Cold calling presents one of the steepest challenges contact centers face. Industry experts put the conversion rate at just 1 percent to 2 percent. That means agents usually make more than 100 calls before they reach someone who’s just willing to talk to them. That equals a lot of time and a lot of rejection.
How can you change this? Think about adding some warmth to the equation.
All too often, mass marketing campaigns – including calls and emails – are true to their name. They lack personalization and are based on a standard script. Their calls often end with a swift click by the recipient or an email deleted before it’s read.
Warm up the tone of your outbound efforts and success rates can increase. Here are some tips to get your outbound call center ready to reach out with a personal touch.
Make the script your own
Scripts are a great tool for cold calls, but they only get you so far. It’s painfully obvious when a script is being read. So have agents practice the script and then rehearse it without reading it. As they do, the script becomes their own and begins to sound more natural. Inserting a bit of their own personality along with natural word choices makes them sound more human.
Have a conversation
This all boils down to listening. A successful outbound call requires that you stop and listen to what the potential customer is saying. Rushing through a script and refusing to deviate from it sends the message that you have no real interest in helping this person with your product or service.
Use first names
When available, using first names in calls and emails shows you’re paying attention to who you’re calling rather than flying blindly through a list of names and numbers. It also adds an element of personalization, which may make the recipient more open to listening to what you have to say.
Ask questions before you try to sell
If you’ve gotten to the point of having a conversation, be smart. The product or service you initially planned on selling may not be the best one for the customer. By asking questions you can determine if you need to change your approach. This may be a tweak in conversational style or a swap of the product you’re trying to sell. Neglecting to ask questions shows a lack of interest and often leads to no sale.
It’s especially important for B2B salespeople to conduct some upfront research on the company before calling or emailing. By tailoring your message to match the company’s interests, you demonstrate how much you value their business.
While these tips require more time, they’re sure-fire ways to get above that dreadful 1 percent or 2 percent conversion rate. That turns your outbound contact center into an even more valuable resource. Bringing the human touch to this often robotic endeavor is the key to better success.