As a business-to-business (B2B) appointment setting services and lead generation company, GenSales has heard it all. From the immediate shutdown to making more than 10 calls and still not reaching anyone or having qualified leads. Through all that outbound B2B cold-calling, we identified five techniques that every successful sales representative and appointment setter should follow.
1. Be prepared
You must have a prospect list of potential contacts, who have a genuine interest or genuine need for your clients’ product or service. Without any leads, you will be shooting in the dark. On average, callers only get one-to-three minutes of somebody’s time and it should be used wisely. Get to the point: hook them, engage, and set the appointment. Have your introduction ready, have qualifying questions, know how to identify their needs, qualify them (or not) as a prospect, and set the appointment.
2. Learn how to get past the Gatekeeper
Everything comes down to building relationships. Treat the gatekeeper with respect: be friendly and honest, and speak with confidence. Use the gatekeeper’s first name and thank them for their assistance. Don’t try to sell to the gatekeeper. Mention how you already have a contact, i.e. “I am following up,” to give yourself credibility and get you through the door to the decision-maker.
3. Be patient
It takes around 8 cold call attempts to reach a decision maker and convert them into a client. 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up. DON’T. If you give up on a prospect after just a few attempts, you are passing on a potential sale. Our sales team is successful because they keep going. They are patient and persistent. You will face a lot of objections–you need to learn to work through it. Be patient. Work with the “no” and convert that into a “yes.”
4. Stay persistent
Appointment setting and cold calling requires persistence. By not giving up and continuing to call prospects, you will allow people to get to know your company and associate it with their needs. Keep calling and don’t lose your momentum. You control the conversation. Instead of asking, “when are you free?” provide your prospect with possible days and times for an appointment. Try to take away the possibility of them declining.
Listening skills are a must in sales. Be aware of and pay attention to every conversation you have. To determine the best time to ask for an appointment, listen to what the prospect is saying, and find their needs (i.e. telling them, “I can help you with that”). Remember to have a conversation and listen as much as you talk. Include the prospect in the conversation by asking “do you have any questions?” or “have you experienced anything like that?”
These techniques will help you have successful cold calls and will guide you to set more appointments. Doing this for over 18 years has given GenSales the knowledge and experience to know that these techniques work.
Now, go out there and start setting more appointments!