I, like almost all Americans, knew of Larry King. I knew his name and that he interviewed people. I knew he wore suspenders. But I had not really listened to him or watched his shows.
Since his death last month, I have read a number of interesting articles about him and I realize that I should have been following him more closely as there is a lot to learn about Cold Calling by studying Larry King’s interview style.
What Can Larry King’s Interview Style Teach Us About Cold Calling?
In this interview, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/larry-king-interviewing-tips.php from a podcast episode of “The Turnaround” with Jesse Thorn from July of 2017, Larry King talked about being an interviewer and indirectly gave us all some excellent Cold Calling advice.
These 5 points jumped out as useful tips:
- Keep questions simpleIn his case, he did this to draw people out and to let the interviewee shine. As a Cold Caller, this is not the time to show off, it is your time to ask simple but pointed questions.
- Stay curiousKing enjoyed talking to people who were experts in areas he was unfamiliar with. When you are curious is it easier to stay engaged.
- “The key of interviewing is listening”He listened and engaged with his guests. Listening is key to Cold Calling success as well.
Click here to read more about Active Listening.
- “The less I know (about the guest), the better.”Larry King would do two–hour interviews with people without knowing who they were in advance. I guess that helped him stay curious.
When we teach people how to use our Conversational Selling technique, we don’t have them spend a lot of time researching the prospects before the Cold Call. There is plenty of time to do that if/ when they become a real lead.
- “No one’s ever done the perfect interview.”This is true for Cold Calling as well. Obsessing over getting it ‘perfect’ will keep you from dialing, engaging and successfully setting qualified appointments. Pick up the phone and get dialing!
But this is where the similarities end.
King didn’t believe in having a long list of prepared questions. He talked about how this allowed him to focus on the answer the person was giving to the current question, without worrying about how he would get to the next question. He relied on his experience, skill and wit to carry him through and come up with what to ask next.
When Cold Calling, I strongly believe that having a script, with your questions as well as some basic information, is vital to achieving success.
I totally agree that you need to listen to what is being said, rather than focus on your next question. Having a script provides you with the structure to stay on task and on message. It will help you address the objections you will likely face and save you time by helping you quickly and effectively identify who is, and who is not, a good prospect.
Larry King also felt that you didn’t need an agenda. Clearly, that worked for him – he had a 60+ year career – but he was talking to people who were paid to spend time with him. As Cold Callers, we don’t have that luxury. We need to tightly plan our calls to get the most out of the (often short) time we have. Scripts provide that ‘agenda’.
So, while Larry King may not have made a great Cold Caller, his interview style and expertise leaves us plenty to admire and learn from!
R.I.P. Mr King
If YOU are struggling with Cold Calling and need help crafting a script to keep YOU on message, give me a call at 908-879-2911 – I may not have 60+ years under my belt yet but I am a Cold Calling PRO. We can help you with scripting, training and provide the real–life practice you need to get you and your team up to speed!