Get more meetings thanks to cold calling
Today, regardless of the industry, knowing how to sell is a crucial skill. An agency may have the best talent, the best service, and the best digital presence, but if it can’t sell, it won’t last long.
And to do this, Cold Calling is one of the best weapons at your disposal. To talk about this, we organized a webinar with Enzo Colucci, Sales Coach at iconoClass.
The goal was for him to present several keys to using Cold Calling to win client appointments and to share concrete tips for Sortlist member agencies to improve their sales.
Does cold calling work for every companies?
The simple answer is: Yes.
Whether you sell products or services, and no matter what industry you are in, Cold Calling works.
According to Enzo, Cold Calling is the most formidable weapon a salesperson has. Certainly, prospecting should be multi-channel, with :
- physical events such as trade shows and networking,
- social selling,
But you also have to get out your phone. It is the most underestimated weapon in prospecting. What makes people not use it is fear.
We are afraid of disturbing people, afraid of getting in the way. Fear paralyzes us and prevents us from picking up the phone. And it’s normal: today, no one is trained to make cold calls.
How to set up your cold calling sessions?
Once you decide to prospect by phone, the question is to know how to organize yourself to be effective.
First of all, the first thing to do is to target your prospects.
You have to qualify them before calling them, by defining an ICP and buyers personas. The ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) corresponds to the type of ideal company that you should target.
Defining your ICP
There are several questions that can help you see this more clearly:
- How many employees in the company?
- What industry and sector of activity?
- Which geographical area?
All these questions will help you know which companies you should contact.
Defining your buyer persona
The next step will be to define who you should be looking to contact within these companies.
Will it be:
- A HR manager?
- A Head of Sales?
- A CEO?
- A CIO?
It is important to know who your interlocutor is, because this will allow you to adapt your speech.
Each profile has different challenges and issues, which requires you to adapt your approach.
In summary, before you prospect, take the time to define who you are talking to and how you are going to talk to them.
Will you :
- Use first names?
- Use the polite form of address?
- Call your prospect by his first name?
- What issues will you focus your pitch on?
Tip: Try to vary the times you call to maximize your chances of reaching your buyer persona.
Defining your catch phrase
The third step, when organizing your Cold Call session, is to determine how you will start the conversation.
It is important to avoid asking a closed question, such as “I work for such and such a company, do you know them?”
Most of the time, your interlocutor will answer “no”, and you will start your exchange on a negative note.
At this level, Enzo’s advice is to create a storytelling lead-in to open the exchange.
For example, when Enzo worked at Sunday, he would start his calls by saying “A friend had lunch at your restaurant last week, she told me to call you”.
Mastering your pitch
The fourth step is to perfectly master your pitch to reach a maximum call duration of 2 to 3 minutes.
Your pitch must be very condensed and you must keep it to less than a minute.
Create a list of recurring objections
Your prospect will have objections. And very often, the same objections will come up. To deal with them, the ideal is to have a document that lists all these objections with an answer for each of them.
You must be able to answer in a snap to avoid accumulating objections and drowning.
So take the time to consult your list before your cold calling session.
Qualifying your prospect
Finally, once you validate your appointment with a prospect, take the time to quickly qualify them to ensure that an appointment with them is relevant.
Ask them 2 to 4 questions, to get some information, and come to the meeting better prepared. These questions will allow you to validate if this person is in your target.
The ideal mindset to have
There are a few things to keep in mind when attacking a cold calling session.
Go to the point
First of all, the call must last 3 minutes maximum.
Secondly, we are not there to annoy the person we are calling. We are there to offer our help.
If you leave at a loss, afraid of disturbing, it will be felt in your posture and in your voice. And you will indeed be more likely to be badly received.
You have a solution to propose, which meets a potential need, so you are not there to annoy. You are there to help.
Show your expertise
Third, from the first 10 seconds of the call, it must be felt that you are an expert in your field and that you know who you are talking to. You must show that you know the problems of your interlocutor, by using an adapted vocabulary.
Finally, the fourth element is to be enthusiastic. You have to be happy to call, be in a good mood and play down the doors that you get into.
The goal of cold calling
The important thing to remember is that the objective of a call is not to sell your services.
The objective of a cold call is to sell a date and time. Selling takes time, it takes creating a relationship with your prospect.
The objective of cold calling is to make an appointment, not to sell.
The importance of a database
Earlier we talked about your KPI and your buyer persona.
Once these two elements have been defined, you will have to fill your database with contacts that correspond to them.
Several tools can help you with this:
- Sales Navigator
- Drop Contact
These tools will allow you to retrieve data and enrich it. This is the biggest problem in prospecting today: having qualified databases.
And qualification is done upstream. When you start a cold call session, you must already have all the information you need.
So take the time to fill out your database before you start making calls. These are two very different activities that should not be mixed.
The role of email
When you have all this information, does email still make sense?
Yes, but only if you use multi-channel. Email is effective if it is combined with other channels.
Today, email boxes are overflowing and it is very difficult to stand out. You have to find the right subject line and have a copywritten body text.
It is therefore much more difficult to get the attention of your prospect through this channel. The email alone is not enough. That’s why it’s important to be multi-channel and to combine email with other approaches.
In the end, LinkedIn and email allow you to make impressions and get into the head of your prospect, but it is the call that will unlock the appointment.
The length of a cold calling session
Ideally, a session should last 1 to 2 hours.
One hour is the minimum to get into a rhythm and become efficient. Beyond two hours, it starts to be long and exhausting.
Knowing that for 1 hour of call, it is necessary to plan 1 hour of preparation to gather the information related to the leads you are going to contact.
Afterwards, to be consistent in your prospecting sessions, you must be extremely well organized.
Your calendar must be structured, with slots dedicated to :
- to enriching your leads,
This is the only way to stay in business for the long term. It is by framing your Cold Call practice and putting it in your agenda.
Recording your calls
Recording your calls is a fundamental practice to progress.
Several tools allow you to do this:
Call recording is definitely something to do. Especially if you work in a team. It allows you to rework what’s wrong and make progress.
Which data to track?
Finally, there are several pieces of data to track when making cold calls:
- The number of calls made,
- The number of responses,
- The number of appointments obtained.
When you get the right person on the phone, you need to reach 50% of scheduled appointments.
This means that one out of two decision-makers you reach must agree to meet with you.