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15 Sales Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Cold Calling

Sales Hacks for Cold CallingOver the past year, we’ve covered in detail a host of tips, tricks, and sales hacks for improving cold calls and sales calls.

Today, we wanted to put them all into a succinct post (along with a few new ones for good measure), so you can use this as a resource moving forward.

Let’s dive in!

15 Sales Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Cold Calling

1. Smile

Yes, a smile makes a difference – both in how people perceive you (even if they can’t actually see you), as well as your attitude and confidence.

According to a study by the University of Kansas, smiling during a stressful situation (like cold calling) can lower heart rate and reduce the stress response.

Smiling also affects how we speak – and the person on the other end of the phone can sense this.

2. Stand up

When you call, stand up if possible, with your feet apart and hands on your hips. This allows you to better project your voice and come across as more confident. Have to sit? Try a more open position.

3. Have a great voicemail script

You’re going to reach a lot of voicemails. That means your voicemail script is important. Think about the best way to get a call back, or your next call answered. Test to see what works.

4. Have effective email follow-up

Emailing is a big part of cold calling – and can be effective before, after, and in-between calls. Effective email copy will produce more responses, and result in more live conversations. Don’t underestimate its importance.

5. Use power words

Some words are more powerful than others, and can have real impact on decision making. Think about where you can add the following words in your sales pitch/sales conversations:

  •      You
  •      Free
  •      Because (Read this Harvard study, because it’s surprising)
  •      Instantly
  •      New

6. Use their name

A person’s name is their favorite word. First, make sure you know their name so you can use it to get past any gatekeepers, and then, use it in the first few seconds of conversation. You can use it sparingly over the course of a call… but remember, overuse sounds unnatural.

Make sure to say your name at the beginning of the call as well, so they know who they’re speaking with.

7. Stress benefits

Remember: people don’t buy products and services, per se. They’re buying the benefit, or benefits it offers. So always focus on the benefits, instead of the features.

For example, “SmartSender Email Tracking” is a feature of PhoneBurner. The benefit behind it? “You’ll get real-time alerts when prospects open emails, view attachments, and click links so you can follow-up at the perfect time.”

Benefits make a big difference.

8. Ask questions

Ask questions that will help you understand your prospect better. Knowing what motivates your prospect, what worries them, what bothers them, will guide your call to more meaningful places.

9. Be genuine

Once you understand your prospect’s hot buttons, selling is as simple as showing them how you can help. That means being genuine, and having a genuine solution.

10. You’ve got to BELIEVE!

In yourself. And in the value of your product or service.

You need both to be effective.

11. Call at the right times

One of the biggest difficulties of cold calling is getting people to pick up the phone. Knowing the best days of the week, and best hours of the day to make calls, can make a big difference.

Every industry is different – so monitor your own metrics for the best mileage.

12. Be efficient

Sales isn’t strictly a numbers game. But the more qualified leads you talk to, the more sales you can make – so, it helps to be as efficient as possible.

Try to research sales tools that can eliminate inefficiencies and automate repetitive tasks such as meeting-setting, document-signing, or other time-sapping jobs.

And if you’re not using PhoneBurner yet to speed up dialing, and to streamline workflow and follow-up, you should definitely do that.

13. Strike up conversations

It’s hard to hop right into a sales conversation if you haven’t talked to anybody all day. On days you’ll be cold calling, make it a point to have more social interactions.

Have a conversation with the cashier at the supermarket, the barista, and even the person standing next to you on the subway. This will help you build social momentum – and you won’t need to “shake off” any social jitters when it’s time to start cold calling.

14. Set Goals

Goals keep you focused, motivated and give you something to work toward. Set both effort-based goals (ie. number of dials) and result-based goals (ie. appointments set).

15. Shake Off Bad, Reward Good

Bad days happen. Bad stretches happen too. It’s important to be able to roll with the punches, see “no’s” as a steps to a “yes,” and not get discouraged.

On the flip side, when good things happen celebrate it. Reward yourself. It’s well deserved.

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite cold call tip or sales hack in the comments below.