There are many constants in this world of ours, many things we can always rely on. The sun will always rise in the east and set in the west and, every year or so like clockwork, someone will write a “controversial” blog post proclaiming cold calling to be dead. As technology advances, providing ever-expanding ways to interact with and sell to prospects, we understand how the urge to write cold calling’s obituary can seem too great to ignore.
But when it comes to lead generation, cold calling is here to stay. The simple truth is that you don’t need to replace cold calling efforts with an entirely new strategy, you just need to get smarter about how you cold call. To that end, we present 3 cold calling tactics that will sharpen your efforts and make you wonder how you ever even considered putting that phone down.
Make a Call, Not a Dial
While a sales rep may have time to peruse a prospect’s company website or look them up on LinkedIn to gain a little background insight, lead generation is a numbers game. This means your lead generation team needs to be able to make a massive amount of dials over the course of a day while still staying alert and prepared for that moment when someone picks up the phone. As a result, complacency becomes the biggest enemy of productive cold-calling. It’s the equivalent of “highway hypnosis”. Fingers are still dialing the phone but your lead generation specialist might not be fully present and ready to pitch. Then, when someone does finally answer, they’re caught off-guard and the opportunity is wasted.
At EBQ, one of the concepts we try to ingrain in all employees is “make a call, not a dial”. Hopefully, your database is already segmented effectively, grouping together people with similar titles and responsibilities so you’re not calling down a huge list of varying types of prospects. Smart business development and marketing professionals know that messaging needs to change depending on who you’re talking to. A pitch that works on a lower level manager might have no effect whatsoever on a C-Level executive and vice-versa. Having multiple talk-tracks in the arsenal allows your lead generation team to re-tool their messaging on the fly, depending on who they’re talking to, rather than repeating the same script over and over again. This not only makes your lead generation efforts more potent, introducing a little diversity into the monotony of constant cold calling will help keep your lead generation representatives more successful and less likely to zone out.
Don’t Be a Robot
At some point in our lives, we’ve all received that cold call from someone who is obviously poorly reciting a pre-written script. At EBQ, we don’t use scripts. Sure, we write pitches and we educate ourselves on a client’s product so we’re able to competently (and confidently) present it to prospects. But we also preach “be a human, not a robot.”
The fact is that it’s very unlikely a person will be happy to receive a cold call, but they’ll be even more upset if it’s a cold call from an uninteresting, monotone automaton. Keeping things casual by opening with a pleasant greeting, delivering a brief overview of your company, directly asking if they’re the best person to speak to, and then going into your pitch can save everyone a lot of time. If a prospect feels that you actually have respect for their time, they’ll be far more likely to engage in a conversation.
And don’t forget that every call, regardless of the outcome, can have long-term consequences. Even if you don’t book the appointment, the prospect will now have an impression of your company that they might spread to others. Don’t you want that impression to be a positive one?
Push for the Meeting
We know, we know, this platitude feels like it has been worn out since long before the film Glengarry Glen Ross introduced it to the culture at large. But it’s still as important as ever. In a lead generation sense, “closing” simply means setting the meeting. Remember, it’s the sales reps’ job to sell and the lead generator’s job to provide the opportunity to sell. As such, it’s best to go right for the meeting and drop all the pretense. For one, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to set the meeting by constantly stalling. More importantly, stressing that you’re only calling to set a meeting again demonstrates respect for their time. You’re not calling to interrupt their day with a sales pitch, you’re calling to gauge interest and find a time that works for them so they can further discuss your company and product with a sales professional, whenever it’s most convenient.
Making this clear right off the bat can not only serve to diffuse any tension, but it can also entice the prospect to agree to set aside some time. Consistently pushing for the meeting can also be a useful way around any specific questions that would be better left to the sales rep… “That’s a great question for our rep, what would be a good time for you to speak with them?”
Why should you listen to us? For starters, lead generation is EBQ’s specialty. Since 2006 we’ve cold-called on behalf of hundreds of companies, setting thousands of appointments for sales reps all over the world. Our clients span numerous industries and have come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny start-ups looking to establish themselves to behemoth Fortune 500 companies looking to keep their pipelines full. Those that have stayed with us for over a year have seen an average ROI of 200% or more and in the past 6 months alone, we’ve grown by 61% simply by doing what we do best- cold calling. In short, we’re kind of a big deal.