The articles that say cold calling is dead, I loathe. For it is not. In fact, I argue, it is quite alive and better than emailing. Let me tell you why.
When cold calling, you have the opportunity to overcome objections. In email, not so much. It’s too easy for your prospect to ignore your solicitations via email than it is when they’re speaking to a living being on the other end of the phone. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t go back and forth over email, but chances are they’ll just ignore your second email that is attempting to overcome their objection of why they are not interested, or don’t have time, or can’t meet, or whatever. You’re done.
Cold calling a prospect, on the other hand, usually offers you three chances to “close” them on something. Whether it is a call, in person meeting, whatever. I say “three chances,” because typically after 3 attempts you’ll want to move on anyways.
In a subsequent post, I’ll offer you my, near 100%, fail proof formula for getting a meeting while cold calling, but for now, I want to offer you 4 rules to live by when hitting the phones.
1. Don’t rush into your pitch. You’ll get hung up on. Be normal, relaxed, and casual. More on this later, but say something like this, “Hi Prospect, this is Tristan from Base, how are you?” And then pause and let them speak! (I’ll get into it more on what to say afterwards in my next post.)
2. Don’t talk about your f-ing product. They don’t care at this point. Your onlyobjective is to get a meeting so you can have their undivided attention for ONE hour. Yeah, you might have to give them the one-liner elevator pitch, but keep it high level.
3. Assume the right posture. I’m not talking about staring into a mirror, wearing a suit, or standing up –although these things might work well for some people. What I’m talking about, is coming ready to play. Get your game face on. Think of yourself as a defensive lineman assuming a three-point stance ready to fire off the line. Sit at the edge of your chair, back straight, slightly leaning forward from the hips in an open position. It shows that you are ready and it’ll come across in your voice.
4. Close three times. Ask for the meeting, then ask for lunch, then ask them to meet you in the lobby and at least put a face to the name. I’ve been doing this for years, and only once has someone ever really just met me in the lobby. It always usually turns into an hour-long meeting. Trust me. If after 3 attempts, you still come up empty handed, then ask them if it’s Ok if you check back in in 3 months. They’ll say that’s fine, and the next time you call, 3 months from now, you’ll get a meeting.