A Better Approach to Cold Calling

According to the RAIN Group, a sales training and consulting firm, 58% of prospects say they currently find cold calls useless. Wow! Are YOU wasting YOUR time making ‘useless’ calls? Here is a better approach to Cold Calling.

What is a ‘useless’ call? 

If a prospect is finding your call ‘useless’, it is a good bet that you are calling people and doing what I call the “F&B Dump”. You are dumping a bunch of information, about the Features and Benefits of your product or services, on whoever is unlucky enough to pick up your call. 

That, or you are monopolizing the call with info about you, you, you.

Or maybe you are just launching into a hard sales pitch.

Or worst of all, you do all of the above!

A better approach to Cold Calling 

A better approach to Cold Calling is to start by confirming who you are speaking with. Make sure they are a decision maker and that they actually have a minute to speak with you. If they don’t, set up a time that works better for them. You are both busy, why waste each other’s time?

Asking permission like this can set you apart from all the other cold callers they encounter and sets you up for a CONVERSATION, among equals.

Make sure they are worth YOUR time 

Once you are speaking with them – not talking AT them or SELLING them, you should have a few, tightly scripted questions you can ask to determine if they have a need for your product or services.

Ask your questions and then really LISTEN to their answers. Use that information to determine if they are worth pursuing. If they are not a good fit, ask for a referral or a recommendation of someone they know who might need your product or services and then exit the call (click here for more on how to ask for a referral)

Make it worth THEIR time 

Another sales study found that 84% of buyers complain that sales reps are annoying in their efforts to convince them to buy.

If prospects are finding YOU annoying (as evidenced by rushing off the call, hanging up or otherwise uninterested in speaking with you) it is probably because you have either rushed to the sales pitch or bowled over them with all your talking.  

The initial cold call is not for hard selling – it is an exploratory call to see if they are a good fit. Going into sell mode will definitely annoy your prospect. 

Respect their time, identify if they have a need you can fill and if they ARE a good fit, move to set up a first meeting. (click here for what to cover in that meeting) 

Useless calls are a waste of time for you AND your prospects. Use our approach to have real conversations that convert to qualified appointments and sales. 

Need help? We train salespeople in the skills and tactics that deliver RESULTS – give us a call at 908-879-2911 to learn more!

Cold Calling is in our DNA

How many more sales could you close if you had a steady stream of QUALIFIED leads?

Are you so busy servicing existing customers that you just don’t make the calls you need to fill your sales pipeline? 

Do you hate cold calling?  

Did you know that OUR highly trained, professional cold callers can do your Cold Calling for YOU?  

At One of a Kind Sales, our professionally trained inside business development reps make calls and set qualified appointments to keep YOUR sales pipeline full. We can be YOUR Inside Sales Team with callers who are continuously trained and managed to maximize performance and set QUALIFIED appointments for YOU! 

What We Do 

We are a full-service appointment setting provider – we come in, determine your needs and set up an effective system to set appointments with qualified prospects. Our callers understand the psychology of cold calling and ENGAGE prospects in non-salesy conversations that uncover pain points and opportunities for you. Our time-proven system for monitoring and recycling leads sets us apart and delivers results.  

Cold Calling is in our DNA 

Doing cold calling for others is actually why I STARTED One of a Kind Sales back in 2011. At that time, I owned a recruiting firm. My team made cold calls all day, every day and was quite comfortable engaging with just about anyone.  

One of my customers at the time had nine salespeople who did everything BUT pick up the phone. Because of this lack of cold calling, they had a weak pipeline and were always struggling to meet their sales goals.  

They engaged us to build them an INSIDE SALES DEPARTMENT. First, we secured and set them up on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to facilitate cold calling. Then we developed scripting and defined the process we would follow from initial contact through multiple touches to qualification and conversion. We created and documented procedures to build, maintain and cycle through prospect lists and trained three inside sales reps to follow and implement the new system. 

This resulted in over THREE HUNDRED qualified appointments set in the FIRST YEAR! This was huge improvement over their previously weak pipeline and significantly impacted (IMPROVED!) their bottom line.  

After completing this project and seeing the need for this type of service, I decided to create One of a Kind SalesClick here to see a short video about our time-proven process, keep an eye out for our next three Appointment Setting Case Studies and give us a CALL TODAY at 908.879.2911 to see how WE can become YOUR inside sales team!

Keep Digging!

This week’s cold calling advice is short and sweet – Keep Digging! 

In 2007 it took 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. In 2013, it took 8 attempts. Now, it takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer! 

Your goal as a sales prospector is to contact a key decision maker and set a qualified appointment. But the main task of anyone doing sales prospecting is to ‘dig’. As the political economist Benjamin Friedman said, “Prospecting is finding the man with the problem”. 

When you make a call but don’t get through to a decision maker, rather than hanging up, persist! Stay on the call and dig til you find the right person. Ask for names, phone numbers, anything that might help you move forward. See if they can transfer you. Try to build on the info you have to move you closer to your goal!  

Keep dialing and if you need help with your messaging, delivery or would like us to do your calling for you, give us a call at 908.879.2911 – we LOVE cold calling! 

Are You WASTING Your Time Cold Calling from OUTDATED Data?

According to a 2019 statistic from a prominent data compilation company, “the average company is losing 12% of its revenue” as a result of poor data, “costing US businesses more than $611 billion each year”. And a 2018 Global Data Management report stated that “US organizations believe that 33% of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some way” which, they also noted, was a 5 % INCREASE over the previous year’s findings! 

How much time and money are YOU and YOUR Cold Calling team wasting by relying on inaccurate, outdated and/or poor-quality data? In our effort to help YOU get the most out of your Cold Calling dials, here are some tips on how to check the data you have and clean up the data you work with. 

Gather your lists 

First, gather your data. If your info is in multiple places, try to consolidate it all into a single database. Your choice of CMS (Client Management Software) is important – use one specially designed for sales prospecting. We recommend VanillaSoft for its CMS functionality and ease of use. (Click HERE to learn more about VanillaSoft) 

WHERE was that data compiled? 

Did you BUY your data? Was it compiled by YOUR people? Was it brought in by a salesperson you know and trust? Be cognizant of the source of your data, using only reliable sources or data which has been ‘cleaned’ by people or services you trust.  

Review the data – what is in there? 

Generally, we can realistically expect that up to 20% of leads may be inaccurate or obsolete but a Data Quality Index study on B2B data quality found that 40% of leads contained BAD data! If you are unsure of the status of YOUR data, there are services such as Salesgenie and others which will add to, clarify, clean up and de-dupe your data for you.   

Data is NOT ‘evergreen’. Assume that data collected over 1 year ago is probably inaccurate. We have our callers check, correct and add to the database on every call so we can trust that it is, and stays, up to date.  

The first month of calls made from a new lead list often results in a major clean-up and a serious PURGE of contacts. But that is OK! The callers are also ADDING info, removing old data and identifying the CORRECT people to contact.  

 Are there HOLES in your data?  

As you review your data, HIGHLIGHT what is missing so you and your people can gather this info the next time they reach out to the prospect. 

But do not OVER do it! We know that people, when prompted for personal info too early in the sales process, tend to provide INVALID data. Wait until the prospect is ‘warm’ and even then, only request the info you really NEED. 

We all seem to think that MORE is BETTER. In this particular case, it probably ISN’T! Stick to getting ACCURATE information. In addition to the basics like first and last name, push for direct dial phone numbers, mobile numbers and critical data such as renewal dates or how long the prospect has been with the current provider. 

After implementing these data scrubbing steps your lists may be a bit smaller but they will be more ACCURATE and that will lead to better conversations, more appropriate targeting and MORE QUALIFIED APPOINTMENTS.  

If you and your team are not setting enough qualified appointments, give US a call at 908.879.2911 or email me at LEADS@OneofaKindSales.com We LOVE Cold Calling and can set qualified appointments for YOU!

How Does Cold Calling Differ Across Industries?

I am often asked if there are different Cold Calling tactics for different Industries. The answer is, yes, we may modify our script slightly to provide industry specific examples or wording but actually, the biggest difference is in how much TIME it takes for the prospects to ‘convert’ to a qualified appointment.  

Cold calling is cold calling no matter what industry you are calling. It is simply a discovery call. Your goal, across industries, is to engage a stranger, whom you have determined to be a decision maker, in meaningful conversation.  

If you are going after SMB’s (small and midsized businesses) you are more likely to reach a decision maker sooner, as a small business owner is just more likely to take a call. 

Typically, the larger the company, the longer it takes to reach that decision maker. When you have to navigate through multiple layers of gatekeepers, it slows the process. 

It may also take a bit longer if the industry is oversaturated, like it is with IT providers, financial advisors, insurance providers and some others. With those, you may also face built up resistance and fatigue which can slow you down. As with all calls, PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are your best tactics!  

This isn’t a ‘one and done’ process 

And remember, no matter which industry you are working in, cold calling is never a ‘one and done’ process. Making the calls is KEY – without those calls, you will never set any appointments – but you must also have a FOLLOW-UP plan in place if you want those appointments to convert to sales. Building RELATIONSHIPS for the LONG TERM requires a process to follow-up with those new prospects. Salespeople that have this ‘long game’ mindset and a plan to follow-up, will succeed. They know that they need to not only make the connection but to NURTURE it. They establish trust and STAY in touch on a regular basis so they stay top of mind.  

It may take a bit longer to reach decision makers in certain industries but across the board, what really matters is that you have the patience and persistence to make, and then nurture, those connections so they convert to appointments and sales! 

Do you need help connecting with decision makers? Assistance with follow-up? Our Call Center in a Box provides you with the training, management and monitoring YOU need to succeed in Cold Calling. Give us a call TODAY at 908.879.2911 to learn more!

Control What You Can in Sales

There are so many factors that you can NOT control in sales:  

  • The mood your prospect will be in when you get them on the phone 
  • Whether someone will even TAKE your call 
  • Whether your Producer will convert your hard-earned lead into a sale 

So, let’s focus on what you CAN control so we can rock YOUR commissions in 2020! 

According to a recent study, only 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quota last year. How did YOU do? If you would like to do better – and even if you CRUSHED it last year, most good salespeople will be looking to do even better this year – here are some tips on how to control what you can in Sales.  

Are you REALLY making all the calls you can? 

If you are supposed to be dialing for 6 hours a day, are you just hitting your appointment setting quota and stopping, or are you really putting in the hours? 

In that same study noted above, 66.7% of the respondents had reached out to fewer than 250 leads. We also know, from other research, that companies with less than 50 new opportunities per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals while those with more opportunities were more likely to hit and exceed their goals. So, more dials = more opportunities. Make sure you are making those calls! 

It gets easier – or at least more rewarding 

Interestingly, that report found that salespeople who spend MORE than 4 hours a day on sales related activities reported HIGHER levels of job satisfaction than those spending less time.  

YOU control how many hours you put in, make the effort and it will pay off! 

Move the ball down the field 

Not every call will lead to a sale but make sure you are doing all you can to move the ball down the field – engage the prospect, gather critical data for future conversations, leave them with the info they need to remember you and your company and ask for a referral.  

Positive Mindset = Positive Outcome 

You never know what kind of day your prospect is having but you CAN control YOUR mindset. And that can make all the difference! Start your day with personal affirmations or inspirational words or video. Stay up to date on sales techniques and follow industry leaders on social media for insights and ideas. Follow us on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter for daily Sales tips and inspiration! 

Master your Script 

It may sound simple but memorizing your script really helps improve your confidence and delivery. And that can translate into higher levels of trust on the part of the prospect, leading to more appointments.  

Master your Rebuttals 

Ditto on your rebuttals. You WILL hit resistance and having rehearsed responses to the complaints you know you will hear will help ensure smooth, confident delivery when jumping those inevitable huddles. 

Stay Unattached to the Outcome 

When you are UNattached to the outcome of a call, you are will sound more relaxed and less salesy – two traits that actually result in MORE sales! This technique also helps YOU gain confidence, another sales booster as this builds the trust of the prospect.  

Don’t fool yourself 

Don’t fool yourself into believing that you have made all the calls you can. Or that you have mastered your script or rebuttals if you haven’t. Be honest with yourself and challenge yourself to do better.  

As we all know, making sales takes some luck – but the harder you work, the luckier you get! 

Good luck and best wishes for a strong 2020! 

Do you and your team need a bit more ‘luck’? Give us a call at 908.879.1322 to learn how we can get you in control and rocking YOUR commission in 2020!