How to Successfully Cold-Call Without Being a Pain in the Ass.
I’ve made over 72,000 cold calls in less than 12 months to finally cold call without interrupting.
Cold calling is literally worse than waiting in line for the DMV. It absolutely sucks. The truth is, it doesn’t account for much of a company’s revenue, but it is a necessary evil to start building momentum and generate leads.
In a study done by the Kenan Flagler Business School in North Carolina, 800 sales people said that cold calling doesn’t work over 90% of the time. It’s an obvious choice why so many salespeople shy away from the task of calling a random stranger, interrupting him or her in the middle of their day, to pitch them a product or service they never asked to see, especially from someone they never met.
The good news about cold-calling:
It still counts. In a study done by the Rain Group, 69% of buyers accepted a cold call from new salespeople in the past 12 months. Cold calling may not be as smooth sailing as a hot inbound lead ready to buy your product or service, but 57% of C-level buyers prefer that salespeople call them and 82% of buyers accept meetings when salespeople reach out to them.
Cold calling works if you have the stamina to last.
What do I know right? I’m glad I asked.
My first job out of college was a cold calling position at a company that sold coupons (similar to Groupon) for restaurants. I killed it in the job interview, really “slayed that dragon.”
The first day on the job, 20 minutes into my new sales position ready to hit quotas and take over the world, I quit. I told the owner that I wasn’t cut out for the job and walked out, avoiding any sort of job that entails a phone for three years.
Just the thought of picking up the phone and bothering someone caused me more anxiety than meeting my in-laws for the first time.
Fast forward to when I committed one year to become a full-time real estate agent, I’d go outside of my comfort zone and dedicate my days to cold calling and door knocking. To help me pay my bills, I also got a job cold-calling for Allstate Insurance during that year.
150 cold calls/day in real estate + 150 cold calls/day in insurance X 5 days a week for 12 months = learning a thing or two about what works generating leads from scratch.
Generating leads from cold calling is like making fire from scratch, and it literally feels the same way — it’s incredibly rewarding.
What happened to my anxiety? It vanished overtime like a cold sore.
After enough patience and practice, the “fear” of cold calling dissipates and all that you’re left with is a game that’s fun to play.
After daily repetition and intense grind in perfecting my “sales game,” I am now the Vice President of Sales for one of the most successful startups out of Miami.
…and so the fun begins…
Selling is no different. Having a checklist before cold calling will either make you or break you.
This was my 12-point checklist. Use this before you pick up that phone:
- The prospect doesn’t know you’re calling
- The prospect doesn’t know who you are or what you’re selling
- When you call your cold lead, you are interrupting them
- Have the mindset that the person you are calling is already saying yes to you
- ABP — Always Be Prospecting. Never rely on any one lead
- Know the difference between an objection and a condition (one is non-negotiable)
- Have a list of rebuttals practiced and prepared
- Be ready to improvise
- Don’t take anything personally
In cold calling, it’s only personal if the lead knows who you are, which they don’t.
10. Only ask YES or NO questions if either one benefits your sales flow
11. Don’t show desperation or fear — be relaxed
12. Challenge the customer (respectfully)
13. Do, Fail, Repeat
How do you actually cold call someone without interrupting them?
Think like the person that is getting cold called — what would you want someone to say if they called you out of the blue? How would you want the salesperson on the other side to behave?
Be incredibly empathetic.
Empathy is the ability to understand or feel someone else’s perspective.
Empathy leads to patience, curiosity, and timing. Without it, you’re just forcing your way to an acceptance which won’t end well.
Instead of trying to pitch a stranger, think about how they perceive your call. What would you say to someone if you felt you could be bothering them?
These magical words have worked better for me than anything else when calling strangers and I believe they’ll work for you too (choose the ones you want to use):
“Is this a bad time?”
“Do you mind helping me with something?”
“Do you have 30 seconds that I can borrow?”
“Sorry to call you on the fly…”
Showing the prospect that you value their time and have empathy is the difference between a cold caller and a potential business opportunity.
Don’t go in cold calling, guns blazing, because that’s just spam.
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Mor Assouline is the Vice President of Sales for PracticePanther, the fastest-growing legal case management software in the world. As the company’s second employee, Mor has channeled his passion and 10+ years of experience for sales and customer service into the #1 rated legal case management platform on the market. Combining his affinity for constructing streamlined, intuitive business procedures with his extensive experience in successfully implementing such processes, Mor has spearheaded the bulk of PracticePanther’s revenue generation with tremendous results. Mor is thrilled to continue leading PracticePanther’s accounts into what is certain to be a bright and prosperous future.