Day 1: The Cold Calls Begin

21 replies
This is my first attempt at a business (19 y.o) and I figured it would be a fairly easy entry point into the business world. I am using the "cold call to design a website" method. First off, is this still a viable business idea in 2016?

I first read about this on WF a while ago and finally got everything set up to go about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately I'm still really anxious when it comes to cold calling for some reason. Logically there doesn't seem to be a reason to be nervous but I am. Today I told myself that it has gotta start, so I finally picked up the phone after about 8 hours of prevarication.

I am using Jason Kanigan's "Little Unsure" technique to get past gatekeepers and so far have failed to make it past 1 in about 20 attempts, although this is mostly due to calling at night on a Saturday. However, 30-40% of the gatekeepers I got sounded slightly annoyed after speaking with me.

Does this sound alright?:

"Hi, I am a little unsure who I should be speaking to, maybe you could help me, my name is XX and I am calling from XX, I usually speak to the owner or someone who is in charge of the company website, maybe you could help me get in touch with that person?"

Thanks for any advice!
#begin #calls #cold #day
  • Profile picture of the author Sparkster
    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

    I am using the "cold call to design a website" method. First off, is this still a viable business idea in 2016?
    That depends.

    What are you going to offer the businesses that you call that they haven't already heard from the other 2 guys that called them that day trying to sell them a website?

    It's like the money lender people. They call and ask if I need capital, and every time I wonder why, if I needed money, would I have waited until today instead of getting it from one of the 200+ people who have called me offering money over the years.

    They never have anything to set themselves apart, do you?
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    • Profile picture of the author ovoxomo
      Originally Posted by Sparkster View Post

      That depends.

      What are you going to offer the businesses that you call that they haven't already heard from the other 2 guys that called them that day trying to sell them a website?

      It's like the money lender people. They call and ask if I need capital, and every time I wonder why, if I needed money, would I have waited until today instead of getting it from one of the 200+ people who have called me offering money over the years.

      They never have anything to set themselves apart, do you?

      I can do it better than local designers who are probably charging 1-2K+ for a site, and will mobile optimize it for free, free periodic updates, I'll get it done within 5 days....

      Idk if that cuts it now a days but the quality of sites in my town are pure trash, if someone had any online smarts and wanted a new site that seems like a fairly attractive offering to me
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Is that what I say to say? No.

    You people call at a lousy time, don't use what I say to say, and then complain it doesn't work. What a joke.

    I've even given you recordings of what it sounds like.

    @Sparkster that has nothing to do with it. The big problems are 1: reaching the decision maker and then 2: starting the conversation so that there is a "rest of the call."

    He's not even getting to step 1.

    OP, go back to square one. Call on Monday UNLESS you know for certain that your prospects are available on the weekend.

    I don't know what you sound like, whether you're overacting, but you are definitely adding in things that shouldn't be there. Do you think the gatekeepers might be annoyed because you're trying to do something that's logically impossible at this time?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sparkster
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Is that what I say to say? No.

      You people call at a lousy time, don't use what I say to say, and then complain it doesn't work. What a joke.
      I don't think he is really complaining. He knows it's his fault and came here asking for help.

      @Sparkster that has nothing to do with it.
      Well, no, it has everything to do with it. He asked if cold calling to sell websites is still viable in 2016. In 2016, every business has been cold called ad nauseum by people selling websites. Being able to set yourself apart from the other 10 people who called that week has everything to do with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ovoxomo
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Is that what I say to say? No.

      You people call at a lousy time, don't use what I say to say, and then complain it doesn't work. What a joke.

      I've even given you recordings of what it sounds like.

      @Sparkster that has nothing to do with it. The big problems are 1: reaching the decision maker and then 2: starting the conversation so that there is a "rest of the call."

      He's not even getting to step 1.

      OP, go back to square one. Call on Monday UNLESS you know for certain that your prospects are available on the weekend.

      I don't know what you sound like, whether you're overacting, but you are definitely adding in things that shouldn't be there. Do you think the gatekeepers might be annoyed because you're trying to do something that's logically impossible at this time?
      Not sure where I was complaining in my original post, I simply stated that I didn't make it past any gatekeepers, not "I can't get past any gatekeepers, this is stupid and I'm going to quit, why can't someone do this for me!"....

      I listened to your example audio and essentially followed it word for word adding in my own relevant information, if I remember correctly the example quote I included is more or less the same as what you say to the woman in your example.

      I acknowledged that Saturday night was a rather bad time to call, although I was targeting restaurants, and was not entirely surprised I couldn't get a hold of anyone simply because most were not there at the time. I just wanted to get some calls under my belt so I wouldn't have to feel guilty for not taking action.

      I wanted to use this thread as a log of sorts to track progress and get any additional input, which was what I asked for originally, additional input as to whether my opener looked good enough. I will try again on Monday, and Tuesday, and the day after that until I start getting sales, I am not complaining.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

        Not sure where I was complaining in my original post, I simply stated that I didn't make it past any gatekeepers, not "I can't get past any gatekeepers, this is stupid and I'm going to quit, why can't someone do this for me!"....

        I listened to your example audio and essentially followed it word for word adding in my own relevant information, if I remember correctly the example quote I included is more or less the same as what you say to the woman in your example.

        I acknowledged that Saturday night was a rather bad time to call, although I was targeting restaurants, and was not entirely surprised I couldn't get a hold of anyone simply because most were not there at the time. I just wanted to get some calls under my belt so I wouldn't have to feel guilty for not taking action.

        I wanted to use this thread as a log of sorts to track progress and get any additional input, which was what I asked for originally, additional input as to whether my opener looked good enough. I will try again on Monday, and Tuesday, and the day after that until I start getting sales, I am not complaining.
        Fine, but people read things like what you wrote and say, "Oh, it doesn't work."

        It's not word for word what I say.

        I have many recordings of me using this method and the one from 2014 is to a medical device company that does $100 million in sales. Probably not the example most relevant to your situation.

        But anyway...

        Let's think. You called restaurants on Saturday night.

        That's not really B2B and you called right in the middle of their peak period.

        Plus the GK is a hostess and not a business receptionist. And they probably have no idea who is in charge of the restaurant's website...likely not their shift manager, right? They want to collect To Go orders and table reservations. What you're talking about is in a foreign language to them.

        No wonder you encountered annoyance. Watch this.


        "Hi, I'm not sure who I should speak with; maybe you can help me." PAUSE because they might say Yes and now they're locked in.

        "My name's _______, and I'm looking for the person who's in charge of marketing for the company (restaurant, whatever), but I'm not sure who that would be there." and shut up.

        Uncomfortable pauses (for the other side) are good. Don't speak because you feel the need to say something. Wait for them to rescue you.

        I would target a real B2B niche and go from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    He's not even getting the chance to get that far.

    Yes, if you want to be treated differently you have to act and sound different. But a qualifying conversation has not had the chance to take place here yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Huntington
    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

    This is my first attempt at a business (19 y.o) and I figured it would be a fairly easy entry point into the business world. I am using the "cold call to design a website" method. First off, is this still a viable business idea in 2016?

    I first read about this on WF a while ago and finally got everything set up to go about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately I'm still really anxious when it comes to cold calling for some reason. Logically there doesn't seem to be a reason to be nervous but I am. Today I told myself that it has gotta start, so I finally picked up the phone after about 8 hours of prevarication.

    I am using Jason Kanigan's "Little Unsure" technique to get past gatekeepers and so far have failed to make it past 1 in about 20 attempts, although this is mostly due to calling at night on a Saturday. However, 30-40% of the gatekeepers I got sounded slightly annoyed after speaking with me.

    Does this sound alright?:

    "Hi, I am a little unsure who I should be speaking to, maybe you could help me, my name is XX and I am calling from XX, I usually speak to the owner or someone who is in charge of the company website, maybe you could help me get in touch with that person?"

    Thanks for any advice!
    Pitch a mobile friendly site, because its actually going to be a problem if their website is not mobile friendly according to google
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Will Huntington View Post

      Pitch a mobile friendly site, because its actually going to be a problem if their website is not mobile friendly according to google
      The prospect is not likely to have a clue what "mobile optimized" means.

      Worth asking the question, though.

      Then when they say yes, ask them to define it "OK, tell me what that mean to you." You might discover they have a completely different understanding of the term.

      When they say no, explain in simple terms.

      That could be a differentiating factor for you as the salesperson.

      But outright talking about mobile is not adding value to the prospect or selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I didn't read your post as a whinge, I read it as a call for help...

    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

    I am using Jason Kanigan's "Little Unsure" technique
    Except it come from Ari Galper and probably his predecessors/mentors...

    Given that the date on my copy of Mr Galpers' work is 2002 and he already was well known, how many people you are cold calling will already have heard this line a gazillion times... How would you react if you heard it for the gazillionth time...?

    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

    I will try again on Monday, and Tuesday, and the day after that until I start getting sales
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    If you're really going to test, then you need to try different approaches.

    Have a look at this post. Nine incoming calls and three customers and he didn't have to spend all day chasing people who don't want to talk to you...

    There are many different ways of getting clients. More business is done through personal connections than any other way. So think about how you can easily make some personal connections. Spend more time getting in front of people who have a lot of contacts, and then stay on their radar.
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    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    What I do for a living

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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I didn't read your post as a whinge, I read it as a call for help...


      Except it come from Ari Galper and probably his predecessors/mentors...

      Given that the date on my copy of Mr Galpers' work is 2002 and he already was well known, how many people you are cold calling will already have heard this line a gazillion times... How would you react if you heard it for the gazillionth time...?


      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      If you're really going to test, then you need to try different approaches.

      Have a look at this post. Nine incoming calls and three customers and he didn't have to spend all day chasing people who don't want to talk to you...

      There are many different ways of getting clients. More business is done through personal connections than any other way. So think about how you can easily make some personal connections. Spend more time getting in front of people who have a lot of contacts, and then stay on their radar.
      For someone who craps on phone prospecting, you sure seem to know a lot about it. Except you don't.

      I didn't learn this method from Ari Galper.

      I'm incredibly tired of you coming into threads and shooting your mouth off. It's massively irritating to see your unhelpful comments over and over and over again. So lucky you: you're a success. I'm going to put you on my Ignore list, which is very short.

      Maybe someday you'll stop being a child and will learn that there are several prospecting methods which can be used in parallel. I use JVs. I use inbound marketing. I use phone prospecting. Maybe someday you'll learn how to have some maturity in your level of discussion. Until then, Enough of you. I will no longer accept your childish behaviour.
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        I'm incredibly tired of you coming into threads and shooting your mouth off. It's massively irritating to see your unhelpful comments over and over and over again.
        dear o dear, not having a good day ?
        Signature
        | > Choosing to go off the grid for a while to focus on family, work and life in general. Have a great 2020 < |
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      • Profile picture of the author animal44
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        So lucky you: you're a success. I'm going to put you on my Ignore list, which is very short.
        So you acknowledge I'm a success but you're ignoring me... sounds like a good plan.

        Maybe that's why your company makes less than the average salary of a Retail Store Manager in Wilmington NC...

        OP, If you haven't been scared off by Mr Grumpy and the squabbling I'd like to hear your progress...
        Signature

        People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
        What I do for a living

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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

          I didn't read your post as a whinge, I read it as a call for help...


          Except it come from Ari Galper and probably his predecessors/mentors...

          Given that the date on my copy of Mr Galpers' work is 2002 and he already was well known, how many people you are cold calling will already have heard this line a gazillion times... How would you react if you heard it for the gazillionth time...?
          .
          I get about a dozen cold calls a day (not including recorded calls. I don't think I've ever heard it.


          Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

          So you acknowledge I'm a success but you're ignoring me... sounds like a good plan.

          Maybe that's why your company makes less than the average salary of a Retail Store Manager in Wilmington NC...

          OP, If you haven't been sacred off by Mr Grumpy and the squabbling I'd like to hear your progress...
          I see you went to the Donald Trump School Of Business Etiquette.
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          • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            I get about a dozen cold calls a day (not including recorded calls. I don't think I've ever heard it.

            I see you went to the Donald Trump School Of Business Etiquette.
            Yep....

            I hear...

            ...maybe soon D.T.S.O.B.E might me implemented as a mandatory rote learning program in all US schools.

            One thing I've noticed, although I don't cold call for a living, but I do make several cold calls every week is...

            People cold calling me have a difficult time getting past my gatekeepers because my gatekeepers are acutely aware of the "usual suspects" of topics that most cold callers mention very early on in their call.

            1. Phone services
            2. SEO or Google ranking
            3. Website design
            4. Alternative energy or electricity supplies

            The gatekeepers at my place hear any of those terms or related terms mentioned and the caller quickly gets rejected.

            However...

            When I call someone, even though they may end up buying some of my services, there is no mention of any services I am selling or even thinking of discussing until I'm actually talking to the decision maker.

            When myself or another staff member gets through to a gatekeeper we take an approach that assumes the person we are calling, who is the other side of the gatekeeper, wants to speak to us.

            If we don't get through we leave a clear message and a return phone number which we can be contacted on.

            Most telemarketers cannot or are unwilling to leave a phone number for a prospect to return their call.

            I should add we are native English speakers with a real business calling other native English speaking business owners who ideally match our existing clients.

            Good targeting plays a huge role in responsiveness from the people you call.

            Knowing the prospect's name before calling improves results.

            I take the view that the call is an introduction to your business and people draw conclusions from those first impressions.

            I might get rocks hurled at me by the long term cold callers who just believe in results come from calling higher numbers but my approach is always one of "creating a good first impression" and building a reputation.

            Might be different for the person who is entirely dependant on that one call to earn their living but my business has always played the long game and tries to avoid sounding desperate.

            I would spend more time making sure I knew who I was calling before trying the unsure route.

            We do call institutions where sometimes we mention to the receptionist that we used to do business with a particular department some years ago and we had lost contact but these are also usually genuine customer reactivation calls where we have names of people we did business with in the past, so maybe more warm than cold.

            Best regards,

            Ozi
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          • Profile picture of the author animal44
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            I see you went to the Donald Trump School Of Business Etiquette.
            Are you going to nominate me for president then...?

            One thing about Trump, well two actually,
            1, He's a billionaire
            2. He wiped the floor for the republican nomination.

            Personally, I hope he doesn't become president, but it won't surprise me if he does...

            Now, I must go off and find one of my other accounts and thank myself...
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            People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
            What I do for a living

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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
              Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

              Now, I must go off and find one of my other accounts and thank myself...
              Won't be the first time.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        For someone who craps on phone prospecting, you sure seem to know a lot about it. Except you don't.

        I didn't learn this method from Ari Galper.

        I'm incredibly tired of you coming into threads and shooting your mouth off. It's massively irritating to see your unhelpful comments over and over and over again. So lucky you: you're a success. I'm going to put you on my Ignore list, which is very short.

        Maybe someday you'll stop being a child and will learn that there are several prospecting methods which can be used in parallel. I use JVs. I use inbound marketing. I use phone prospecting. Maybe someday you'll learn how to have some maturity in your level of discussion. Until then, Enough of you. I will no longer accept your childish behaviour.
        Jason,
        As you can see, he has multiple accounts here.

        He's been around for some time, always with the same "personality disorder"
        concerning cold calling.

        If "whining" was a religion, this guy would be its John the Baptist.

        Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Once upon a time, I cold called on restaurants. I did it between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, got to speak to a manager or owner 1 in 3 calls or so.

    I started with Is this a bad time to talk? It was not for about 90%. One in 60 or so was rude, the others were indifferent or friendly and a few were interested.

    I think the main reason I did better than you is because I called right after the lunch rush and before the evening rush. For some, I knew the name of the person I wanted to speak to. For others, I just asked who was in charge of marketing.

    I don't think asking for the person in charge of website is going to be useful... At best, they'll give you the webmaster who's going to figure he/she's got something to lose from talking to you.

    Ask for the owner or the manager, if it's a large outfit.

    By the way, I'm going to bet that between 20-50% of the people you talked to were the owner pretending to be their own gatekeeper. (I do that to.) They heard what they needed to hear and sent you packing.

    So, change the time you call and, perhaps, the delivery of whatever you're saying.

    By the way, spend the money to form a corporation. Then call as the owner of that corporation. It will help you with feeling in a position of power... and that will show in your voice.

    I'll make that part extra clear: I don't call as a telemarketer. I call as the owner of a company to talk to the owner of a company about something I think will help them... because it's helped others like them and I know it.

    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post

    This is my first attempt at a business (19 y.o) and I figured it would be a fairly easy entry point into the business world. I am using the "cold call to design a website" method. First off, is this still a viable business idea in 2016?

    I first read about this on WF a while ago and finally got everything set up to go about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately I'm still really anxious when it comes to cold calling for some reason. Logically there doesn't seem to be a reason to be nervous but I am. Today I told myself that it has gotta start, so I finally picked up the phone after about 8 hours of prevarication.

    I am using Jason Kanigan's "Little Unsure" technique to get past gatekeepers and so far have failed to make it past 1 in about 20 attempts, although this is mostly due to calling at night on a Saturday. However, 30-40% of the gatekeepers I got sounded slightly annoyed after speaking with me.

    Does this sound alright?:

    "Hi, I am a little unsure who I should be speaking to, maybe you could help me, my name is XX and I am calling from XX, I usually speak to the owner or someone who is in charge of the company website, maybe you could help me get in touch with that person?"

    Thanks for any advice!
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  • Profile picture of the author bmminc
    To me it just sounds like you are being too long winded about it and trigger the person you are talking to into defense mode.

    I have a near 100% success rate just calling up and without even introducing myself just asking "Hey, I was trying to get ahold of the person in charge of the website."

    Now it depends on what type of business you are calling if you should ask for the person in charge of the website, or the owner. If they clearly have paid someone to work on their site before you will probably just get redirected to your competition.

    And a lot of the time for smaller businesses you will already be talking to the owner when they first pick up the phone.

    If they ask why or anything then just tell them. Don't act unsure, act confident. Don't waste their time and they won't waste yours.

    Hell half the time you can find out who the owner is by searching around and you can just call up and ask for them by name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Originally Posted by ovoxomo View Post


    I am using Jason Kanigan's "Little Unsure" technique to get past gatekeepers and so far have failed to make it past 1 in about 20 attempts, although this is mostly due to calling at night on a Saturday. However, 30-40% of the gatekeepers I got sounded slightly annoyed after speaking with me.

    Does this sound alright?:

    "Hi, I am a little unsure who I should be speaking to, maybe you could help me, my name is XX and I am calling from XX, I usually speak to the owner or someone who is in charge of the company website, maybe you could help me get in touch with that person?"

    Thanks for any advice!
    That is the WORST opening for a cold call ever.
    I've done telemarketing.
    That is crap on a stick. lol.

    Try this:
    "Hello, I saw your ad in ______ and I'd like to speak to the owner please. I'd like to give him some feedback on it."

    BLAM!.

    This of course presumes you are calling form Manta, or GOogle Places, or Yellow pages or wherever you are getting leads from...
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