call.
Everyone has their day planned, and your call was not in their schedule. Therefore, you do not have the liberty of saying that the call will last for 30 minutes or so. It needs to be a reasonable duration, so the prospect does not mind lending you a few minutes of their day.
3. Improper Tone
During a cold call, not only do the things you say matter, but the tone you use to communicate matters too. Your tone should be warm yet professional.
Further, be polite. At this stage, you need the prospects to make a conversion; it is not the other way round.
However, avoid having an extremely amiable tone. It will eliminate the professional touch from the discussion, making you appear unprofessional. Also, remember to sound confident.
Do not be very dominating and pushy while making the pitch. Know when to listen and when to interject.
4. Focusing Only On Yourself
The prime objective of cold calls is to make a conversion. As a result, most rookie sales reps fall into the me-me-me trap where they keep talking about themselves, their company, and their products and services.
“We offer XYZ services.”
“We’re the best at … ”
The prospects are not interested in knowing how well your company is working. They are more interested in learning how you can help them. So, stay focused on understanding their pain point.
Focus More On Them Instead Of Yourself
The opening line is a part of the first step of a sales process and, therefore, should focus more on the prospect than your company. A problem solving approach is required at this stage.
Instead of talking about your company, products, and services all the time, try to know their pain points, the challenges that they are facing, and how your product or service can help them.
Shift your focus from “me” to “them” in the cold call opening lines to keep the prospect interested.
5. Not Scheduling A Follow Up Call
The chances of closing a deal on the very first call are highly slim. You need to schedule the next call too. According to reports, 63% of the prospects need to hear a pitch at least three times to come on board. Many salespeople give up at the very first rejection that they face.
Schedule a follow-up call to ensure the conversion if you think the discussion was fruitful. Also, be persistent but not pushy when you work towards building a strategic follow-up with the prospect to walk towards the next step of the sales process.
Examples Of Cold Calling Opening Lines
We have covered the dos and don’ts of creating the perfect cold-calling opening lines. Let us now understand better how to craft the ideal cold call opening lines with the help of examples.
1. “Hello! I am XYZ working for ABC company. Is it a bad time to talk?”
In this cold call opening line, as a salesperson, you immediately introduce yourself as XYZ and the ABC company you work for in one statement. The name of your company comes in handy to build trust.
Further, you show your empathic nature by asking if it is a bad time or a good time to talk. If the prospect says, they are busy, instead of being pushy, politely ask when would be a good time to get in touch with them. It is an excellent way to create a friendly tone in the opening lines.
2. “Good morning. I must have caught you in your busy schedule. I am XYZ from ABC company. The reason for my call is …”.
The above cold call opening line acknowledges that you are disrupting their busy schedule. Your prospects are busy people who already have the entire day planned. Your call is a disruption for them.
Further, it shows your empathic nature. Remember that such a call is more about how you say something than what you actually say.
Most of the time, be prepared to get a positive answer that indicates that they are busy. However, you need not get disheartened.
If the answer to the previous question is yes, you can choose two strategies. Firstly, you can tell your prospect that you will be quick in your message. The second option is that you can ask them when is the right time to get in touch with them.
So, in a way, such opening lines help you to schedule a follow-up call that the prospect has themselves scheduled.
3. “Good Morning. I hope that it is a good time to talk (pause). My name is XYZ, and I am from ABC company. I would like to take two minutes to explain why I have called you.”
In this opening line, you have specified the time duration of the cold call. Sparing two minutes won’t be a big deal for the prospect, especially if they are slightly free.
Specifying the time duration further informs the prospect that you won’t be eating much of their time, and hence, they would most probably give you the go-ahead for the call. However, do not go for a time duration that is more than five minutes.
Requesting a five-minute call is reasonable; anything more than that is a no-no. Of course, the time duration can naturally increase if the prospect is interested in buying your products or services. In that case, it won’t be a problem.
However, if you are planning to introduce yourself and your company along with the value proposition, the time duration should be short.
Success Rates Of Cold Callings
Sometimes, even after designing excellent opening lines for a cold call, you might face rejection not only from one but multiple clients. The increased failure rate of cold calls might dishearten you.
However, that will not be the case if you know the actual success rates of cold calls.
It Takes Plenty Of Time To Land A Deal
Firstly, starting a proper conversation with a prospect takes approximately eight calls. Therefore, do not give up if your potential client delays the discussion in the first few calls. It is natural.
Secondly, if you are making 100 cold calls in a day, be prepared only to get around 28 of the calls answered. Not everyone will pick up your call. In fact, 17% of the numbers will be non-working, while the other 55% of the calls will go unanswered.
Thirdly, you will get one appointment if you devote 90 minutes of cold calls for five days straight. Even though it might look like a bad outcome, it is not. Even one appointment in five days through a cold call is a good outcome of cold calls.
Disheartening Stats Can Be Good
Even though these statistics look disheartening, it is what it is. Considering the low success rate of cold calls, you can regard any positive outcome as good. Now that you know the stats do not be disheartened if you face a massive amount of rejection. It is pretty normal.
However, you can increase the success rate of cold calls with the right opening lines.
The Benefits Of Cold Calling
One cannot help but wonder if the success rate of cold calls is low, why engage in it at all? Well, there are multiple reasons why cold calling is essential for a business.
It Helps You Reach New Customers
You can use cold calls to reach new customers. Even reaching out to one right customer can boost the revenue of your business, especially if it is a good customer. Further, these customers are the ones who will bring additional business to your company. Secondly, newbie sales professionals can use cold calling to improve their pitch and confidence before getting in touch with high-profile clients.
Cold calls are also extremely helpful in gaining the necessary insights that might come in handy in the future. For instance, cold calls can throw relevant information about what are the current requirements of your target audience and whether your product or services have them incorporated or do they need to integrate something new.
Cost-Effective Strategy To Bring Business
Also, it is a cost-effective way of bringing sales to your business. By just spending a few bucks, you might get in touch with a prospect who can bring in dollars of revenue for your sales.
In short, even though the success rate of cold calling is low, any percentage of success is good. The ultimate aim of any business is to boost sales or revenue, and cold calls help you to do that.