Author: Cassie Gasaway
If you want to drum up more business this summer, consider cold calling people in your area to spark their interest in archery. Cold calling is an outreach method where a salesperson or staff member calls someone who has no prior contact with the business. According to the sales training organization the RAIN Group, 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who proactively reach out. In other words, if you connect with people during cold calls, you could generate new customers and future sales. Let’s learn how to make it work for your business.
Cold Calling in 2022
Cold calls became standard with the invention of the telephone. Some people believe cold calling became outdated when cellphones became the standard. However, cold calls provide a human touch in an increasingly digital world, which makes them extremely valuable today.
According to SmallBizGenius.net, the average successful cold call lasts 5 minutes 50 seconds, compared with an unsuccessful call that lasts 3 minutes 14 seconds. Strive to keep your conversation around five minutes. The purpose of a cold call is to introduce your contact to your business or service so they can become a potential future customer. To get started, you must find prospects and perfect your script. Then, you can start calling.
The more calls you make, the more potential sales appointments you can set, so try to compile as many contacts as possible. Here are four strategies to get names and numbers:
1. Ask customers to share five or 10 contacts in exchange for a small discount or entry into a prize drawing. People are more willing to give up information if they get something in exchange. Remember to get their name and the contact’s name and phone number. During the cold call, you’ll want to share how you received their information.
2. Ask nearby businesses or local organizations, like churches and clubs, for their contact list. Most established entities have information regarding their followers. As long as you thoroughly explain why you want the information, they might be willing to share it with you.
3. Use social media. Many people list their phone number on Facebook or LinkedIn. If your city has a Facebook page or if your customers have LinkedIn profiles, you could poke around the platforms and pages to find other potential prospects.
4. Get contact information from people you meet when you’re out and about. If you chatted with someone at a wedding or the grocery store, get their digits and schedule a call to discuss archery and its opportunities.
Once you have someone on your radar, try to do a little pre-call research to determine who they are and how archery might fit into their life. The more you know about their lifestyle and habits, the easier it will be to capture their attention and make archery relatable. Educating yourself about your prospects creates more productive conversations, which leads to more conversions.
Have talking points in mind, but try to let the conversation flow naturally. Encourage them to come to your shop. Photo Credit: ATA
Perfect Your Script
Having a good script helps you remember your goal, process and talking points. Each goal should have a different script. Cold call scripts should be structured, but they shouldn’t make you sound robotic. Tailor the conversation to each person using your pre-call research and remember that small talk is OK as long as it doesn’t trump or overtake the conversation.
On each call, you should quickly introduce yourself, outline your service or business, explain how archery can improve or fit into their life, gauge the prospect’s interest and establish an in-person meeting for more information.
Start your call by stating your full name, sharing your position within your company and asking them how they’re doing. “Hello, my name is Cassie Gasaway and I work at JJ’s Archery Shop. How are you today?”
Then, share how you got their contact information, explain why you’re calling and ask if they have a few minutes to talk. “Mark Wilson gave me your contact information and said you might be interested in trying archery. Do you have a few minutes to chat right now?”
If the caller isn’t available, ask them if there’s a better time to call and remember to follow up. “I understand you’re busy, are you free sometime next week to talk? I’m happy to call back at a more convenient time.”
If the caller is free, dive into your pre-call research to make the call more fitting. You should try to get their undivided attention and hook them as soon as possible. To do that, inquire about their interest and provide value by sharing what archery has to offer them specifically, given their answer. “What aspects of archery sound interesting to you?” Or, “Tell me more about why you’re interested in archery.”
Let the conversation flow naturally based on the prospect’s responses. If your goal is to get them to visit your shop to talk more, test products or buy something, at some point you must make your call-to-action clear. “I love that you’re so passionate about the outdoors, and I think you’d find a lot of joy in archery. Would you like to visit our archery shop to shoot a bow or see our equipment selection?”
If the contact seems interested but doesn’t commit to your request, ask them to connect with your business on social media. “Since you can’t come to the shop this week, you should check out our website and follow us on social media to learn more about archery and what we offer.”
If the contact is uninterested and hasn’t explained why, ask them about their hesitation. Understanding what holds someone back from archery can be useful and insightful information for your business. Is it money, time, interest or a combination of all three? “Do you mind me asking why you don’t want to try archery?” If they cite money or time as a reason, you might be able to quickly convince them that archery can fit into any budget or schedule. If they still seem uninterested, move on.
Regardless of the call outcome, before you hang up, thank them for their time, remind them of your business and share your contact information.
“I enjoyed our conversation and appreciate your time. I can’t wait to see you on Monday. We’re located at 42 Monroe Street in Evans, and you call me with questions anytime at (phone number). Have a great day!”
OR “I enjoyed our conversation and appreciate your time. If you change your mind, please visit us at 42 Monroe Street in Evans. Or call me anytime at (phone number). Thanks again and I hope to see you soon!”
You should also be armed with ways to overcome criticism or rejection from the caller. Jot down some notes in your script so you’re not caught off guard. Don’t be afraid to test out different opening lines or talking points with callers. Take note of which ones resonate best and use them more frequently on future calls.
Be prepared to leave a short, polite voicemail if the recipient doesn’t answer. If they don’t call back, try again a different day.
- Watch Your Tone: Many people don’t have the right mindset, attitude or personality to conduct a cold call. Callers shouldn’t sound bored, angry, sad or annoyed. When you’re on the phone, speak with excitement and confidence.
- Call at the Right Time: Studies show the best time to reach someone is between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday.
- Practice: Rehearse the cold call conversation with a co-worker to identify hang-ups and learn to steer the discussion to meet your goals.
- Be Adaptable: Be sure to review each call to determine what was effective and what wasn’t. Then, revise as you go.
Cold calling can work for your archery business. Just be patient and purposeful in your intentions. Once you find your groove, you’ll be talking to new customers in your shop. And, if nothing else, you can rest easy knowing you did your best to inform people about your business and educate them about archery.