Business Call Top Tips

I don’t think anyone sets out to cold call.

No one goes to university thinking “I can’t wait to get into a company and cold call a whole bunch of people!”

But lots of jobs, not just telesales jobs, involve cold calling.

I first had to do it when I was a recruiter, and I hated it. We were required to make a certain amount of calls to companies a day, and often a manager was listening in secretly. I cut my teeth this way, but it was only in my last role and my current role that I’ve become good at this.

Currently, I sometimes need to cold call because I need to engage with the right people within a company to see if they can help speak with young students about their career. A lot of schools ask for people from particular fields of work, so if I don’t have a connection already who does that, I need to reach out to new companies. Mostly, I send out emails. Sometimes, this has to be through a call.

It’s not something people are often naturally good at, so I have collated my top tips to help if you have to make cold calls.

Make bullet points of what you want to say

I’d advise against a script, even if you’re super nervous, because you need to be flexible in this conversation – it is two-way, after all.

Have answers to all possible questions

They’ll probably want to know why they should do the thing you want them to do. Have three reasons written down, so you’re prepared.

Be yourself, own your nervousness

Sometimes, if you are too confident, the person picking up the phone will think you’re trying to sell them something and get their back up even before you’ve started. By retaining your nervousness, you can show the person that you’re human, you’re just trying to do your job.

Make sure you’re timing your call right

Times people do NOT want to be called: 10 mins before hometime or before lunch. Depending on the person, they may not want to be called in the morning either. I usually save my cold calls to around 3pm when people have the afternoon slump and may not be as busy as at other times.

If you think the person answering the phone will be hostile, open with the incorrect greeting

So, if it’s morning, say “good afternoon” and if it’s the afternoon, say “good morning!” It breaks down the barrier, presents you as human, and hopefully breaks the ice with a bit of a giggle.

 

I think as women, we get away with a more relaxed style of cold calling. My colleague is an older guy and he lives to cold call, but has a much more powerful, confident nature to him. My jaw was on the floor the other day when he ordered the person on the line to open up a browser and look at our webpage’s “about us” so he didn’t have to explain from scratch! I would never be able to do something like that, but at the same time I think he wouldn’t be as successful if he followed my advice and kept nervous and used the wrong greetings.

Do you have to cold call in your job? Let me know your top tips in the comments below!

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