June 20, 2018

Is Your Cold Call Tanking? Here's 7 Rescue Tips

There is a lot of general advice out there for beginners on how to do a sales pitch. But, what happens when you are towards the end of your call, and your prospect remains disinterested? We want to help you tackle this high-pressure, sticky situation to give you your best outcome.

Learn how to own the moment and regain control of a failing sales call so that you can whale hunt and come out successful. -ListGIANT

As a new sales representative, you know more than anyone that a cold call is like being thrown into the water. You must quickly determine the flow of the conversation and sales tactics to stay afloat. During this time, you either learn how to swim or sink. A bad sales call leaves you with a helpless, sinking feeling towards its conclusion, because you lack control of your environment.

While it’s easy to give you generic advice like “just keep swimming” or “practice makes perfect”, these basic tips will get you nowhere fast. When your cold calls turn sour, you need a few “emergency” tips to salvage what you can for a fresh start.

Cold Call Tips

Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Weigh Your Options

Senior sales representatives have the inherent ability to sniff out which customers may be worth extra effort and which would be better to just let go. Junior sales representative can (understandably) have trouble deciphering whether the person on the other line is worth their time. It is not a guessing game. There are several factors that senior sales representatives weigh in their heads, while chatting on the phone with a customer.

1. Does the person/company seem legitimate?

If you are selling B2B, and you are guessing the company's legitimacy, you can bet consumers are too.

2. Can this person/company actually benefit from your product or service?

Give more life to your calls. Talk about specific ways your product can benefit their particular business.

3. Is this company/order large enough to be worth your time?

If you are jumping through a lot of hoops for a small order, you may be missing out on other opportunities. Cut your losses.

4. If B-2-B, how close are you to reaching the company's decision maker?

Many large companies may require that you talk to a few people before you get to pitch to the right person.

5. Should I commit to this particular seller and call?

By actively making a choice, you put the power back in your hands.

Cold Call Tips

If your cold call is going poorly, you have the option to attempt to rescue the call, try again later, or give up and move on.

Cold Call Rescue Tip:

If You Can't Sell, Let Them

If you are selling B-2-B and failing, spend a few minutes asking about the other person's product or service. This will give you some recovery time. By encouraging your prospect to ramble about their business, you will be putting them in a better mood. Your prospect will also feel like the conversation is more valuable if they can talk about themselves.

In the very least, you are lengthening your opportunity to listen to your prospect and gather more information about their needs. From there, you can strike a deal, relate to them, thank them for what you've learned, or ask for an email of the business's decision-maker.

Cold Call Tips

Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Make Your Goodbyes Sweeter

If you are having a terrible sales call, it may honestly be better for you to cut your conversation short with your prospect to show that you respect their time. This may go against everything you believe in as a sales person- but believe it or not, you can legitimately call at a bad time.

It can be easy to sound frustrated over the phone when things aren't going your way. It may also be tempting to stay on the phone longer, exasperating the person on the other end, because you are desperately trying to save your sale. At the end of the day, you have no idea if your prospect just had something bad happen to them, how busy they actually are, or whether they may be interested in your product on a later day. By ending the conversation professionally and courteously, you are giving yourself an opportunity to acknowledge the customer is more important than a quick sale.

It is a tricky art. But knowing how to graciously cut your call short can work on your favor upon occasion. Make sure that your goodbyes are always friendly, professional, and personalized. First impressions are great, but last impressions matter too.


Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Sum It Up Before You Wrap It Up

Here's a handy tip for those of you that have decided to abandon ship. Don't just jump to goodbye. If you believe in your product, politely and professionally ready yourself for the right kind of conversation.

You Want to End the Call
Your phone call isn't going so hot. You want to cut your losses. Well, don't just quickly thank your prospect and hang up. Spend a minute summarizing the main points of the conversation cheerfully and then politely say 'good-bye'. This can be a hard task. The person on the other line may be angry. You may feel the need to make up for lost time on a bad call. Resist the urge to hang up without recapping your main points. Recapping is important, because it gives you the opportunity to reframe your call for next time. The call may seem like a dead opportunity to you. But, it is possible that your prospect will retain the main points that you are trying to make.

Your Prospect Wants to End the Call
If you sense that your prospect is about to hang up on you, cutting yourself off and offering to communicate via email instead may prolong your interactions with your prospect. Think about what we said earlier- take control of the situation. Summarize your conversation in a positive way that favors your next opportunity. Pointlessly struggling for the last few minutes of your prospect's time when they are angry is ineffective and weak. Obtaining an email is better than a hang-up.


Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Switch Your Style Up

Your mentor may have told you that you have a great aggressive approach. Or, maybe you were complimented on how chummy you got with one of your clients. That's great.

But, just because you have talent in a particular sales style, that doesn't mean that your preferred style is best matched with each of your clients. If you are employing one of your normal styles and your call is failing, don't be afraid to completely change your tone, inflection, approach- everything to make a sale. This may seem crazy to you. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone. But here's the thing, if your call is failing, what you are doing isn't working. Switch up your sales tactics to strengthen your weak spots and test whether your prospect responds better with a different communication style.

Cold Call Tips

Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Take Meaningful Notes

It sucks to take notes about your failures- especially after you have had a couple months of cold calling experience. But, if you are having a string of bad luck, documenting your failed calls is important to help you succeed in the future. Throughout your cold calling career, there will be hundreds of people that immediately hang up on you. Don't waste time documenting all of that. However, you should be documenting conversations that you thought started out on the right foot, and then turned sour. There are several benefits to documenting these kinds of failed calls, as you will have:

1. A list of people/companies that were willing to hear you out

2. Information on those people/companies obtained from a personal conversation

3. Knowledge of what approach didn't work

4. Documented trends of bad habits that you may not have known you were doing.

Senior salesmen or mentors may not have time to help you every step of the way- especially if you are a couple months into your career. By giving your mentor more precise and accurate information about where you are struggling (pitch/closing/relatability/aggressiveness/product knowledge), your mentor can be more efficient. They can help you get back on feet quicker. This means more money for you.


Cold Call Rescue Tip:

Ask for Help

That's right. If you are wanting to be rescued, the best thing to do may be to call out for help. If you are calling someone back who is only 'so-so' about your product, it may be a good idea to ask a senior sales rep to listen to your sales call. The senior/mentor will be able to quickly identify when the call went wrong so that you know for next time. The nature of this business is to get out of your comfort zone. It may suck to ask your mentor to listen to your sales calls when you are a few months into the business. But, it is an absolute 'must' for junior sales representatives that are interested in improving. Challenges for a beginner are very different than an intermediate sales representative. Don't skimp out on your resources. You are already improving yourself by reading this article. Don't give up.


cold call tips

ListGIANT hopes that you enjoyed our 7 tips on how to rescue a tanking sales call. Cold calling is a hard sport and not for the faint of heart. Save yourself time and resources by receiving telemarketing lists based on your specific demographic, psychographic, and geographic requirements.

ListGIANT is currently offering 500 free sales leads to new customers with no risk and no obligated commitment on your end. ListGIANT’s data is conveniently stored on a List Portal that allows you to download your lists with demographic and psychographic filtering options. Please give us a call at (805) 267-1575 for List Portal help, or schedule a walk through.


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