There are many, many things that could pass as outbound call tips. What’s most important to you is real-life hints and tips that come from a person who has made many thousands of outbound calls and successful ones set man many meetings from those calls.
In this article, I’m going to share eight practical, action-orientated outbound call tips with you.
1. Dance until it rains
There’s an old proverb about an Indian tribe who was always successful with their rain dance. Their secret was that they danced until it rained. The same applies for your outbound calls. Call until you get a result. By all means, change your dance along the way (i.e. change your script, approach, list, offer, etc.) but keep going until you get a result.
One of the greatest reasons for failure in outbound calling (or any endeavour in life) is that people give up too early.
2. Have a good list
It’s no good to start outbound calls with just a handful of numbers. Your list is your raw materials from which you manufacture qualified appointments. Your list needs to be big enough so you can complete a couple of hours of focused calling activity.
Your list needs to be targeted and accurate. Nowadays there are more online sources of information than ever before. You can buy lists, or you can build your own. Either way, secure a good sized list of targeted prospects.
3. Separate yourself from the competitive pack
All of your competitors are making cold calls to the same prospects as you are. Most likely they are offering the same things that you are – free appraisals, obligation free quotes, explanations of how we reduce costs, etc, etc, etc.
Basically, they are offering a sales presentation. And it’s no wonder why they are met with as much resistance as you are 😊. There is a better way.
Step back for a minute and think what is the most valuable thing that you have to offer a prospect? Is it a keen price? Is it a tailored package? No! The most valuable thing you have is your knowledge and the accumulated knowledge of your company.
Instead of offering to show them how you increase productivity (aka a sales pitch), why not offer an Industry Update on “The Three Biggest Productivity Challenges Facing Airconditioning Businesses and What to Do About Them – based on 15 years or working with air conditioning companies in the Bay area.”If you are given the opportunity to make such a presentation, then you know that you have a prospect who is looking. Further, if you do a great job of the presentation, you will set yourself head and shoulders above the pack.
4. Avoid interruptions
Research has shown that even a slight interruption can have a detrimental impact on your productivity. So much so that just one interruption per hour can put you well and truly behind the eightball.
Therefore, guard your time carefully. Remove all distractions. Let people know that you are not to be disturbed for the next hour. Turn your mobile phone off, put your desk phone on divert, turn the email notification off and get off social media!
You will be genuinely surprised at how much work you can power through when you get and remain focused. Better still you will be very, very happy with yourself and your new positive results.
5. Take the pressure off
Stop trying to sell when making outbound calls. Accept that not every prospect has an interest or a need in your product/service. Understand that a lot of people will be out/away/sick/in meetings when you call. So what? Next!
Instead of trying to sell/convince/prove, focus on filtering. You are just filtering to find those who are most interested in the information (industry update or research briefing) that you have to offer.
Be realistic in what you expect. If you are expecting 5 appointments from 10 calls, then you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you expect 2-4 appointments from 20 calls, then you’ll be much happier. Having said that, 2-4 appointments from 20 calls is a solid result and one worth repeating again and again in your business.
6. Positive self-talk
I’ve asked many people over the years to consider their self-talk and whether it is positive or negative. Overwhelmingly the answer is that people’s self-talk is negative. This is one thing that is so easy to change. You are in control of what you think. You can change your thinking.
If your self-talk isn’t aligned to your goal and you REALLY want to achieve that goal, change your self-talk. This is a simple (but not easy) strategy to quickly turn your results around.
Pay close attention to what you say to yourself about yourself. If it isn’t supportive of your goals, change it immediately. Keep an eye on it as it is easy to slip back into old habits. You may need to adjust your thinking towards the positive several times per day. Do it and you will become a more positive thinker in business and in life.
Developing positive self-talk could be the single most important outbound call tip of all!
7. Body language
Body language matters when you are on the phone. Even though your prospect can’t see you and you may be miles and miles away. What you do with your facial expressions, your posture, your smile, and your hand expressions ALL impact on your tone of voice.
Your tone of voice is THE most important part of your influence strategy on the phone. You may have heard people say “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” that matters. This is true for making outbound calls.
Next time you make an outbound call try standing up, expanding your chest, looking up and out and putting a great big smile on your face. You WILL sound different. Experiment with this to see how you can enhance your outbound call success by altering your body language when you call.
I first discovered this in my early twenties. To this day, I still prefer to stand up and look out when I am making outbound prospecting calls.
8. Work with the Gatekeeper
The Gatekeeper is not a terrifying gargoyle to be feared and avoided. Like you they have a job to do. If you sound like a telemarketer, then your two jobs will clash, and the Gatekeeper will win. Don’t conduct yourself like a telemarketer. Be a professional.
See the Gatekeeper as a highly professional Concierge who is there to help you on your way and point you in the right direction. Ask them for this type of help and you will often get it.
If you ask for the decision maker by name, that helps tremendously. If the Gatekeeper asks you “what’s it in relation to?”, which they often will, you can simply say “thanks for checking Joanne, I have some of the latest local industry research that I’d like to allude them to, are they in now?”
Outbound calling is challenging. When you are new to it, it’s even more so because there is a lot to learn about the fine art of making outbound calls. The practical, field-tested outbound call tips detailed above will stand you in good stead. Follow that advice and make enough outbound calls to give yourself a change of success – dance until it rains!