Phone leads and cold calls are some of the most underappreciated outreach methods in marketing. Since technology and digital alternatives became more available, telemarketing dropped in popularity as more people started using emails and online ads to reach their clients.
That’s not to say you should ditch cold calling and imitate everyone else. If you play your cards right, cold calls can become your primary source of revenue in 2021.
1. Screen Your Phone Numbers
Screening the phone numbers your potential clients submit is essential to avoid wasting time contacting fake or uninterested numbers. Using a phone carrier validation service ensures that doesn’t happen by identifying if a carrier owns a phone number making it an active number.
API validating works by screening each phone number submission individually, looking for fake or inconsistent information. It works online in your submission form instead of checking your leads list against a database of valid phone numbers.
2. Be Persistent, Not Overbearing
Finding the balance between following-up consistently to keep your leads interested and overbearing them with calls is tricky. Your calls need to be frequent enough, delivering new information and answering questions, but not so repetitive that your leads end up blocking your number or marking it as spam.
3. Leave Voicemails
Voicemails are the emails of phone calls. They’re not a direct sales pitch but an escalator pitch, where you interest your leads in what you have to offer, instead. Ensure the voicemail includes the person’s name and not an impersonal “Dear Ma’am/Sir.”
4. Talk to Assistants
If your targets are busy clients with a lot on their plates, talking to their assistants is sometimes the only way to reach them. But instead of a sales pitch, this should be an introductory call informing them of the benefits of your product or service and suggesting a meeting date to discuss it further.
5. Leave Deadlines to Call Back
Sticking to a single phone marketing pitch or offer is a bad idea. Your pitches need to change along with your marketing strategy and business goals. Settings clear deadlines for when a lead can call you back about a specific deal or service creates urgency. It also ensures you’re not disappointing clients by telling them a service or product is no longer available.
6. Follow Up Before Deadline
Depending on how long an offer lasts, you need to follow up with your leads. Follow up anywhere from once before the deadline to weekly until it ends. Not following up might cost you clients who were genuinely interested in your offer, but your name slipped their mind.
7. Keep Track of People Who Don’t Call Back
To save your sales team time, you need to start keeping a dead list of people who never answer the phone. They take your salesperson’s time asking questions and listening to the entire pitch, promise a call shortly but never do. While you shouldn’t give up on this type of lead after they stand you up once, but if it’s reoccurring, you should consider dropping them.
8. Ask Clients for Suggestions
Ask both clients and leads to feedback and suggestions. For example, what made them choose you over the competition, what would be a deal-breaker, and if they have tips on ways you can improve. Don’t hesitate to ask why they decided to drop from your list or pick a competitor.
9. Ask Clients for Leads
Clients often have connections and relationships with others in the same industry who might also need your services. Ask your current clients for referrals and introductions to their network and maybe negotiate a commission.
10. Call Early and Late in the Day
When you call plays a more significant role in whether you land the sale or not than the sales pitch itself. People have time to answer an unexpected call early in the morning before they start working or near the end of their workday, after finishing their workload.
Calling midday might result in missed calls or annoyed and interrupted clients.
11. Don’t Use Scripts
It’s good to have an idea of where your sales pitch is going, what points you’re going to mention, and maybe a few pre-written sentences. However, what makes phone calls stand out from other outreach methods is real, in-time communication. Using scripts in cold calls is often a sign of an inexperienced salesperson or a scam.
Learn and Grow
The only fail-proof way to develop your cold calls and increase their conversion rate is by collecting data and learning from previous fails. Use different approaches, sales, and reach out methods — phone calls and voicemail — and collect data on a higher conversion rate. In addition to finding what works, this enables you to avoid mistakes that cost you leads and clients.