Cold-calling has always been part of the sales process. Many salespeople can struggle with this aspect of the job but it’s a critical part of gaining new prospects. The more you call, the greater the odds that they will turn into great leads.
David Walter ran a call center for thirteen years and is currently a coach. He is also the author of the book, The Million Dollar Rebuttal and Stratospheric Lead Generation Secrets. David also worked with the American Bank i, and then helped his father sell million-dollar HVAC equipment. The recession then hit, however, and David had to look for another job.
David reads a lot as part of his training and personal development. He credits his exposure to quality books as being a catalyst to the life he has today. With the culmination of his experience and knowledge, David has been able to revolutionize the concept of cold-calling from the ground up.
David did training with SDRs in Plano and made a video series to help them learn more about cold-calling. When they were doing their calls, however, they were just calling the wrong numbers and weren’t getting anywhere. They weren’t able to make any useful contacts. Based on a study, 70% of contact information is incorrect and 55% of the people you call may not be available to talk to. These “dead” numbers can eat up a sales rep’s valuable hours. However, David assures us all is not lost.
During David’s years in the call center, he was always on the hunt for the perfect list. The lists were supposed to be verified but he found that it wasn’t the case. He learned his lesson and decided to release the idea of a perfect list. Instead, he opted for a basic format with the names of the companies and put it in a simple CRM like Crmble. He also developed a script that he still uses to get “gatekeepers” to provide needed information. He did this by listening to natural calls and getting back to the basics.
For example, David used to work with a distributorship and it involved him answering calls. He noticed that if a person just used the first name when asking for a contact, the caller sounded more confident and there was an air of authority and familiarity that he’d immediately respond to. David realized he could use this “first name” technique to qualify contacts.
David also observed that people often have an easier time if you ease them into answering a series of questions. Confirming an address is an easy way to get someone to open up. Ask your way into more information little by little.
David will typically start at LinkedIn when qualifying for a new company. Oftentimes, LinkedIn has the most updated information about the company name and can access a list of employees to know who he should call.
Many salespeople perceive cold-calling as the hardest part of the job. In truth, cold-calling can be at the same level as other activities if looked at in the right way. With anything worth doing, it may seem hard at first but with practice and the right instruction, it becomes easier.
In Will Smith’s movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, Will’s character didn’t call his list from top to bottom. What he did was skip names and call randomly. While Walter Ribbon didn’t buy from Will, he got invited to a game where Will Smith was able to build a network with important people. Just know that if your goal is to make an appointment with 15 people, you need to call at least 40 people.
Qualifying data is important so salespeople aren’t wasting their time. The key to cold-calling is to keep calling the companies at least three to four times a day within 3-4 days. Sales reps hesitate to do this because they’re afraid of burning the list but if you do it the right way, this can be avoided. The way not to burn your list is to make your calls short and as natural as possible.
In addition to using the first name method, don’t leave a voicemail. Leaving a voicemail can be the cause of burning a list. Keep your call short and sweet and change your opening with each call.
The other strategy David uses is, “Hey, I’m calling for Donald but he’s probably gone for the day.” David mimics a negative attitude that most gatekeepers have and uses it to position them to offer something positive. They will often want to counteract the negativity.
David also discovered that the less you seem to care, the more people will give you what you need. You don’t want to sound desperate over the phone. With a more laid back attitude, you will be more likely to talk to the person you want to talk to.
Most prospects don’t actually believe they need to change. Looking for prospects who know their needs can be like looking for a needle in a haystack yet this is what salespeople are looking for. What can you do as a sales rep? You can realize they are not saying No, they’re saying that they are comfortable with what they have; however, that doesn’t rule out the possibility they need to make a change.
The Power Habit book talked about a remarkable story about Febreze. When it was first launched, the product failed even though it was a good one. They sent researchers out to figure out the reason why. They visited one homeowner with cats in her house. When they entered the house, the putrid smell of cats overwhelmed them. Despite the homeowner using the product, however, the scent remained. The problem was the homeowner couldn’t smell it because she’d gotten used to the smell of her own cats. Prospects can be like these cat owners. They are so used to the same process, they don’t even smell a problem anymore. Your job is to reveal a better alternative and offer something better. Even when they are happy with what they have, you can still offer improvements.
Reach out to David Walter via his LinkedIn account. You can also read his books to understand cold-calling more!
This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.