The Three Types of Cold Calls You Must Master
Oh the dreaded cold call. I remember just starting out and making these. The angst. The resistance. The shaky finger dialing. The worry over my colleagues judgment. The fear of rejection by the other person on the line. And the sense that perhaps i was being rude, and interrupting someone’s day unjustifiably.
Thankfully those days are gone. So much so that I feel like I’ve developed a pretty solid system with cold calling and a philosophy around how to do it without annoying your prospects. So, let’s get right into it.
The number one challenge you’ll face when cold calling, and perhaps when doing sales in general is internal resistance. There will be many days where you’ll be tired and just won’t feel like pushing. That’s a natural part of the process.
What sets the highest performing salespeople apart however is how they engage with this impulse. The one’s that perform best acknowledge this feeling but push forward anyway. Fortunately for sales, the moment you do, the resistance quickly goes away.
It’s like the feeling most people have about the gym. It’s always easier not to go but have you ever regretted going once you did?
The Three Strategies of Cold Calling
Ice Ice Baby
This first strategy takes grit, and is especially worth doing to challenge yourself, and get comfortable with cold calling people on the phone. I’ve used it to get meetings with huge organizations, some of which you may think would never, ever be penetrable by just a guy calling through.
The strategy is called Ice, Ice Baby because you’re going in completely cold. No warm email intro. Just you dialing through, going in commando style. The key is to first and foremost begin with a list of contacts, names and phone numbers with all of the people in the organizations you are trying to reach.
I would recommend shooting for 100 phone calls. If you’re going after large corporations, say 10 contacts from each company. Be like a machine. Go down the list and call each one. Push yourself and build momentum.
As you call each person (or perhaps a few seconds before) read up on them via Linkedin. Get a better sense of their title and what their role and responsibilities are. You’ll leverage this information to show you’ve done some research should they answer.
When someone answers, they won’t have any idea who you are, so you’re goal is to pique their interest as quickly as possible. Show that you’ve done your research and tailor the value proposition to them. For example, imagine the Director of Marketing Operations at Microsoft answers and your product is a Content Management System. The conversation should be:
Client: “Hello this is Michael”
You: Hi Michael, this is Steve calling from COMPANY A. Reached out to a few of your colleagues and seemed to make to make sense for us to connect given your role in Marketing Ops. We have a CMS that can optimize content publishing by 50% and create a holistic customer experience across brands. The main reason folks in marketing ops like it is because it allows corporate to centralize messaging apart from departments with their own agendas. Now, I know you’re currently using COMANY B, but I can show you how COMPANY A is an improvement on every level. Am I correct in assuming this is something you’d handle?
Client: Yes, this is something I handle.
You: OK wonderful. Do you have a couple of minutes now to dig into the biggest challenges your facing with your current CMS?
Client: No, I’m a bit busy right now
You: OK, in that case, let’s setup some time to chat for next week. How’s Thursday work?
The key in this approach is that you use a little social proof by mentioning you’ve reached out to their colleagues, you show you’ve done your research and you do your best to hit them with a value proposition that you believe will resonate with them most.
If you succeed in this and keep them on the phone there’s a good likelihood they will drop their guard and setup a meeting with you. And if they tell you they’re not the right person, ask them who is. You know have great ammunition to reach out to the right person.
The 1, 2, 3
This other approach combines email and cold calling. I call it the 1, 2, 3, because it’s a powerful three step combination.
The first step is to write an introductory email. Few fundamentals to keep in mind. Each email should be under 100 words. Get to the value proposition as quickly as possible. Name drop a few relevant competitors that are clients. Ask for the meeting. Use a tool like Hubspot Sales or Cirrus Insights to track views / opens.
The second step is to call anyone you sent an email to, especially the people who’ve viewed it. If you get a voicemail, make sure to leave a voicemail letting them know you sent an email and reitarating the value proposition. Let them know you’ll send a follow up email.
The third step is to send another email, this time with the subject line being “Follow Up On Vmail.” Use this message to let them know you’ve followed up on voicemail and thought it’d make sense to reach out on email again.
There’s something about that subject line that show’s persistence to your prospect and due diligence. You are someone calling and email and they realize they should pay attention. This is the email they’ll often respond to, telling you they’d like to setup a call, or at least that they’re not interested. Either way, a reply.
Some Like It Hot
Now this approach is the most sophisticated. It leverages the Semi-Personalized Sales approach I’ve outlined here. You setup a multi-touch email drip with high value collateral within each email. The folks that open and clickthrough most are your hottest prospects.
If and when you reach them on the phone they’ll know exactly who you are and will be happy to hear from you. This is because you’ve done a lot of work creating a great piece of content for them. Definitely the route to go when you want to be as strategic as possible.