Cold calling. "Does it even work anymore?" - Every work from home sales rep
A hotly debated topic that took on a life of its own on during a back and forth linkedin thread. Some said it was a waste of time while others sweared by it. In 2021, especially with the work from home age upon us, cold calling is far from dead and has been shown to out-convert emails by a significant margin (8.21% vs 0.03%, believe it or not). Look, no one likes making cold call - Except those that use it to generate millions in new business.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is when a sales rep out of the blue with out being prompted, calls up a prospect and solicits their products. Cold calling is tough, embarrassing and exciting all at once. Being live on a call with no where to hide brings out the best in reps and truly tests their knowledge. Here are some tips and techniques to use to make it just a little bit easier:
7 Tips and tricks to book more meetings:
1. Specify the niche you are attacking 2. Clear outcome from the call 3. Get creative. Call cell phones 4. Warm up the calls 5. Embrace rejection 6. Don't acknowledge negative answers 7. Call at unique times
Use these skills to make a dent in your next months quota while grabbing seniors managements attention!
1. Specify the niche you are attacking Never be spread a mile wide and just an inch deep. Pick a specific industry or product you are going to sell. an sell well. Prospects can sniff out a rep who is tip toeing around answers and never answering with specific. DO NOT be that rep. When you are a generalist you are doing just so. Being top of your space with in a niche always pays whether its medicine or law. Guess what? The same goes for sales.
On each call know how your product specifically works well for prospects in that industry. Have a clear succinct value prop that can be explained quickly and confidently.
Takeaway: Create a list of pain points that your products solve for that is specific to an industry using current client stories
2. Clear outcome from the call Every call, meeting or demo there has to be a clear next step that is mutually agreed upon. The thing is, too many reps go into cold calls with no specific outcome they are looking for. The prospect can ask a hundred questions, throw the rep off guard and the meeting does not end up getting booked.
Typically, the goal of every cold call will be to book a discovery meeting. Whether you are an SDR/ BDR you are teeing up the meeting for an account exec or an account exec hunting business yourself always come with a clear ask. "Do you have 15 minutes to connect around how we helped apple lower their marketing spend by 12% through utilizing our API based model?"
Takeaway: Whether you are fumbling through your script or if the call is going great, always ask for 15 minutes. Sometimes, the calls will be going terribly and there is no connection or pain being brought out you should still ask for the meeting. You never know. The prospect could be having a bad day, caught off guard or not a friendly person. My reps have booked a significant amount of meetings from choppy cold calls. Always ask, worst they can say is "no". You'll live.
3. Get creative. Call cell phones As more and more companies shift to a work from home model, getting prospects on their office line is getting harder and harder. In all walks of life, a little creativity helps get the job done. Do a little extra searching, use ZoomInfo to get their cell phone number. Takeaway: Go through the backdoor and call the prospects cell. The amount of, "thought this was my doctor, was expecting his call" we've seen on calls is astonishing. Get to the prospect, it doesn't matter how you do it. Be relentless.
4. Warm up the calls Never make a cold call. What do i mean by this? Warm up all of your calls by sending emails and LinkedIn requests / messages ahead of time so your name rings a bell. A pure cold call is unnecessary and gives you a smaller chance to book the meeting.
5. Embrace rejection Embrace rejection. YOU are not going to set meetings on the vast majority of calls you will make. Accept that. Cold calls only convert 5-10% of the time.
Takeaway: Be smart and keep a document of all the rejections you are hearing. Once you have those written down take some time to create objections.
6. Don't acknowledge negative answers We see this all the time and it drives us nuts. When you are on a call with a prospect and they say something positive about a competitor of yours for example. Do not affirm their statement. For example if you work at citibank,
"We love JP Morgan because of their modern investment platform and friendly customer service."
Do not reply by saying, "great". Instead, have an inflection in tone, act surprised. You are the professional who works in the space you know the answers not them. Instill that kind of confidence and prospects will follow. Answer with, "ohh, interesting" and then keep probing with questions. See the difference? The first example you are affirming the prospects answer where in the second example you are creating some doubt.
7. Call at unique times There are times when no one answer their phones and their are times when you are more likely to answer. Think about your own day to day life. Work gets hectic in the mornings and afternoons but eases up later in the evening.
Takeaway: Try calling your prospects early in the morning before receptionists come in (before 8:15am) or after they leave (post 5pm) especially if you are calling C-suite level prospects.
Overall, these tips should be layered into a solid cold call script to book more meetings. Feel free to get creative with it and let us know how it goes! Read more