Cold calling is sure to be one of the most significant challenges for even the most seasoned call center agents. It can be difficult to quickly build a rapport with the person who answers the phone or even to engage him or her in a simple conversation. But there are a few tips that you and your agents can employ to make this dreaded task a little easier and certainly more successful.
Managerial Steps To Take
As all call center managers know, cold calling can quickly sap the life out of even your most positive and energetic agents. No one likes rejection. And there can be many hang-ups and less than friendly responses from the people that agents reach from a cold call lead sheet. Knowing this, it is crucial for managers to limit the size of cold call lists so that agents are not faced with hours of frustration at a time. All that accomplishes is low morale and lackadaisical agents.
It can also be helpful to narrow your cold call list by either demographic or region. This process will allow you to provide some added information to your agents to help them engage potential customers. In the case of a demographic grouping, agents will know the rough age of the call recipients and can tailor their sales pitch accordingly.
In a regional group, agents can also focus on personalizing their pitch to a specific area of the country. Statements like referring to the time of day in that location by saying good morning or good evening helps set the call recipient at ease. Comments regarding events in the area are also an excellent way to begin a conversation or draw a call recipient into an exchange.
Cold Call Scripts
Cold calls are hard enough without trying to follow a script word for word. In many cases, call recipients will hang up if the agent sounds like he or she is reading from a prewritten page. Instead, create a loose script that covers bullet points for talking but is not too detail-laden. Allow agents to read the other person on the line and point the conversation in a direction that will draw in the interest of the potential customer.
Questions Are Essential
You are never going to sell anything to anyone if you begin the conversation with a hard sell. It takes time to get a feel for the person. And the best way to start the process is by asking questions and carefully listening to the responses. Having a predetermined list of possible questions to ask is very helpful. The questions should relate to the item or service that you are selling and how it could help or impact the person you are speaking to on the phone. And answers to these questions should be notated in a CRM if at all possible. These notes make a great reference tool for future calls.
Leaving a message on voicemail is fine for a cold call. It is a way to get the person thinking about your brand. But a follow-up call is necessary to make any further progress. A predictive dialer will set a reminder to make the follow-up call. It will also provide demographic information as a mental refresher.
If you have already spoken to the potential customer, then the call back reminder will also provide you with the details of your first conversation. And the answers to any relevant questions that you asked. These notes help to eliminate the need to recover information and questions that you already asked. And it lets the customer know that you were not only listening but also paying attention.
Cold calls are a challenge, but they can pay off more than you might expect when you apply a few of these tips. Agents and managers both need to grasp that conversions will not be as high as on other types of calls. But each sale that is made is a symbol of quality work on the part of the entire Call Center staff.