When you're trying to recruit new clients, you may have to knock on a few doors. The art of the cold call is not complicated, although it may be challenging in today's hectic, tech-savvy world. While it's easy enough to drop an email to a company that you want to do business with, it may not be the best way to foster a long-lasting, loyal customer relationship.
Follow these tips to get past the cold call and get your foot in the door with prospective clients.
Customers Appreciate Freebies
If Michael Scott from "The Office" taught viewers anything about sales, it was the merits of the traditional gift basket. If you don't feel like filling baskets with cookies and jam, you could consider incentives that offer potential clients a little something to endear them to you. Promotional products such as key rings, cups, and trinkets fit the bill nicely, and this is a great way to show off your logo and help brand your company. Contact a company like AD-MARK Promotional Products to get started.
In Your Face!
Even though it's easier and, at times, more efficient to reach out to potential buyers or clients via email or text, the relationship with a loyal customer starts with a genuine conversation. Making a connection is key, and verbal language only comprises about 20 percent of what is being said; the rest is nonverbal cues and body language. So get off your seat and take a stroll, ride, or train to meet that important prospect. It goes a long way in building customer trust and loyalty.
Listen to the Customer
If you're on the phone with a client, you have to work harder to truly hear what they're saying to you. Without the nonverbal cues involved in a meet-and-greet, such as eye contact, a smile, a frown, yawning, it can be harder to understand what the customer is actually telling you. Validate the words the client says, and use attentive listening tactics, such as a nod of agreement, slight smile or verbal reassurance, to demonstrate that your focus is on the conversation and not on your computer screen, phone or what you might have for dinner tonight.
Take Care of Your Leads
Make sure to keep your leads as up-to-date as possible. This helps to avoid embarrassing situations when you come face-to-face (or ear-to-ear or email-to-email) with potential buyers and businesses. The worst thing you can do is overlook an appointment, miss a call, or forget to document an important transaction with your client; this not only looks unprofessional, but may cost the company money. Invest in a program to track leads and follow-up on communications; these software programs streamline the process and provide a history of each client that you can access at a glance. Programs such as myphoner.com offer tools to suit business-to-business sales by keeping information and activity organized so the sales team can spend its time focused on engaging potential clients and servicing existing accounts.
There's an art to cold calling, even in today's tech-savvy world. Take the time to meet potential clients face-to-face whenever possible and truly listen to what they are trying to tell you. Invest in a system to organize your leads and keep current accounts on track. Build a loyal consumer base of businesses that benefit from the service you provide with a personal approach to cold calling and a demonstration of confidence in the product you offer.