Sounding spontaneously during a conversation surely makes for a comfortable exchange. However, when it comes to convincing people to go after a product, service, or company, the communication process demands more than just a smooth flow. Cold-calls, in particular, are one of the most critical forms of business communication. It’s one thing to get prospects to listen to you, but it’s another to have their trust and get them do the talking.
Only a thorough preparation, in addition to the caller’s skill, can increase the probability of generating lead. Thus, armoring oneself with a well-structured and well-researched script might give more value to both the client and company. Here are some points to consider when customizing your own cold-calling script to earn more appointments- in three easy steps:
WHOM ARE YOU TALKING TO?
The first and most basic rule when doing cold-calls (actually, in doing almost everything) is to do your research. Knowing your prospect and your company will save you from unexpected situations and even uncalled for remarks. Knowing meant seeing the prospect as an individual and not just a generic entity while the business as both an independent unit and a cog in the industry. Take Singaporean prospects and a Singapore-based company as an example. A Singapore-based company must be well-versed with its own, its competitors’, and its landscapes’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. On the other hand, the company must bear in mind (as possible as one can) the prospect’s culture and other readily available background information. This first step might seem to be a very taxing activity but it will form part of the framework of the entire call.
Heads-up: Singaporeans are conservative. They may not prefer to be called by first names or nicknames unless invited for. Also, avoid conversation minefields such as politics and religion. They are also known for their great deference for the elderly. As such, though not with age, you must at least be credible in what you say in order to command such respect. Look out for context clues and bring a lot of patience.
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
Usually, the company already provides the caller with a default script. What you can do is to strategically insert some information you initially researched to the standard script and restructure the outline if need be. For example, introduce information on the opening statement which may capture the prospect’s attention or stimulate their curiosity.
For the body, present your sales pitch and interpose some pairs of anticipated questions and prepared answers.
For the closing part, don’t forget to provide a short recap of what you talked about and reiterate your prospect’s contact details so you can easily reach each other.The start and end are just as important as the selling part so be sure to capitalize on the primacy and recency effect – pique their interest at the beginning and leave a compelling call to action/remark in the end.
Most importantly, keep in mind that even if you have with you a well-prepared script, make sure to comprehensively study it ahead of time so that you don’t sound like reading from a copy and you know where to look for the parts you need and when to say it.
HOW WILL YOU CARRY THE CONVERSATION?
Now that you already have a grasp of whom you’re talking to and what you can possibly say to them, the next question is how to get the conversation going. The secret in carrying a good discourse is being mindful of the context.
Here, we must know that most Asian countries operate in a high-context culture. This means they are indirect communicators, whether in a casual or business setting. Be a good listener more than a talker. Watch out for context clues – tone and word choice – which may not necessarily express what they really mean. Since Singaporeans are known for being conservative, be careful with your own choice of words as well.
Don’t put them in a situation where they have to straightforwardly refuse or reject you, which can be very uncomfortable for them. If they sound embarrassed or uneasy, help them get out of the anxiety pit. Put them at ease by speaking in a polite manner and avoiding being too aggressive. Explain concepts and take time to build your relationship with them during the conversation. Remember, whether or not your prospect will agree to have an appointment with you, if they had a good experience during the call, you will likely be listed on their top-of-mind when the need arises. Investing on relationships made during cold-calls is good business.
Calls may seem to be a no-brainer and only a small piece in the marketing process but it actually requires a proactive approach and may crucially build up the business if done the right way. If you want your cold-call to produce results, it must be a combination of a good speaker and good communication tools. In as much as you invest on building the skills of your caller-employee, devote a good part of your time, effort, and resources on crafting your communication tools as well.
Here’s how to make more appointments in Singapore!
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