There’s a lot of myths out there. George Washington had wooden teeth. You swallow spiders in your sleep. Cold calling doesn’t work. While George did have stained teeth and fried spiders are served in Cambodia—there is not a single ounce of truth behind the claim that cold calls no longer work.
As you know, the opposite of a myth is truth. Here’s a cold hard fact. Cold Calling is easy.
Yes, there’s a caveat to that fact. Cold calling is only easy when you first acknowledge that it’s never easy at the beginning, and second you follow the 7 steps in this cold caller guide.
This guide is necessary because it’s up to date. Outreach tactics that worked 5 or 10 years ago aren’t going to move the needle anymore. Prospects and gatekeepers continue to strengthen their defenses, however, they’re still willfully accepting and scheduling meetings from cold calls.
Here is your guide to getting the most from your efforts. If you’d like recommendations custom to your role, company, and prospects, reach out to Jeff Grice.
You're a Value-Driven Consultant
It’s very common for salespeople to place a dozen cold calls, get blowbacks and opt-out requests, and sink into a state of resignation.
Nine times out of ten this is because they’re using a product or pitch-first approach to cold calling. Unless you’re selling the next iPhone or discounted Super Bowl tickets, your calls are not going to receive a warm welcome.
Rethink what you’re doing. Your prospects expect more from you now than ever before.
Place yourself in the shoes of the buyer. If you were using an email marketing software and receiving average results, would you rather hear from someone asking you to trial a different product, or from someone offering a cold email marketing audit?
Buyers are going to choose the latter of the two nine times out of ten, and the human law of reciprocity will drive the buyer to return the favor in the form of a call, meeting, or possibly a purchase.
You’re helping your customer, not selling to your customer.
When you help, you’re no longer dependent/relying on the next deal.
Create a belief that you can sell help anybody!
This will build your confidence and avoid the feeling of resignation known to many SDRs and other cold calling positions.
Discover the Price of Their Problem
Now that you’re a value driven consultant, your next goal isn’t just to discover your customers’ biggest pain points, it’s to discover what the pain points are costing them.
Start by surveying your products’ raving fans. Ask them, “How much was solving this problem worth to you?”
Are you ready for this? We recently asked one of our raving fans how much eliminating non-selling activity was worth to him every year. His answer was $120,000.
Now our sales development team communicates the following on their cold calls. “I thought you’d be interested to know that one of our clients saves $120k every year by automating the non-selling activity of 6 salespeople. Remind me, how many salespeople do you have using Salesforce?”
We recently scheduled a meeting with a company that has over fifty salespeople. The sales executive was able to do the math in his head in mere seconds. That’s powerful.
Here’s another cold calling trick.
If you happen to ask the prospect the question first, “How much is solving this problem worth to you?” Quickly multiply that number by 10%. If the price of your product is a small fraction of the cost of your prospect’s problem—and you communicate that at the right time—you’re likely to close a deal.
Never Give Up on Followup
Even when the sales data encourages salespeople to keep dialing and emailing, they’ll still demonstrate the habit of giving up after a few calls and emails.
It’s human nature to stop. It’s a competitive advantage to keep going.
There’s dozens of studies and blog posts that recommend the best time to call or email. Don’t be surprised when I tell you that your competitors’ sales teams are reading those same studies and blog posts, and following the “best practices” advice to no avail.
You're an Authority, Not a Telemarketer.
Another side effect of high-pressure cold calling is poor translation. Because the cold caller needs to make their lofty numbers, he or she talks fast, says “uh” and “um” too many times, and doesn’t give the prospect the amount of respect they deserve.
Yes, I’m hammering home that last point, but let’s start with the first one—confidence.
Let’s say you’re calling for us, Veloxy. Do you believe in the product? Can you demonstrate that it works? Can you help companies accelerate sales by using Veloxy? You not only have to answer those questions resoundingly with a “Yes!”, you have to confidently believe in your answer.
Because if you don’t, the lack of confidence will come across through the phone. You don’t just need to be confident, you need to demonstrate that you’re an authority. Why else would your customer want more of the value-added consultation from earlier in this post?
When you’re a confident authority in your space, you’re no longer perceived as a pesky cold caller by customers. You’re perceived as someone with answers.
Now to the point of respect. You’re calling them. You’re interrupting them. You should not be asking them to lead the call—you should be leading the conversation from start to finish.
Make it easy for the customer. Take control of the call. Give them options.
And don’t forget the timeless, “Is now a good time?” or “Do you have a minute?” Where this respectful opener doesn’t work is when the cold caller loses the leadership of the call.
When the customer responds, “No, not really.” Use the double number technique to demonstrate your authority. “That’s okay, John. When can I get your attention for 10 minutes so I can demonstrate how I can save you $100k next year by eliminating non-selling activity? My clients assure you—this will not be a waste of your time.”
The dollar figure, time ask, and credibility drop will eliminate any and all skepticism, and it will show that you’re not going to waste their time.
Your Prospect, Your LinkedIn Neighbor
When treating prospects with respect over the phone, imagine you’re calling your neighbor down the street. You’re going to see them weekly, so you wouldn’t be forceful over the phone.
We’re living and working in a digitally connected world. If you’re not leveraging this fact in your cold calling efforts, you’re missing out on this very simple, low effort hack to more callbacks, more meetings, and more deals.
While you should have one tab or window open at all times when calling—usually Salesforce and/or your inbox—you should force yourself to add one more tab, LinkedIn.
Every other cold call that doesn’t land in a connection, view their LinkedIn profile.
After your first engagement, whether it turned into a meeting/sale or not, send them a connection request on LinkedIn.
The more you do this, the more you’re building out your LinkedIn Neighborhood. And when you do that, you’ll find yourself approaching calls with your LinkedIn neighbors very differently, and reaping the benefits at the same time.
Easy Ways to Pass the Gatekeeper
Speaking with your prospect’s gatekeeper is another hurdle and cause for discouragement. Don’t fret. I have the easy, readily-applicable advice to get past nine out of ten gatekeepers.
Rule number one. Never use the prospect’s last name. When you call a friend or family member’s house or office, do you use their last name? Of course you don’t!
Rule number two. Choose to sound professional, not enthusiastic. Why? Because you’re calling with purpose, and interrupting your prospect’s day is nothing for them or their receptionist to be excited about.
Rule number three. If the gatekeeper shares their first name, use it to sound familiar. Just like us, they don’t remember everyone they’ve spoken with or met before, but use their first name to give off that impression.
Rule number four. Don’t use your last name. This again communicates familiarity, as if your prospect should know who “John” or “Jane” is by first name alone.
Rule number five. If the gatekeeper asks what company you’re from, also respond with, “COMPANYNAME, he/she should be familiar with us. And I don’t mind holding, thank you.” Or even better, if you practice cold emailing, “COMPANYNAME, it’s about the email I sent last week.”
Lastly, rule number six. Don’t give the gatekeeper too much information. If they’re persistent, respond kindly with persistence yourself, and brevity. Remind the gatekeeper that you know the prospect’s first name, that you don’t mind holding, and that “It’s best I speak with him/her, please and thank you.”
Use Cold Calling Sales Technology
Imagine if you could call several prospects at the same time, but you only engage with the first to pick up the phone. Sound too good to be true? Give Five9 a try. You’ll automate your cold dialing while only connecting to calls that are answered by real humans, removing all no answers and busy signals. Imagine how much more productive you’ll be!
I spoke earlier about never giving up on followup. Start a thirty day trial of Veloxy today and empower your cold calling efforts with email tracking and predictive sales analytics. Combined, these two features will help you call prospects who are actively reading your cold emails, and call prospects who are more likely to answer the phone and engage with you. Code embedded in your cold email efforts and artificial intelligence continuously monitoring each and every prospects’ buying signals are a cold caller’s best friend.
Use Sendoso with Salesforce to send direct mail to your prospects. While this may sound like a tactic from 20 or 50 years ago, the amount of direct mail prospects receive has gone down year-over-year. What hasn’t changed is a person’s enthusiasm around opening a package or large envelope. Send a neon colored envelope to your prospects with a well crafted invitation in it. You’ll stand out compared to the rest of the vendors lighting up their phone.
Lastly, for the really, really evasive prospects, or the ones who seem to never have time on their calendar, send them a Starbucks eGift Card. The human law of reciprocity is powerful and yet under appreciated by cold callers. “How does 9am next Tuesday sound… I’ll send you a Starbucks eGift Card to boot.” I wouldn’t say no to that!
Cold Calling is Not Dead in 2022!
One last recommendation before I close out this blog post.
Don’t thank prospects for their time—they should be thanking you. You heard that right. This recommendation, paired with what I shared in the ‘Value Driven Consultant’ and ‘Authority’ sections, should give you all of the confidence you need to see exponential results when cold calling in 2022 and beyond.
If you would like to discover how you can get more meetings and close more deals with cold calling and emailing, reach out to our Sales Acceleration Director, Jeff Grice, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Cold Calling!