Cold Calling – what NOT to do

Cold Calling, love it or hate it, is an integral part of being an SDR. Despite what you might have seen on LinkedIn posts, cold calling is not dead. 

Don’t be scared of cold calling 

One fear around cold calling is the fear of rejection. The fear that when you start speaking to the prospect, they cut you off and you’ve lost a potential lead. Rex Biberston argues that “rejection is a necessary part of all sales activity, from prospecting through close, inbound and outbound. No one closes 100% of their prospects.” So instead of worrying about what the prospect MAY do, it’s better to just get on with it, and find out. The worst thing you can do is fear a result that hasn’t happened yet. Spending time on questions like: what is the prospect going to say? Are they going to be interested? Is this going to lead to success or rejection? etc.,  is important. You need to understand what makes your prospect tick. That doesn’t mean you should let it deter you from doing your job. In a nutshell, you’re never going to know what a prospect is going to say until you speak to them. So pick up the phone and call! 

Don’t be generic when cold calling

The point of a cold call is not to convince the prospect that you’ve learned how to cold call, but to give them a moment to think they need to investigate the problem they may or may not have, further. It’s not to show that you can ignore nos and push past nos and convince people to listen to you. Or to list off a reel of things you’ve learnt off someone’s LinkedIn profile. In and of itself, that means nothing. 

Telling the prospect how long they’ve worked somewhere doesn’t tell them you understand what their challenges are – it’s poor research. You need to contact them and say something that makes them think about their business differently and that they need to learn more about it. 

Don’t start with a generic “Am I speaking to —–? It’s —— from —— company” – it gives them all the power and when they say no, they already know who you are so you can’t try again tomorrow. 

Pattern interrupts are good – use them! 

“This is a cold call! Do you want to hang up?” 

This pattern interrupt will shock the prospect and they may even find it funny as it’s not something they normally hear.

“Can I steal 27 seconds to tell you why I’ve called today?” 

It’s all about not sounding like every other sales person that’s cold calling them. 

Introducing yourself too quickly gives the prospect permission to cut you off sooner. When cold calling, it is unnecessary to start by introducing yourself. Tell them how you can help them solve challenges – introductions can come later.

Don’t rely on your brand to do the selling

CEO John Richardson said “The worst sales calls I get is where they rely on the branding to do the selling.” When making cold calls, you don’t want someone to listen to you because of your name and the company you work for. You want someone to listen to you because you’ve got something interesting to talk about. Make your ability to solve challenges the key message of your cold call – not the name of the company you work for. 

Don’t forget to do your research!

You need to research before a cold call. Of course this could include a look at LinkedIn, but it’s more than that. If you go into the call and list off someone’s LinkedIn History, they’re going to know that. What you need to know is the ‘headaches’ this person experiences in their role. What challenges do they experience, and how can you offer solutions to overcome them? 

Don’t agree to emails

People are busy. Prospects could have already had four other cold calls and you’re now asking to speak to them too.They may not have the time. If this is the case, do not agree to send them an email with more information. This gives them the chance to just ignore you. Instead, you could say, “If you can’t talk about it right now, when can we talk about it?” and right there, schedule in the next call. 

Don’t take objections at face value

Whenever someone presents an objection, more often than not, what they say is not what they mean. Don’t get caught up in a conversation around that specific objection when the root cause of the objection is probably a couple of questions away. If you want to hear how our coaches recommend you handle objections from real life cold calls, check out the Cold Call Connoisseur podcast

Feeling ready? 

It’s okay if you’re not…you’re never quite ready. But the best thing to do is get on the phone! Alternatively, if you feel you need a little more help, contact the ExP coaches at [email protected]

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