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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cold Calling

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1. Don’t: call unprepared

Long before you even pick up the phone (and I’m talking a least a couple of days, or ideally more), think hard about who the target market is and what the target job titles are. Your time is spent wisely undertaking this research well ahead of time.

Only once you are under the skin of your target market and truly understand what the job function of the people you are calling actually is, will you be ready to start calling.

2. Don’t: call without a name to ask for on switchboard

Make sure you spend time on LinkedIn and Jigsaw before you call. One of the most time consuming tasks we undertake here at Gungho is researching the most up to date list of names and job titles. Avoid buying lists in, you’ll build a much better list if you make it yourself from scratch (just like baking, home-baked is always best!) Switchboard operators will soon smell a rat if you are calling for the Senior VP who left the organisation 5 years ago!

3. Don’t: assume you are speaking to the right person

Never assume that the person you’re talking to is the right one. Always, always check that they are the person that ‘deals with x’ or ‘handles y’. It’s a perfect opportunity to subtly ask them if they are indeed the ‘right’ person, and they will soon put you right if they are not!

4. Don’t: neglect rapport building

A call without rapport is a call not worth making. Rapport is based on such a multitude of senses and actions – from energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and tone, to confidence and control. It’s kind of like needing air – without rapport you will soon be dead in the water.

5. Don’t: try to sell right there and then

Let’s avoid at all costs trying to sell to our prospects. Who wants to hear a pitch about how marvellous your company is, and what wonderful products or services they have? That to me is like turning up to your first date completely naked – you just wouldn’t do it, it’s a sure way to turn your date completely off!

Instead, let’s keep the clothes on, and open up a two-way discussion – engage with the prospect to explore how they do things today, what they might want to change and what challenges they have. You will soon find that they want to have a conversation with you, and will be curious to know more about what you have to offer!

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Lucy Erskine