Baby, it’s cold outside…perfect for holiday cold calling!
Prospecting during the holiday months can feel complicated. Whether cold calling or making warm calls, sales people become more reluctant to make calls when mid-November rolls around. It’s easy for us to convince ourselves that reducing our prospecting calls makes sense during this time.
The end of the year is always a busy time – closing the books, using up vacation days, company parties and wrapping up projects. Reaching prospects can take several attempts as people are spontaneously out of office or enjoying extra long lunches.
On the positive end, it’s called the “most wonderful time of the year” for good reason. You’re likely to find people more cheerful and willing to talk. Generosity is in the air and that goes for people’s time too. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build relationships, and make sure you continue to prospect and end the year strong.
Here are my top 10 tips to optimize prospecting calls during the holidays:
- Research before you call. Are you following a lead? Gather the information you already have on your prospect and prepare for your call by reviewing the information.
- Shake up your script or pitch. Maybe you’re an expert at cold calling and you’ve done it a million times. This could be a great time to add in some holiday magic with a holiday joke or comment to spice up your usual routine.
- Don’t give up. Be persistent. It can take up to 9 attempts to reach someone – and maybe even more during the busy holiday season.
- Leave a detailed voicemail. We all screen our calls and often ignore numbers we don’t know so it’s critical to leave a detailed voicemail. Leave a message with a promise to call back – and actually do it! Make sure you provide your name, company, why you’re calling (stand out, don’t leave a generic and meaningless message) and end with your name again and your phone number twice.
- Follow up. Once you do get in touch, don’t forget to follow up. With so much going on, it can be easy to forget to call or send a follow-up email. But frequency and consistency are the keys.
- Build relationships. The holidays are an amazing time to strike up conversations and build relationships. Ask about their holiday plans. Be willing to listen and follow the conversation where it leads. Bonus tip: Make sure you leave the conversation sharing one thing about yourself and learn at least two things about them. What are your holiday plans? It’s all about the relationship. You obviously understand the importance of getting to know your prospects and clients, but know that it’s just as important that they get to know you. Otherwise, why should they choose to work with you over someone else?
- Get personal. Whether it’s just sharing a small remark on gift shopping for your spouse or looking forward to your favorite side dish, sharing something personal can take a conversation from tedious and surface-level to personal and meaningful.
- Get into the holiday spirit. Your tone should be merry and bright. Even if your pitch isn’t different, your delivery can be. A smile and a laugh can go a long way in making an impact. Spread holiday cheer!
- Try a drop-by visit. Try stepping away from the phone, leaving the office and dropping by their office. The holidays are the perfect time (excuse) to swing by with holiday goodies for the office and strike up a conversation.
- Take advantage of special events. When you’re invited to a holiday party or lunch, look at them as opportunities to lay the ground work and meet new prospects instead of more clutter on your busy calendar. It’s a great time to network when everyone is in a good, celebratory mood.
While others look at the holidays as an impossible time of the year to prospect and make calls, you can see the unique opportunities. You’re more likely to find people happier, more relaxed, and much more willing to chat. So let your prospecting be jolly too!
May you have a very merry, bright, and successful prospecting holiday season.