***COLD CALLING 101*** - The "DOOR To DOOR" Kind.

by 73 comments
Cold Calling 101


It seems there is a need for discussion of cold calling on the forum. Some love it and some hate it. Let me say cold calling is like any other form of marketing or pitching of ones services.

No matter your niche or your choice of marketing and pitching your services, most methods work it is simply a matter of doing it right. If you don’t believe me ask the mailer experts on this forum, the telemarketing experts, e-mailers, mobile marketers etc etc.

You will find every field someone is successful, because they have found some of the secrets to make their method work. There are laws that apply with each and once you know them, it will work for you as well.

So, here we are with cold calling. I am going to talk about face to face cold calling, and let others expand it to the phone etc. What I am going to share should be pretty much universal.

I cannot put an entire article on a thread so let’s start with just a few beginner ideas.

1. Plan your area you are going to work. Filling each day with prospects,understanding that a good plan makes all the difference. Do not simply go out without narrowing down your plan of attack. This is a numbers game like any other form of approaching clients. The better plan you have in where precisely you are going the better chances of success.

2. Have a plan on what you are going to say before you walk in. Not just the first sentence. Plan for any type of reaction and where to go from that point. If you know the direction you are going, find ways to stay on the path you are laying before the prospect. This comes through proper questions.

3. Find a way to create rapport within first 2 min. There are methods of doing this. Good solid methods.

4. Assume the sale!

Ok, there is the start now let us who have done this successfully, share with those who need help and build from here.
#offline marketing #101 #calling #cold

  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Well coming from a man who DOES it, I appreciate your post here Mike. I know when you talk about making a daily plan you mean to actually list the "Names" of the businesses you will visit each day, not just writing something like "10", and crossing them off the list.

    I like that because it puts the vision in your head for each visit you make, and creates a level of forthought.

    Writing the names of the actual businesses you will visit each day, instead of just writing a number and knocking haphazardly can really increase your effectiveness and make sure you are using your time wisely "prospecting" and not just "suspecting".

    Theres my two cents for door to door. I know you know what you are talking about and make a hefty living with it... Its good to hear real world experience and not just theory.

    In any event, it works!
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    And here we go again!

    It's my hope that the naysayers find other threads to crab on about how they hate cold calling and how it doesn't work....

    As I understand it, the goal here is not a diatribe on finding other avenues of sales but to discuss methods and techniques.

    Here's one:

    Many years ago I sold the Yellow Pages and we would receive a territory and "walk it" until it was sold to a particular percentage ( I don't remember what the exact number was) but you stayed in that territory until it was reached.

    My goal was to set an appointment on that first call, although on occassion it was a one call close situation.

    I would walk in the place of business empty handed, business card in my pocket and that was it. My personal philosophy was that they would probably think of me as a customer and would come to greet me instead of me having to make the first introduction. It worked most times and it was hard to get the defensive wall up at that point.

    I would let them know that I wouldn't expect they would have a few minutes, seeing as how I dropped in unexpected, but I was on my way to see a business down the street and just stopped in to arrange a better time.

    An interesting thing happened virtually everytime. They would begin telling me why they had no intention of buying an ad in the Yellow Pages. I simply acknowledged their objection, and explained that I wasn't trying to sell them anything, that I only wanted to set a time to spend a few minutes showing them what we might be able to do.

    As if on que, this went on no less than 3 and no more than 6 times before I finally managed to make the appointment.

    Looking at what took place in that "appointment getting" approach I had:

    1. Answered all their initial objections
    2. Qualified them as to if they were a real prospect or not
    3. Found out why they weren't happy with their previous ad
    4. Had a pretty clear understanding of what they hoped a YP ad could acheive

    Now that's a lot of information and ammunition to go back with. The actual "appointment" took far less time than making the appointment. The actual presentation took place in that first meeting but they were so intent on not making the appointment they didn't know they had given me every bit of information I needed to come back with a targeted proposal that did everything they thought they needed.
  • Profile picture of the author amarketing
    Great information, guys.

    Cold calling is something that really appeals to be because it seems like it's something many folks can't, or don't care to, do. That means less competition. Now, I'm thinking about it in the context of telephone calling. Viewed in this light, cold calling also puts something else in your favor: numbers. I've read where John Durham wrote that an experience caller and make 500 dials in a day! Now, I'm not sure if he was talking about manually dialing, or using an auto-dialer, but either way that's a large number!

    Michael, I wonder if you could expound upon point 3 and 4?

    What are some of the ways you can build rapport quickly?

    What do you mean by "assume the sale"?

    Thanks for your information and clarification!
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

    Well coming from a man who DOES it, I appreciate your post here Mike. I know when you talk about making a daily plan you mean to actually list the "Names" of the businesses you will visit each day, not just writing something like "10", and crossing them off the list.

    !
    John yes you are exactly right once again. I did not fill in that blank because I knew I'd end up creating an article filling in all the blanks on a thread . Also I wanted people such as yourself to fill in those blanks. Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Originally Posted by amarketing View Post

    Great information, guys.

    Michael, I wonder if you could expound upon point 3 and 4?

    What are some of the ways you can build rapport quickly?

    What do you mean by "assume the sale"?

    Thanks for your information and clarification!
    Fast rapport, there are many ways but let me mention one. Become proactive. Think of any question statment or objection that may come up from your prospect. Write each on a list and then mastermind the answers with others when you are in the beginning of your pitch bring those issues up first if you bring up first what they are already thinking they begi to relate to you. this is a technique most do not use. That's my short explanation without actually teaching it completely. There are a few other methods I use.

    If you have done your job and created correct rapport that is when you can assume the sale. For example. Do not ask if they would like to buy. Give them three packages to choose from and ask which they would like. BTW three choices is the magic number. More is ok but no less than three. There is a reson for that. After the prospect chooses, write the invoice. Sales assumed when they chose which package. One way to assume the sale...

    I just did these last post on my phone. Forgive any typos please. Hope this helps my friend.
  • Profile picture of the author terip
    Originally Posted by Michael Bucker View Post

    Fast rapport, there are many ways but let me mention one. Become proactive. Think of any question statment or objection that may come up from your prospect. Write each on a list and then mastermind the answers with others when you are in the beginning of your pitch bring those issues up first if you bring up first what they are already thinking they begi to relate to you. this is a technique most do not use. That's my short explanation without actually teaching it completely. There are a few other methods I use.

    If you have done your job and created correct rapport that is when you can assume the sale. For example. Do not ask if they would like to buy. Give them three packages to choose from and ask which they would like. BTW three choices is the magic number. More is ok but no less than three. There is a reson for that. After the prospect chooses, write the invoice. Sales assumed when they chose which package. One way to assume the sale...

    I just did these last post on my phone. Forgive any typos please. Hope this helps my friend.
    This is certainly helpful. In my experience, building rapport, even small ones, can increase the chances of setting an appointment to a great degree. People generally do not like pushy salesmen, even if it is just for setting an appointment. If a call starts out immediately like "are you interested in purchasing?" would immediately end in a "sorry not interested."

    You just have to make sure that you build the right rapport and get the right timing to say it too
  • Profile picture of the author Russel Mogul
    It can be absolute torture but with enough persistence -it eventually pays off.
    I did it once about 5 years ago for the local council, I had an official badge and everything-I got used to getting the door slammed in my face........here's the best part .....I wasn't even selling anything. I found the better I got with reading body language and countering objections -the more research papers I got back. Which was nice since we got paid a flat rate and extra cash ncentives.

    I recently picked up Jordan Belfort straight line persuasion system and well the first module has totally blown me away.
  • Profile picture of the author polishstorm
    Hey Russell, I have heard a little. It of the Jordan Belford thing. Can you pm me a copy or email it to me?

    Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    Jordan Belfort (born July 9, 1962) is an American author, motivational speaker and former white collar criminal who spent 22 months in jail for offences related to stock market manipulation and running a boiler room.[1] In the 1990s, he founded brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont which functioned as a boiler room, and developed a hard-partying lifestyle, which included a serious drug addiction (namely Quaaludes).[2][3] The firm also served as inspiration for the film Boiler Room.[4] As the owner of Stratton Oakmont, he employed over 1000 stockbrokers and was involved in stock issues totalling more than $1 billion, including an equity raising for footwear company Steve Madden Ltd.


    Doesn't mean he didn't understand how to sell!
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    A couple of summers ago, I spent debugging a cold calling script to about 300 business owners in Orange County on foot. The service was SEO.

    I burned through lots of businesses in the beginning, but by midpoint, I was closing 10% overall on a $2500 - $5000 sale plus the continuity program.

    Not great, not bad. But doable.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

    A couple of summers ago, I spent debugging a cold calling script to about 300 business owners in Orange County on foot. The service was SEO.

    I burned through lots of businesses in the beginning, but by midpoint, I was closing 10% overall on a $2500 - $5000 sale plus the continuity program.

    Not great, not bad. But doable.

    My friend 10 percent is actually very accurate and very duable numbers. It is actually close to national averages of sales universally accross the nation. There are techniques to strengthen that number. However. I train all across our nation and have train over 1000 sales people. The top 2 percent in the nation still only close 25 percent of prospects, and they are the very best.

    As for face to face cold calling results, the reason I was not online to respond today is because I was teaching a class that I closed through face to face cold calling. I charged my first time introductory price of $2,000 for the day. It does not take a super salesman to get these kind of results. All you have to do is understand HOW to do it. Anyone can do it!!

    Again doing this on my phone tonight forgive typos please. Hope this helps and encourages some of my fellow warriors.
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Originally Posted by Michael Bucker View Post


    As for face to face cold calling results, the reason I was not online to respond today is because I was teaching a class that I closed through face to face cold calling. I charged my first time introductory price of $2,000 for the day.
    Nice one bud, are you getting them on the long haul contract?
  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    I used to do cold calling & knocking on doors. I'm sure some can do it, but man I still wake up in cold shivers at night from those nightmare days.

    If you're closing at 10% on a cold call, you are a super duper super star.

    Can I hire you?
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Closing "prospects" is not the same as "prospecting". Closing actual "pitches" should be ten percent or higher easily.

    In other words, most people spend their day saying "hi" and not getting past the greeting, as opposed to actually pitching... there is a dial to pitch ratio, and a pitch to close ratio in my book.
  • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
    Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

    Jordan Belfort (born July 9, 1962) is an American author, motivational speaker and former white collar criminal who spent 22 months in jail for offences related to stock market manipulation and running a boiler room.[1] In the 1990s, he founded brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont which functioned as a boiler room, and developed a hard-partying lifestyle, which included a serious drug addiction (namely Quaaludes).[2][3] The firm also served as inspiration for the film Boiler Room.[4] As the owner of Stratton Oakmont, he employed over 1000 stockbrokers and was involved in stock issues totalling more than $1 billion, including an equity raising for footwear company Steve Madden Ltd.




    Doesn't mean he didn't understand how to sell!
    I gotta say, the Jordan Belfort Straight Line Persuasion system is so good. I've not seen anything like it. It's one of the best $2k investments I've ever made. His work on tonality is second to none. We use it mostly for inbound calling and have had spectacular successes with it.

    Marcos
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

    Looking at what took place in that "appointment getting" approach I had:

    1. Answered all their initial objections
    2. Qualified them as to if they were a real prospect or not
    3. Found out why they weren't happy with their previous ad
    4. Had a pretty clear understanding of what they hoped a YP ad could acheive


    Excellent David you always bring good stuff to the table. You can take this and add something that will make it even better which I bet you did over time.

    Here are two techniques I would use to make these steps even more affective.

    1. Put a small recorder in my pocket and record each encounter with each prospect and listen back to myself later. You would be surprised the things you do and do not say. This will allow you to also write down any and all weaknesses, and correct it before approaching the next set of prospects the next day.

    2. If one pays attention they will soon discover that most prospects have the same initial questions, statements or even objections. After each session write down each objection. Hopefully you recorded that session with a pocket recorder.

    You will soon find that you will only need the recorder for a short period of time, or if writing all objections down (you can do this on a pad of paper as if taking notes as soon as they ask the question or objection), you will find soon your list will repeat itself.

    Once this happened, write down your solutions. The next day and nest set of prospects do not wait for them to bring the subjects up first. You will create incredible rapport.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Originally Posted by terip View Post

    This is certainly helpful. In my experience, building rapport, People generally do not like pushy salesmen "sorry not interested."
    Originally Posted by Russel Mogul View Post

    It can be absolute torture but with enough persistence -it eventually pays off.


    Here is where I would like to point out that some may think these to views are different but I would like to point out that they indeed complement one another and work perfectly together.

    You see being pushy will indeed get you a very short conversation and likely hood of no meeting. However, there is a vast difference between being pushy and being persistent or as I like to call it “Professionally Persistent”.

    In order to properly exert professional persistence one must have built proper rapport first. If done correctly you are not only good with being persistent, it is your duty to do so, simply for the fact that you have done it right where others have failed. You owe it to your client to be professionally persistent where those who have no rapport are simply pushy.

    Again this is an art that professionals develop and can only be done with certain other ingredients in the mix such as rapport, pro-activeness, correct questions and expansions.
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Some guy left a printed basic flyer on my door earlier today, and when I found it, I opened it and it said "Quality Painting. We do large and small jobs. Quality work. For A Quote Call Phillip...."

    The first thing I did was think "Do I have any painting jobs around here I need done?" And thought "well if I think of something later I will know who to call now", and I put it in a drawer and further thought...

    "I'll bet if 100 people stopped for a half a second and thought 'Do I need any paint jobs?', that at least a few of them would decided they 'did' and maybe give him a call".

    My next thought was "How can I share this"?

    And I just did!

    My stopping momentarily and asking myself that question, made me realize that alot of others might too...and this guy actually might have a fighting chance to get significant business with his flyers.

    Thats door to door right?

  • Profile picture of the author amarketing
    Michael, thanks a lot for sharing that information for me and everyone else. The 10% you and John were talking about, that's the percentage of people you actually talk to, right? I'm sure that doesn't include the businesses that were closed or where the owner wasn't in or the phone numbers that were disconnected, etc.

    Let me see if I correctly understand the difference between being push and being professionally persistent. Being pushy (I'm referring to phone sales, but this could probably apply to face-to-face as well) is giving a hard-on sales pitch right off the bat and, when the prospect brings up an objection, ignoring the objection (or lightly brushing it off) and continuing with the pitch. However being "professionally persistent" is answering the objections/concerns while viewing them with importance and continuing to bounce off of every objection until they either hang up, or they finally give in and buy. Am I getting the idea right?

    Also, in assuming the sale, you say to present no less than 3 options and ask which one they would like to choose. I was thinking in terms of website design services and calling the person and then, after explaining the site cost and hosting cost, ending with something like "Ok, I'm going to ask you a few questions so we can personalize the site to your business. How would you like your business name to be displayed, 'Johnson Services'?" Does that sound like a good way of assuming the sale while not offering a choice of 3 offers?

    Also, I like your ideas of planning rebuttals ahead of time. However, I'm kind of thinking (now, feel free to correct me on this) that it would be detrimental to bring up the actual rebuttals before the client does. I know you said this is key to creating rapport, but it seems like this may raise a concern the prospect might not even be thinking about. What might be better is to give the solutions to the concern. I.e, instead of bringing up the hosting issue as "I know that (price) sounds high," it would be better to say, "for you hosting payment you get complete maintenance, free updates, domain name renewal, etc." Of course, if you find that a particular objection almost always come up, than it would probably be fine (if not desirable) to bring up the objection itself. What do you think?

    This is a really great thread you have started, thanks for keeping it up to date and answering everyone's questions. When I have a few thousand dollars extra, I'd like to attend one of your seminars. I'm sure that top 2% of sales people you spoke of were probably trained by you! Also, are there any book, or authors you can recommend to become better at selling/phone sales/cold calling?

    Thanks again.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Michael, thanks a lot for sharing that information for me and everyone else. The 10% you and John were talking about, that's the percentage of people you actually talk to, right?


    First fellow warrior let me say thank you for your kind words. You mentioned John and I am glad he jumped on this thread because he is indeed a phone pro where I am a face to face pro. Yes the 10 percent is meant for those you speak to; you also count every time you speak to them until the close. Every conversation counts as an opportunity. The number of “opportunities” verses sold prospects equals you percentage. Thus nationally the average in all types of sales is around 10%-15%. It is one moving scale depending on your profession.


    Let me see if I correctly understand the difference between being push and being professionally persistent

    You are pretty accurate on this one. However I would just add that you are not to laid back that you don’t ask for the sale and the softer approach still has excellent content. The problem with some sales people who take the laid back approach is they get so busy being nice they forget to be professionally persistent. Often one becomes timid. And as Zig once said “Timid salespeople raise skinny kinds”.


    Does that sound like a good way of assuming the sale while not offering a choice of 3 offers?


    Here is where you may want to trust my experience as a trainer/coach. I have trained hundreds of sales people, and the good part about that is I understand that all you need is the reason why I say give 3 choices.
    First let me say this. The assumptive close you are using is good and I like it. Most are not being assumptive at all, that my friend puts you a step ahead regardless. You can also combine both yours and mine if you like.

    Why 3 choices. I have learned that in psychology of how the average human mind works when given choices they are more likely to buy. Here is why. Man by nature is both rebellious and independent. With that in mind think about this, when someone give you once choice and one choice only what does that mean…….. It is saying to most, take it or leave it. Subconsciously, when presented with only one option we hear “take it or leave it”. Mind you, you never said that however it is what is heard.

    When most are told “take it or leave it” what do they do? Most red blooded Americans say, “Ok I will leave it then.”

    Two choices free it up a little but is still sort of cornering a person. Example: I tell my 8 year old son “Aidan you can either do this or that. Those are your two choices. When someone tell you “this or that” it may be a choice but does not feel much like one.

    In the human mind the magic number of freedom is three. You can do this, or you can to this, and if you want you can even do this……. “Oh nice I have a choice!!” the last guy I talked to only gave me one choice. Take it or leave it. So, I left it.

    However, let me say this if you are being assumptive with your one choice it is more powerful than if you one have one choice and you “ask” them if they want it.


    Also, I like your ideas of planning rebuttals ahead of time. However, I'm kind of thinking (now, feel free to correct me on this) that it would be detrimental to bring up the actual rebuttals before the client does

    No my friend it does not put you in a negative position. First you are correct, take the most often used objections and questions and bring those up proactively. As far as bringing up something and making it a concern when it was not before is not a fear. My friend this is probably the most common question I get from unseasoned sales people and a few vets. Most vets know better and here is why.

    The truth is if it was not a concern for them before you brought it up, the likely hood that it will become a concern suddenly is not likely. Because, if it is something that they are concerned about eventually it will come out anyway then you become reactive and have to back pedal.

    If anything they will appreciate that you brought up something they did not think about. Also remember the reason you are not afraid to bring it up is because my friend you already have the answer. The reason you are bringing the possible obstacle up in the first place is because you have it solved to the point that it will not be a problem for your clients, thanks to you!!


    When I have a few thousand dollars extra, I'd like to attend one of your seminars. I'm sure that top 2% of sales people you spoke of were probably trained by you! Also, are there any book, or authors you can recommend to become better at selling/phone sales/cold calling?


    My friend this is not a problem, my seminars do not cost $2000. I actually make $14,000 -$37,000 per seminar I do. However each individual only pay $200 -$350 to attend. The $2,000 I mentioned above was a single day a company paid for me to come into their place of business to help their staff for the day.

    I am releasing a WSO soon that may help you. I will be breaking down things to say to potential clients and why. As not to plug it in this thread let me know if you are interested and I will PM with the title. I will be releasing it, probably by the end of the weekend. Also it is face to face, however most principles will apply universally.

    For phone material I would get as much of Jon articles as I can. I wonÂ’t be releasing anything on phone for while I donÂ’t think. I have some great stuff for phone but nothing like John Durham has. I know when to bow out to a specialist in any one area.

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