This is a guest post by Ryan O'Connell, Vice President at Digital Talent Agents.
In any business, particularly a small business, selling ideas and products are a company’s lifeblood. Regardless of the industry you’re in, there will come a point when you have to pick up the phone to acquire new business, make a connection, or pitch an idea.
So, how do you get more people to take your calls? How can you create a process so people aren’t just willing to take your calls, but are actually excited to hear what you have to say?
Here are four tips to get more people to take your calls:
1. Modernize your initial contact
If you haven’t noticed, the world has shifted online. Instead of spending countless hours cold calling, hoping for an appointment or conversation, use email to get in touch with the people you need to connect with — and set an appointment. This respects other schedules and gives you ample time and space to communicate your true purpose in connecting. It also gives the person a chance to digest your reason for contacting them, as well as time to coordinate it with their schedule. It simplifies your approach and is much less intrusive than a cold call out of nowhere.
2. Develop a good website.
Make sure your website portrays exactly what you do in a quick, concise manner. When people reach out to me and I look at their websites, I want to know exactly what they do without having to search through every page. If I’m not sure what you do, there’s a much higher chance I won’t take your call. If people don’t understand what you do by looking at your site, you need to meet with your team and simplify your message.
3. Improve your email signature.
In addition to including meaningful and relatable copy, always make sure that your signature indicates who you work for, what you do, how someone can reach you, and why you should be considered credible. You want to make it as easy as possible for a person to understand who is making contact, as well as why it would be valuable for them to talk to you on the phone. Credibility points can include a link to a social media profile (LinkedIn, preferably), a link to a recently published article, or a link to your personal/company website. These credibility points are going to differentiate you from spam or generalized emails from other companies.
4. Be persistent.
People are busier than ever, and they’re hard to get a hold of. Understand that there’s a difference between persistence and annoyance. There will be instances when emails go unnoticed or slip through the cracks. Make sure to follow up. Ensure that the recipients got the initial email and determine whether they’re interested in setting up a call. People appreciate persistence — if they understand that you’ve been trying to get in touch with them, they’re typically more inclined to take your call.
The end goal should always be to get someone on the phone to have a true conversation and create a relationship — not to just call as many people as possible until someone says yes. By utilizing more modern tactics, giving them a reason to talk to you, and making an effort to look credible, you’ll be able to get more people on the phone. That, of course, will result in more sales, connections, and partnerships, which are the only numbers games that matter.
Ryan O’Connell is the Vice President at _Digital Talent Agents_, a company that helps experts build their businesses through thought leadership and content marketing through the production of high-quality content for reputable publications.
You can reach out to Ryan on Twitter @Oconnellryan.