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Four tips for cold calling success

Running you own business no matter what it is will require sales of some level. You ha e to ‘sell your products and/or services to people and this could require you make cold calls (calls to people you don’t know or have never spoken to).

But cold calling is an art-form. It can be daunting but nervous or not, you always need to make a good impression, so you need to do it right. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Take notes
Always write down all details of every phone call you make – it’s a good idea to dedicate a notebook to this piece of work. Write down any names and titles you learn (not just the name of the person you’re trying to contact), as you never know when this could come in handy. The receptionist’s name can be vital to remember as they’re often gatekeepers

If you’re really oeganised, you could create a basic spreadsheet or database to record everything. As your business grows, you could consider investing in a customer relationship management tool (CRM) to help you stay organised.

Honour your word and call back
Don’t let people down. There’s always a chance thay may not even remember that you committed to calling them back, but if they do, and you don’t honour your promise, you’ll lose valuable credibility and respect. And wherever possible, work to their schedule. You’re here to help them (by selling them a product or service they like), not make things harder.

Try to get on with the gatekeepers
Receptionists and personal assistants have great influence, and quite often do more of the real work and decision-making than the person you’re trying to contact! It’s a good idea to try to build good rapport with them (even the rude and obnoxious ones!). Once you can get them to see that you’re not a rogue, you’ve got a foot in the door. (But don’t waste their time or crawl – they get a lot of that!)

Keep it short
Everyone’s busy these days and won’t have the time or inclination to here a long speech for someone they don’t know.

When you do get to speak with someone, keep it short and sweet unless they want to get more detail. The purpose of the call is to get their attention, let them know you’re there, get their name and contact details, and assess whether they have any requirement for your services. Your follow up call can handle the sales side.

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Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.