By Mark Davis, Account Executive, C3 Public Strategies
Phone-banking and cold calling can sometimes be a daunting task. Whether you are waiting several minutes to get through to somebody or being hung up on time after time, it can be difficult to have a productive discussion with a person and can become frustrating. However, there are some simple, yet effective, tools that callers can use to find more success on the phones.
Before making any calls, it is a great idea to familiarize yourself with the script and the specific issue that you are calling people about. If you are not familiar with it, you will likely stumble on your words, making you seem unorganized and unprepared. Familiarity with what you are talking about will make you more confident when making the phone call, and the person on the other end of the line will recognize that. The first thing you want to do when somebody answers the phone is politely introduce yourself and the company, campaign, or organization you are calling on behalf of. This adds legitimacy to you and the purpose of the phone call.
While it is useful to familiarize yourself with the script, it is also important to make the script your own once you get comfortable with it. That is, keeping the general points and questions included in the script, but being able to put them into your own wording to make it more personable. This goes a long way in making your phone calls more conversational with the person on the other line, rather than sounding like a robot reading off a script. It may take some time to make the script your own, but once you do, the conversations will feel more natural and flow much better.
While you do want to ask each question that is written on the script, it is important to move through it briskly. This is important because you want to be respectful of the person’s time and not drag the survey out for an extended amount of time. At the end of a call, you always want to thank the person for taking time out of their day to answer some questions and help provide us with useful information.
When making cold calls, there will always be people that are not interested and want nothing to do with the survey, and sometimes there is nothing we can do to change their minds. But following these tips can be very helpful in getting somebody who is on the fence into participating and even changing their mind about participating in phone surveys in the future.