First, let's talk about the preparation:
1. FAQ Compilation:
FAQ includes questions related to both the product and global trade, such as product shelf life, certification status, product transportation, and more. Being prepared with these questions is essential to avoid being caught off guard when customers inquire. Additionally, being well-prepared with these questions will significantly boost the confidence of professionals. Lack of confidence is often the reason many newcomers are hesitant to make cold calls.
2. Recording Software:
Some customers may speak quickly or have unclear pronunciation, making it easy to miss or misinterpret information. Recording software is useful for verifying information after communicating with customers.
3. Background Research:
Conducting background research on new customers is crucial. Only by investigating a customer's background information can you confirm their identity and engage in marketing efforts more effectively. Common methods for background research include customs data, social media, and search engines.
Now, for the formal phone call stage:
If you know the other person's name, you can start by saying, "Good morning, this is [Your Name] speaking. May I speak with [Customer's Name]? After getting confirmation, you can continue with, "Sorry to disturb you. We are a manufacturer of [Product] from China. I'm calling today to explore the opportunity to cooperate with you. Just one minute, please, okay?"
Usually, customers may come up with various excuses at this point, such as having existing suppliers or not currently needing products. In response, you can say, "OK, never mind. I will send you an email with our detailed offer for your information. Of course, I'd be happy to provide you with a free sample if you need."
Regardless of what the customer says, as long as they don't ask for specific details, always say, "Please reply to my email with your address, and I will arrange the sample delivery as soon as possible."
If you don't know the name of the person responsible for purchasing, my approach is usually to find a middle-level manager on LinkedIn and note their name and position. Then, in the first sentence of the call, say, "Good morning, this is [Your Name] from China. Can I speak to anyone in charge of purchasing or sourcing?"
In this case, be sure not to say you want to speak to the purchasing manager or the boss, as this can easily lead to a negative reaction. Simply indicating that you want to speak with someone responsible for purchasing is sufficient. If they transfer your call, take the opportunity to express your purpose directly, and the follow-up conversation can be based on the first approach.
If you get rejected, don't be discouraged; you can try again another day. Note that for the second call, do not use the same script as the previous call. You can say, "Can I speak to Mark, please? This is a business call from China."
This increases the chances of being transferred, and once the call is connected, you can say, "Hi, [Customer's Name], this is [Your Name] from China. I want to discuss something about [Topic]." If they are not responsible for purchasing, they will typically ask, "What are you talking about?" or "Whom do you want to speak to?"
In this situation, express your apology and clarify your intent, for example, "Oh, I am so sorry. I want to speak to the person who is in charge of purchasing or sourcing." At this point, they will usually provide you with the contact information for the purchasing department.
If the cold call is not successful, do not be disheartened; look for an opportunity to try again.
Cold call is the most direct and efficient of all communication methods, but many professionals are reluctant to make phone calls, often due to language and psychological factors.
Rejection is a common occurrence. Politely say, "That's okay, let's stay in touch. I'm here to provide you with reference information. I apologize for the interruption. Wishing you a prosperous business!" This is a suitable way to conclude the call.