I spent one summer working in a telemarketing company making cold calls. It is not an easy thing to do. It is incredibly frustration trying to get people who don’t know you to give you enough time to get their interest. Then you have to compete with whatever system, process or business relationships they already have. Most people don’t survive more then a few days. I saw a lot of examples of “what not to do” when cold calling, some of them I made myself.
The biggest what not to do is: Do not call some one unprepared. By this I mean research the company, the people you need to talk to. Find out if they actually could use your services. Understand what the company does and how what ever you are selling would fit in, especially if what you are selling is you for employment or a contract. Take the time to know your product/sales pitch so you don’t have to read a script and can actually answer questions if the person is interested. Nothing kills a deal having to stop a “sales pitch” to bring some one else in to answer questions. It is not very professional to not know what you are selling and this does not make the company look very good. Would you want to deal with some one who did not know the product they are trying to sell to you.
Other “what not to do’s” when cold calling are:
Taking your frustrations out on the people you are calling. You may only be talking to an underling but that person is your current contact in the company. Your actions reflect on you, and the company your working for. Curtsey may not be that common, but it is required when you are making cold calls. You never know whom you are really talking to or how they can help you.
Expect people to say no. What is the point of calling if you don’t expect to be able to get the persons attention and give them a chance to let you know what they need? People can hear defeat in your voice. If your not confident about what you are doing or your product how can you expect the potential client to give you their time.
Be eating, drinking, have candy or gum in your mouth, or be having another conversation when some one is on the phone with you. This is not very professional, and actually offensive.
Forget to follow threw. If some does not have the time when you call and they ask you to call them latter do so. This is a lead people, use it. Get the contact name, number and time correct and then call them at that time. If some one did not want to talk to you the first time, why would they ask you to bug them again unless they did want to hear more about what you are selling.
I am sure that there are a ton of other examples of what not to do when cold calling. However I feel that these are the most common mistakes done by both inexperienced and experienced cold callers. Every one can have a bad day some time.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig