How to do a cold call REALLY WELL
Cold calling is just not fun. It’s taking the time to call up a person you’ve never met before and ask for something, mainly money. It’s something they don’t want to normally get. It’s something which can be pretty embarrassing. It’s also something which no matter how good you get at it, you’ll still have people hang up on you and do it often. These are some tips to do cold calling a little better and succeed with it
To begin, I’ll just start by saying my experience in cold calling people. I’ve done it in my career maybe a thousand times. A number that for some careers is actually very low. I don’t sell insurance. I don’t sell stocks. I don’t normally sell a lot of stuff. My cold calls are always about business development for a company I’m working on. So keep in mind, I’m not soliciting people directly for money, but normally always go for partnership. It’s a bit different over just calling a person up to look for insurance. However, I think the experience of selling people as they are a partner is stronger over just cold calling. Keep that in mind as a mentality for doing it. Every call I make, I make hoping this person I will be able to talk to in ten years, meet in person, do work with and treat like a partner. Don’t ever cold call unless that is the attitude.
To start this off though at how to become a success in cold calling though, let’s just begin with the first question.
Are you going to open by asking them if it’s their number or open by saying who you are? For this, neither are really the right or wrong way to do it, but I’ve seen some definite pros and cons.
Asking who they are?
- It lets you know you’re talking to the right person and saves a 10 second intro.
- It lets them talk before being pitched. Gives them a chance to get engaged quickly.
- It creates a sense of kindness where the opening was asking a question.
- It comes off a little unprofessional sometimes. It very very often can look wimpy and childish, like “Ugh, is this mike? Please be mike!” and it’s weird.
Stating your name first.
- It does show confidence.
- It can let people just respond if interested or not and spare time.
- It gives some advantage for the sale.
- It’ll lead to way more hang ups. People hearing a visible sales call and they are out instantly many times.
- It comes off as a sales call, not a relationship call.
For this, I really don’t have a preference. I’ve done it both ways. Normally, my preferred method is this. I say my name, but don’t say who I actually am and ask if it’s them.
I normally go
“Hey, my name is Charles, is this John?”
I feel this is the most comfortable way to do it and mixes a sense of personalization and informality. Gets them engaged, but also gives the question of “Who exactly is Charles?” and that starts a dialogue.
The next thing after the intro is really just the tone and confidence in speaking. Just some core advice points.
- Clear voice. Do not talk unless clear, but also not salesmen like. Talk just with a firm voice and exit nervousness. Being nervous will happen the first few times, but not long after.
- Don’t be a salesman. Don’t try to be overly happy or overly quick, but just be real. If it’s just a basic sales call make it clear this is a job and you have to do it. Don’t give any BS and just make it clear “Hey, I’m doing this, because it’s what keeps my lights on.” and that’s relatable. One thing I recommend is even making some jabs at the core product. When I cold call, I’ll openly say holes in my business and issues. I try to create a realistic scenario versus a dream one.
- Don’t do dumb jokes. I am a guy who likes to make jokes. However, just avoid cheap gags to sound relatable and have been used over and over.
- No caffeine. For cold calling, being relaxed is key. Monsters, coffee and Red Bull will not make a great cold caller. They create too much edge in personality and create stuttering of words.
Now, outside of core advice, let’s move to what should be done before making cold calls.
- Web presence is setup. Guess what? People are gonna google you and your business. If it doesn’t show up on google, the greatest cold call ever likely won’t work. Make a linkedin. Have a company website setup. No where to direct the company holder.
- Professional email. Just a giant heads up. If you’re cold calling and going to follow up to people after with a yahoo email, deal is dead.
- Call back number. The biggest piece of advice I can use for cold calling is get a work phone and operate 100% off of that. Be able to text. Be able for people to call you back. Just be accessible. A company number just creates a bad reaction. For any business owner, invest in just getting staff a company phone for calls. It’s an added expense of probably $50 a month per employee for phone & number, but worth it.
After handling that and delivery, the next is just some really basic questions to be prepared to answer.
Why should I trust you?
For this, it’s a question which if they ask it, you probably already lost the battle. Them asking that means they don’t trust you and likely won’t. Best option is to be polite and go “Yeah, I know not to trust these calls either. I get about ten a day on my own, but here’s why…”
After that, have a 30 second pitch. Who you are? What’s your story? Why are you doing this? Be real. Be personal. Be truthful. Just state who you are, where you came from, why you’re doing these calls and hope for the best. Say where you grew up, went to school and so on.
An example pitch…
“Hey, my name is Charles Peralo and I’m the founder of Succeed.com. We are a new company based out of Manhattan focused on getting companies to apply to people and provide insights to grow careers. I also own a media company with 15m followers on Instagram & Facebook.”
How’d you get my number?
For this, just be honest. Whenever I am asked that, I’ll say LinkedIn, Instagram, company site or however I found it. There’s never a reason to hide it and just be honest about it.
And that’s honestly really it. The entire purpose of a cold call to be of value is creating trust in the first minute and sustaining that trust. After that, it’s just about selling a good or bad product. The only other advice I can give is the Zappos model. No scripts. No time monitoring. Have a 30-60 second opening to run on and core answers to obvious questions, but after that run on the idea everyone is an individual and might require a different format of pitch over a one size fits all.
Closing this up, I hope it was of value and for anyone looking to hire or get hired in sales, checkout the home page of Succeed. Even if not hiring, we can still be of value!