So you want to launch a cold calling campaign? Good for you, seriously. So many salespeople and business owners avoid cold calling based on untrue fears or stigma. The excuses are endless. We’ve read that ‘cold calling is dead’ article and heard the inbound marketing argument for years.
At the end of the day, millions of small businesses around the world and in Vancouver use cold calling as their main source of leads and prospects. Referrals and inbound marketing campaigns are great, but they don’t cut the mustard if you are looking for real growth.
Our team at B1 Communications believe that cold calling is a critical part of our growth strategy and make calls to Vancouver businesses every day. We know that VoIP services are far superior & better for small businesses. Although many of these companies aren’t considering VoIP telephones today, it starts the dialogue. We use cold calling as an opportunity to educate small businesses and introduce the advantages of VoIP. It’s simply the beginning of a relationship that sometimes results in new customers, referral partners or vendors.
We might be biased here, but the telephone is the most effective way to reach prospects. You can make 80 quality attempts in a given day and hear voice influxes and push past initial objections. For transparency purposes, we have included our internal goals below.
3 daily goals our sales team have:
- 80 Researched Cold Call Attempts
- 8 Subscribers to “10 Reasons Small Businesses Choose VoIP” Email Drip Campaign
- 3 Confirmed appointments within 2 weeks
We believe these goals are both achievable and in-line with our views and purpose of the cold calling campaign. Many companies are leaving money on the table when there only objective is booking appointments or demos. Many prospects aren’t ready to make that level of commitment and you should have an alternative offer ready.
“Mr. Prospect, can I send you an informative email and follow up in a couple weeks? It’ll give you a chance to look at what were doing and if it makes sense we can schedule something then.”
You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to review your offer via email after you’ve touched base on the phone. This also fills your pipeline for future phone calls..
4 steps to launch a successful cold calling campaign.
1. Find quality lists of your target audience
Finding a quality list of businesses that are within your target audience can be difficult. You can either pay an organization hundreds of dollars, or you can do what we’ve done which is all about creativity. Our team uses a various of online sources that offer target lists free of charge. We use local business association member lists, Linkedin, Google searches, and the free version of data.com from salesforce. Regardless of target audience, you can find an unlimited list of prospects online without paying hundreds of dollars.
2. Writing Sales Script & Outline Sales Funnel
Along with confidence, you’ll need a solid sales script and sales funnel (aka the offer) I won’t be offering a sales script here; as there are thousands of free cold calling templates avalible online. I will outline a few common mistakes people make:
- Starting with your full name & company. It’s too much, keep it simple and introduce the company & your first name only.
- Ask “How are you doing today.” This is the worst opening question ever. You know it’s a cold call, they know it’s a cold call. Stop wasting time and cut to the case. Instead ask “Do you have a moment.”
- Talking about features. Let’s be honest, no one cares. Instaed focus on benefits. For example, “Our VoIP plans include call display.” vs “You’ll be able to see missed calls & get back to them quickly.”
- Endless introduction. We get it, you have the best product at the best price. Stop & pick one or two key benefits. Be quick and consiese at the beginning & give your prospect an opportunity to get involved. Ask an open ended question!
- Be relivent. No one likes a generic sales call, make it about them & their industry. Let the prospect know you have done your homework. For instance, industry examples are great “We recently saved an insurance agency (insert relivent industry) 20% on their monthly telephone services and I’d like to show you how we can do the same for you.”
- Giving up at the first sign of resistance. Business owners are busy and will default to a simple ‘not interested.’ response. It’s almost a test to see how you respond. Try something like; “I understand, you’re busy and must recieve a number of these type of calls. If I can show you value within the next 60 seconds would you be open to looking at this further?”
- Having 1 goal. When cold calling, you should have options. Only looking for demo/meetings is a bit like expecting to hit 4th base on the first date. They might be interested but would like further information. Setup an email campaign with Mailchimp or another email marketing service & ask for their email address. You should be focused on building a long term relationship.
3. Determine Goals & Schedule Activities
We’re going to focus on activity goal setting as revenue goals and volume of customers should be second nature. Success metrics are going to vary from industry, list & product sold but there are some baselines you can use. For every 100 cold calls, you should reach 50-70 decision makers. Of those individuals, you should be able to book 4 – 10 meetings/demos with a close ratio of 10% – 30%.
You should dedicate time on your calendar for cold calling. Treat like an important client meeting, something you wouldn’t reschedule or skip. Close facebook, push your text messaging phone to the side. Get serious and take action every single business day. Avoid BS excuses like “Monday & Friday don’t work.” It’s total crap and you know it. In fact, we’ve actually found Friday afternoon to be the most successful time of the week to connect and build rapport. People are generally relaxed and willing to have a casual conversation. It’s practically the weekend and they would rather kick back and chit chat then work.
4. Stop Finding Excuses & Pick Up The Phone
We’re all guilty of this one. So stop reading this article & watching motivational videos. Pick up the phone and dial. You’re going to make mistakes & it’s going to be uncomfortable regardless of how much practice or articles you read in advance.
P.S. Why are you still reading this article? Pick up the phone and start dialing already!