While cold calling appointments might not be the easiest approach, it is still an effective way to get results in the business world. This is one of the oldest forms of sales, but one of the most difficult to master and consistently produce results. You have to embrace the failures and all the angst that comes with it.
Remind yourself that each moment and each call is an opportunity and that none of it is personal. Use these tips to refine your approach and harden your resolve.
1. Find your “In”
This can make or break your chance to land your appointments with companies. You obviously don’t want to be derailed by some glorified personal assistant who avoids having to do their jobs at all costs. As a matter of fact, your best chance at finding someone who is a decision-maker and can help you land an appointment is to work your way up the food-chain by building rapport with someone who is close friends with those that are higher up.
Cold-calling the front desk for an appointment, only to be transferred into queue-hell is a waste of time, but feeling around to find that one enthusiastic helper could make your job a lot easier.
2. Be hyper-aware of time
Interrupting someone’s day to pitch them something they never asked for is considered rude at face-value. Opening up your call with something personable, such as “Hi, I hope I didn’t catch you in the middle of a late lunch/breakfast…” or asking them if they have a minute to hear about a great opportunity is an underrated tact in the cold-calling world.
Sure, you open yourself up to a simple “no, thank you.” If you ask them if they have time, but it’s certainly better than grinding away at someone who has likely already made up their mind about you after the first ten seconds.
3. Make it easy to commit
Avoid the verbal fatigue that plagues all cold calls by keeping your sales pitch brief. People can smell a desperate pitch a mile away. Instead, get them to commit to a real in-depth conversation about your call at a later date. This puts the ball in their court and makes them feel like they are controlling the conversation. If you attempt to bludgeon them to death about your importance and why you deserve their time, it will only end in rejection.
4. Represent value
Continuing off that last point, you should go into this call with the demeanor of not being afraid of rejection, while avoiding as many opportunities of rejection as possible. You must quickly segue into a direct approach for a mutually agreed upon date in which you may call them up to deliver your real pitch to get your foot in the door.
Going straight for an in-person meeting will sabotage any chance at building trust with the person on the other end of the line. Call them up, briefly introduce yourself, and get them to agree upon a date and time that you proclaim to be “open” on your calendar. This shows that your time is valuable and that you are not merely fishing for appointments.