The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world as we know it upside down, and things are not like they used to be before. Even daily life has changed. Not only have individuals been affected due to the pandemic, but most companies are facing a crisis too. Businesses that had an impressive turnover are now finding it difficult to make ends meet and provide even the basic salary to their employees. COVID-19 has affected cold calling services too as the landscape of selling has changed completely than what it was before. Customer relationships are tough to build as is, but now businesses have the challenge of rebuilding them due to COVID-19.
Why Has Cold Calling Undergone A Sea Change With The Outbreak
The outbreak, that continues to wreak havoc, is still as unpredictable as it was when it started. Although businesses are trying hard, cold calling has undergone a big change after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. As people have become more anxious and conservative, they are no longer as willing to spend as they were before. Spending habits have changed. People are reacting differently now and this means companies that provide cold calling services need to strategize and use other methods to make cold calling effective in these times. While this might seem like an uphill task, there are some approaches that can work.
Best Ways To Approach Customers During The Pandemic
The art of cold calling has gone through a few tweaks during the present COVID-19 pandemic and people who have been cold calling successfully right now can vouch for that. Try some of these effective tips and approaches.
Start the conversation right
Be it any conversation, telephonic or not, the introduction is vital and you want to start on the right foot especially with the ongoing pandemic striking fear and uncertainty in everyone’s minds. Start your conversation with a pleasant greeting. Then slowly ease into the conversation without sounding abrupt by introducing yourself, waiting for their response, being mindful if they are busy and remembering to find out a time frame to call back.
Don’t forget to enquire
You want to enquire about how the person is doing and their loved ones. You should show genuine care when you talk to them as we are all going through a tough time during this unprecedented situation. When you enquire, don’t forget to wait for them to complete their answer before speaking further. And you want to structure the conversation such that it flows naturally instead of making it seem like you enquired just for the sake of it. You should make sure you have sufficient information on how they can have access to your product/service if they reside in containment zones or zones with strict restrictions or how your offering can benefit them during the current scenario.
Avoid wasting time
With job uncertainties and job losses at an all-time high, one of the mistakes that cold call companies make, is to not do proper research before calling. More now than ever, it is important to do your research before you pick up the phone and reach out to a prospect. Be smart about whom you will call and only call those who you know will benefit from what you have to sell. This will reduce the level of rejections and you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.
Adopt a supportive approach
Everyone might (and will) sound grumpy because of how things have suddenly changed. Being locked down in a single place with all public recreation zones shut down can have a negative impact on almost anyone. But you should always adopt a supportive tone. When you show you can help and extend your support, the prospect is more likely to want to talk to you and this can even lead to a sale. As things start to ease in the near future, they may be more willing to talk to you and you will end up making a connection.
Revisit the cold call phone script
Before the onset of COVID-19, your rockstar script template might have helped you attract potential clients and customers. Unfortunately, the times have changed. You need to revisit your script and tweak to suit the present scenario. For instance, you want to add elements of empathy in your new script to connect to the person you are calling. Let us say you are an investment advisor who is making the call on new investment plans. Depending on the individual’s response after the initial greeting, you can tweak the conversation by advising him/her about smart investment decisions instead, during this pandemic.
Focus on value
People are stressed because uncertainty is at an all-time high. Which is why when you are cold calling, you want to focus on the value you can offer. You want to make a connection, so even if the prospect is not interested at present due to the circumstances, he/she can get in touch with you later when they might need your services. You want to show them you value their time too. Alternately, tweak your pitch in such a way that the product or service you are selling appears relevant to them considering the present situation. For e.g. health insurance that covers COVID-19 symptoms, free contactless food delivery.
Create a calling schedule
Gone are the days of client lunches and afternoon team meetups. With the rise of work from home culture, lunch hours are turning out to be the best time for cold calling. Now is also a great time to identify and reach out to senior citizens and the elderly. They have more time at hand now than ever before because they are confined to their homes. This is an opportunity you should not miss. Not only will they appreciate you calling them, they might even be more willing than others to listen to what you have to say to them. Having said that, remember to always be empathetic when you talk.
Understand cause for rejection
With the general optimism levels at an all-time low, you might get rejected more often than you would like when making cold calls. People are not as open to cold calling and might even get irritated. Instead of feeling dejected, understand what caused them to reject your proposal. Then based on the cause, tweak your cold calling script in such a way that it can result in a positive outcome.
Know how to use social proof
One of the B2B cold calling tips that are particularly important is to use social proof. It is a fact that people can get influenced because of how others behave. When you tell your prospect how you have helped other businesses during these tough times, they will show more interest and you might end up making a sale. So, stock up on those success stories!
Leave memorable voicemails
According to research, 90% of the cold calls in the US are sent to voicemail. You want to focus on making your prospect so curious that they want to call you back. During these tough times making your voicemail sound more personal can go a long way in attracting customers. Don’t forget to greet them and enquire about their well-being. It is a good practice to go the extra mile and provide additional toll-free support center numbers that the user might not be aware of. You want to avoid selling when you leave a voicemail because that might come across as off-putting. Keep voicemails short but sound energetic. You should use your prospect’s name and convey your message without sounding too desperate.
You are probably working harder than normal because of COVID-19’s impact on sales. But just because you are putting in more effort doesn’t mean you should multitask because it can affect the flow of your conversation. When your mind is distracted, especially now if you’re working from home, you won’t be able to be at your best and that can cause you to lose a prospect. Find what distracts you and find ways to stay focused on the call.
It is expected that although it will take time for things to get back to normal, there is still hope. You can use the tips above to make the best cold calls even during the ongoing pandemic situation. However, if cold calling still feels overwhelming to you then you can always turn to a professional cold calling outsourcing provider that can make your life easier during these unpredictable times.
Expert Callers is amongst the best outsourcing providers whose key services include cold calling. We have over 10 years of experience and provide a rich set of features so your business does not limp through the pandemic but excels. We have accelerated monitoring, upgraded training, and adopted changes to ensure business continuity even during these tough times.
We have provided our employees with all the tools they need so they can work remotely without any issues. Till date, over 4000 of our employees across India and Philippines, have been switched to a remote working environment keeping safety and efficiency in mind. Expert Callers is committed to making a difference to every business during this crucial testing time. We truly care about our employees as much as we care about your business. Reach out to us to know how our cold calling services can help your business succeed during these challenging times.