Cold Calling is alive...

“Ring ring ring ring”

“Hello, could you put me through to John please?”

“Who is it please?”

“It’s Scott from X”

“OK just a minute.”

…John picks up:

“Hello this is John.”

“Hi John, this is Scott from X.”

“Sorry, I’m in a meeting.”

Now at this point most salespeople panic a little. They feel awkward, like they’ve interrupted something important. This is their first mistake.

9/10 times John is not in a meeting. This is a smokescreen to get rid of uninvited salespeople with unsolicited calls.

PA’s don’t always screen effectively, particularly if the salesperson is smooth and confidently passes through.

In this situation most average salespeople will respond with “oh sorry to interrupt, is there a better time later in the week?” This is weak and reactive.

He doesn’t want to speak to you now or in the future.

He doesn’t even know who you are or why you are calling because you haven’t yet explained properly.

So, he’ll usually respond with ‘send me an email’…translation ‘go away’.

The rep needs a better strategy.

Always think one step ahead. Cold calling is like chess - you need to pre-empt their next move.

How about:

“Hello this is John.”

“Hi John, this is Scott from X.”

“Sorry I’m in a meeting.”

“No problem – I often experience the same thing when my PA puts through unsolicited calls.”

(*Defuses things a bit and implies you’re his equal and senior enough to have an assistant – this will elevate you if spoken with authority. He will be slightly taken aback and will no longer consider you as simply a cold caller.)

“I just wanted to let you know I’ll be sending an email outlining **INSERT RAZOR SHARP HOOK / ANGLE**

The reason I reached out is because I noticed you may have a similar challenge to many of my clients (*name drop some people he’ll know) such as “Issue no. 1” or “Issue no. 2”.

So, I just wanted to clarify which would be more relevant to you, so I can send more of a customised email that you may find helpful.”

Notice what you have done here. You’ve ignored the meeting comment. You’ve outlined exactly why you are calling with a specific hook. If you have done your homework properly this should resonate with him.

You have also pre-empted the email request by putting yourself one step ahead and telling him to lookout for your email, which you will send once he has clarified which challenge is more important to him.

If delivered right, with confidence, you may well open up a 5–10-minute chat on the spot.

His imaginary meeting will then disappear…like the smokescreen that it is.

You're now a finely-tuned cold calling machine.

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