For outreach qualifying calls to new prospects try list-building your prospects into three categories.
A. reachable prospects during day
B. reachable prospects after hours
C. reachable only during day and only via gate-keeper
List-building is especially helpful when you reach the gate-keepers.
I politely say "sorry, I dialed the wrong number", but flag for call back after hours to reach owners who usually work late.
Exceptions are gate-keepers for high-level exec --- especially the larger organizations. These gate-keepers usually worthwhile.
Gate-keepers you reach no matter when you call is where I draw the line and suggest dropping them from your cold call outreach.
Also, voice mail or leaving messages with gate-keepers I have found ineffective on first calls to new prospects.
Getting Appointments From Cold Call List Building
Quality appointments do not happen overnight.
Routine follow-up calls plus e-mail follow-ups work wonders to get you in the door for a face-to-face meeting.
Also, business development marketing by phone is a form of direct marketing.
And building a highly targeted database is the key to any successful direct marketing campaign.
Therefore, view each call as a means for fine tuning your business development database.
Cold call list building is a work in progress that never ends!
Effective business development cold calling is a skill---one that can be learned, honed, perfected.
Phone prospectors --- the really good ones --- can work any industry.
Technical data and industry buzz words are helpful.
But over the phone skills ---genuine friendliness...business savy...good etiquette --- are even more important.
Never "Wing It". Use a script. It keeps repetitions, omissions and improper sequencing out of your pitch.
Keep It Short. Make your introduction brief and to the point.
How brief? Twenty to thirty seconds! That's all you get.
So be accurate, concise,and persuasive. Are you starting to see why you need a cold calling script?
R-e-l-a-x. Dialog and delivery in movies, TV, and plays flows from carefully crafted scripts. Yet these staged conversations sound completely natural and -spontaneous.
Effective cold call prospecting is no different.
Subtle inflections and pauses make your presentation more natural and far more believable.
Prospect Qualify. Good prospects...weak prospects?
Find out who's who by asking specific questions.
For example, "Does this interest you?" Or "When would you like me to recontact you"?
Make prospect qualify questions part of every cold call script!
Test, Test, Test ----but control your variables carefully.
Be especially careful with key words or phrases.
You might think they don't matter, but they do!
So once you find a winning script, stick with every word of it!
Question: Does effective business outreach cold calling require a background in the industry or markets you are calling?
Answer: Surprisingly, industry specific knowledge about the business segments you are calling is NOT essential.
Your ability to bond with someone --- usually a complete stranger if you're cold calling --- will have more to do with your tone of voice than anything else.
See my post: How To Make A Successful Phone Introduction
But too many sales managers insist only salespeople with deep understanding of the markets they are selling can do business development cold calling.
It's myth based on lack of real-world testing and experience rather than tested cold call business experience.