How do you feel with cold callers
11 insider tips for cold calling on the phone
4 Forget the marketing language when making cold calls!
When acquiring customers over the phone, you have an average of one minute to convince someone of your offer. Do not waste this mini-time window with unnecessary generalities such as competence, flexibility, quality and reliability.
Such terms adorn many company brochures and are an integral part of almost every company philosophy. You can represent yourself well with such formulations - at the latest when acquiring customers over the phone, this hackneyed, abstract marketing language no longer captivates the attention of our interlocutors.
Tell your potential customers specifically what makes you special. In which situations are you flexible and why do your existing customers call you reliable?
An example - specialist translation agency
- “We translate technical texts from the mechanical engineering industry into all languages and are very competent. You can rely on our flexibility. Do you currently need translations? "
With the many "no" s that you get with this conversation strategy, frustration is inevitable. Then they say: “I have such a stomach ache when I think about customer acquisition over the phone.” I can understand that very well. I can also understand the frustration of the potential customers who have to listen to this zero-eight-fifteen performance on the phone. In this way, acquiring customers over the phone is not fun for either party.
You can prove your company's competence as follows: "Our translators grew up bilingual and studied mechanical engineering and linguistics."
Flexibility is expressed as follows:
- "We translate website and marketing texts as well as highly specific application instructions for your machines."
You show your reliability as follows: "We often hear from our customers that, among other things, they appreciate the on-time delivery of the translations."
Follow such sentences with an open question:
- "Which translations do you generally focus on?"
You will see that your contacts in customer acquisition no longer only answer “yes” or “no”, but even have questions themselves.
5 Use the power of pictures!
A picture is worth a thousand words. At the same time, stimulating pictures can be painted with words. Also in customer acquisition over the phone. How do you remember your last visit to the Italian? So?
- "There was a nice atmosphere in the restaurant, the food was of high quality and the service was exemplary."
Do you really talk that way to your partner, girlfriend, buddy in private - or rather like that?
- "Candles flickered on the red and white checkered tablecloths, the meat melted on the tongue, we didn't wait five minutes for our slightly chilled white wine."
The second example will probably make you want to spend an evening in this nice Italian trattoria. You can also use the effect for addressing customers over the phone. Use clear language to whet your appetite for your offer.
An example of telephone acquisition - stand builders
“Last year we built a booth for a CRM provider. We turned one wall of the stand into a waterfall. The water jets shone alternately in our customer's corporate colors, red, green and blue. Against this background, the text "The River of Customer-Data" was displayed in white. That attracted twice as many people to talk to as the year before. What would you like to see as a highlight at your booth this year? "
Do not wander off into fairy tale land when telling stories. Stick to the images that come from your company and don't overpower your client's imagination.
6 Discipline your flow of speech!
Do you tend to embellish stories too much and get lost in details? Do you happen to be a frequent speaker? Pictorial language is of no use in customer acquisition by telephone if the story gets out of hand and you lose the attention of the person you are talking to.
If you talk without periods and commas in the telephone acquisition and overwhelm your counterpart with thousands of adjectives, characteristics and words, don't be surprised if your potential customer switches off after a few seconds. For everyone who wants to get their word effusions under control - a simple disciplinary measure:
As soon as you hear the word "and" in your monologue, immediately end the sentence by introducing a question to the other person:
- "... AND therefore my question to you: How / What / Which ... with you?"
In the beginning, you will find it difficult to think of a question right away. But that doesn't matter - practice makes perfect. Just try it out in everyday life and in telephone conversations.
7 Talk to the right hemisphere!
Many companies speak in a jargon that only addresses that part of us that is responsible for planning, organizing and analyzing: our left brain hemisphere. Do it differently when addressing customers over the phone. Work with illustrative examples.
This is how you stimulate the right hemisphere of your conversation partner's brain, which is responsible for the creative side. Differentiate yourself from your competitors in a beneficial way and name your references, the last project you realized or the last solution you worked out.
Instead of simply introducing yourself as a "professional solution provider", say:
- “In the last project in Berlin, it was a challenge to implement the interface within two weeks. Our developers have solved this as follows: ... "
Use storytelling - the supreme discipline in customer communication and customer acquisition. They tell a lively and exciting story from your day-to-day work. Your counterpart not only likes to listen to you, but can also imagine something about your job and the benefit for his work. This is how you become authentic, concrete and credible for him. And that is exactly what creates a positive feeling that is indispensable in customer acquisition: trust.
8 Stop arguing in general about saving time and money!
No matter how tempting it is: Anyone who argues with time and cost savings in the B2B area makes themselves untrustworthy. Why? Because it is clear to every logically thinking person that your service or product first and foremost costs money. Nobody knows exactly how and when this investment will pay off.
If you want to use such arguments in customer acquisition, then you will be specific:
- "After your industry colleague introduced our ERP system, his production times were reduced by 15 percent after three months."
- "Our customer XY saves 10 percent of his logistics costs every year because he has optimized this and that with us."
If you cannot substantiate the cost savings with numbers, then dispense with this argument. Concentrate on specific examples of your competence, flexibility and reliability - you already know how to do that.
9 Ask Questions - The Right Questions!
After a friendly greeting on the phone and a brief introduction, many conversations with potential customers or business partners on the phone start with the following questions:
- "Tell me, do you currently have a need for products from us?"
- "Are you interested in working with our company?"
Then the whole conversation comes to a standstill and finally it comes to a pretty quick end with a bitter "No".
What's wrong here? Anyone who has dealt a little with the topic of communication knows the miracle effect of open questions in situations in which we would like to keep talking. And at the beginning of a phone call, that is our primary goal.
The key to success lies in asking open questions! Through this you can very easily ensure that your counterpart is involved in a conversation and cannot simply flee into a “yes” or “no”. Thanks to the miracle cure of the open questions, the needs situation in the case of telephone acquisition can be adequately recognized and promoted profitably through the appropriate offer.
10 Declare “need” and “interest” as taboo words!
When you confront your potential customers with terms that are completely abstract, you are indirectly inviting them to escape from the phone conversation. With the words "need" and "interest" you serve your counterpart the exit from the conversation on a silver platter. This “opportunity” rarely goes unused.
The trick is not to ask for a “need” or “interest”, but rather to actively arouse this “need” or precisely this “interest” in the phone call. That means placing the unique selling point of your own products or services as well as their specific benefits for the customer in the foreground.
So think about it: what benefits do you deliver to your potential customers? What can be exciting for him? Tell him. And then ask openly what he thinks of it. With this approach you create telephone conversations with a dialogue character and successfully build relationships with your counterpart.
11 Take a closer look at your communication behavior every now and then!
Quirks such as introductions or ineffective questions can be quickly uncovered in telephone coaching. Such coaching boosts motivation and, last but not least, increases the success rate in customer acquisition over the phone. Many training participants then report very amusing stories, for example: “I was just lucky. The customer was just interested. “Really? Or have you helped your luck a little and contributed to this interest yourself with your effective communication?
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