No one ever said cold calling was easy, but some people have an easier time of it than others. Skills have a lot to do with that. But sometimes, learning skills is not enough.
The most successful cold callers share certain qualities and traits that give them an edge over and above the skills they acquire. We’ve discussed some of these traits in past articles, including positivity, perseverance, tenacity, and resilience. These traits are critical because they can keep you in the game in the face of constant rejection. However, successful cold callers possess other essential qualities and attributes that help them up their game.
Let’s have a look at five such essential qualities and traits.
#1. Being coachable
If you’re fortunate enough to have someone around to help coach you to improve your performance, take it. Anyone, including top-performing athletes, C-suite executives, and financial advisors, who strive to take their performance to the next level, needs a coach. A good coach helps you focus on the things you do effectively to reinforce them while giving you ways to fix the aspects of your calls that don’t work so well. Have a colleague or manager or friend, listen in on and critique some calls.
#2. Determination to practice regularly
Top athletes practice their sport every day in preparation for the actual event. If you’re not practicing your cold calling, you are, in essence, practicing on your prospects, which won’t help you or them. Warming up with some role-playing for 15 minutes before starting your calls can reinforce your call technique’s positive aspects.
#3. High Intuition
Effective cold callers don’t overthink things during their calls. Overthinking leads to stunted conversations where you’re more focused on what you are saying than what the prospect is saying. Prospects can sense that and will do whatever they can to end the call. That’s where good coaching and regular practice comes in—to help you develop your intuition which can lead to more authentic conversations. You’ll be more responsive to what the prospect is saying and more engaging. People don’t mind talking with others who are engaging.
#4. Active listening skills
We are taught in Communications 101 to be active listeners. While active listening is an acquired skill for many people, others develop it even further as a natural quality. The ability to pick up on a prospect’s tonality, voice inflections, and feelings can trigger your intuition to respond with the proper empathy, making you even more engaging. Include active listening in your practice sessions and have your coach be on the lookout for it.
#5. Strategic thinking
Successful cold callers go into work each day with a plan. They spend time preparing for their call session. In addition to practicing or warming up, they work on their call lists—looking for ways to make them more targeted and doing research on people or businesses they intend to call. Finding any shared interest or potential problem that can get the prospect’s attention almost ensures a more extended conversation.
They also organize their list based on appropriate call times. For example, you shouldn’t call businesses or executives during the early morning hours because that’s when they are the busiest. Evenings can work for calling individuals, but weekend calling might work better. By knowing your target market and their personas, you can be more targeted with your call times.
Improving performance leads to improved results.
Positivity, perseverance, tenacity, and resilience—good cold callers must bring all of that to the table if they want to stay in the game. You don’t have to be born with those traits—they can be developed through habit and persistence.
But if you want to stretch yourself to achieve even better results, you need to be coachable and willing to practice your trade.
That will help you develop your intuition to make yourself more engaging to your prospects and use that intuition to take your active listening skills to the next level.
Finally, you need to be strategic about your cold calling. Have a plan, research the people or businesses on your list and work to target your call lists even further. Then organize your call sessions around the most appropriate times for contacting your target prospects.
Cold calling was never meant to be fun, but when you improve your performance, the results invariably follow, and that’s fun.