At its most basic, a cold call is a direct way to reach out to introduce your company, product, or service to an unknown person. It makes a powerful human to human connection that doesn’t happen with an email, text, or Facebook ad. An analysis of 1 million cold calls found that 6.3% resulted in a meaningful conversation with a prospect, while cold emails open and click-through rates are only around 0.5%.(1) “Commonly it takes eight to 12 calls to make contact, and a lot of reps give up after three,” says Sky Cassidy, host of the podcast If You Market They Will Come. “Which means on average, you’re never breaking through. Sometimes it will be the first call, but you’re throwing out a massive percentage if you only make three calls.”
Wendy Weiss is the president at ColdCallingResults.com, an author, speaker, and sales coach, who is known as The Queen of Cold Calling™. She joined Cassidy and his co-host JOTO PR Disruptors CEO and Chief Strategist Karla Jo Helms on Episode 100 of the If You Market podcast “They’re All Cold Calls with Wendy Weiss.”
How a Business Should Approach Cold Calling
- Have a list. The first step to cold calling is planning. This means that companies need a very clear definition of what makes a good lead for whatever they’re offering in their market. And from that, they can build a micro-targeted list.
- Have a process. The process that companies have in place should be tested to know what works. Research has shown that it takes on average eight to 12 touches to get someone to respond—whether that touch is a phone call, a voicemail, an email, a text, a social media post or even a letter.
- Have the communication skills. Communication skills are a separate thing from sales skills, although it’s often taught as if it was the same thing. Successful communication requires handling the conversation so that the end result is the prospect agrees to an appointment, i.e. an in-depth conversation.
- Have the technology. It is close to impossible to manage the cold-calling process. If your campaign has four voicemails and four emails per prospect, how do you keep track of who you’re calling, when you need to call them back and what you said before? It is essential to have the proper technology to track all of this information.
Weiss’s company teaches a drip-style campaign that includes leaving voicemails and sending emails. “We usually start with four voicemails and four emails—that’s eight touches and then you track them, and you might need to add more touches depending on the market. Maybe you don’t need so many touches, but if you’re not tracking, you have no idea what works,” she explains.
Weiss didn’t start out to be a sales trainer. “I was actually supposed to be a ballerina. I studied at the Joffrey ballet school and then like every artist in New York City, I needed a day job.” She ended up at a telemarketing agency that did business development, where they trained and coached her, giving her a skill that enabled her to build a business. But the training model that her company uses is a lot like what she learned in ballet class—warmup, rehearse, perform.
Weiss’s 5 Tips for a Successful Cold Call
- Practice in advance. Like a warmup, it’s important that before starting the cold-calling process you have a micro-targeted list and a process in place, including all of the necessary scripts, the training, and the software to manage the entire process.
- Introduce yourself. It’s imperative that the person calling introduce themselves properly. Tell the prospect why you are calling and provide any relevant backstory.
- Talk about the challenges. Are you promoting something new? Whatever you are promoting, provide the prospect with reasons why this program/product will make a difference to them.
- Say something interesting. You have a script—great. But if people aren’t responding, then the script isn’t working. You need to say something else. Be prepared to go off script to say the right thing to win.
- Don’t worry about rejection. Finally, you can’t worry about rejection. You just have to follow the process.
“We focus on helping businesses grow their pipeline faster, more easily, and more profitably,” says Weiss. Her company specializes in underperforming sales teams, teams that are not setting up enough qualified appointments. Their core program is called ‘Three X Appointments.’ “What I mean by that is three times as many appointments, which leads to a corresponding increase in revenue down the line.”
Persistence always pays off, notes Helms. “Rejection actually is a better teacher than success. One has to look, objectively, at why a call did not pay off and adapt so all future cold calls either end up in a sale or gets you one step closer,” said Helms.
The If You Market podcast is a 45-minute conversation about B2B marketing—new trends, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. Each episode features a conversation with one expert guest discussing topics like: content marketing, account-based marketing, social media, marketing automation, PR, etc. The podcast airs on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn Radio.
Speak Your Mind
You must be logged in to post a comment.