The reason you HATE COLD CALLING is because you're lousy at it... Here's how to change that TODAY!

by Warrior Ben 144 replies
Hi Fellow Warriors,

I often come across posts where people are either A) looking for easy ways to get new business or B) complaining about how much they hate cold calling. These posts have always confused me because while cold calling may be intimidating or disliked by some (well, most!), it is still the most effective way to get new business. It is more effective than e-mail, direct mail, SEO, or any other passive ways people use to try to get new clients.

Quite frankly, the reason people hate cold calling so much is because they are lousy at it. The reason people are lousy at it is because they just flat out do it wrong. Most people just call up a business and hope to sell them over the phone on the spot. When they don't get the sale, they get discouraged, give up, and get in the mindset that cold calling doesn't work and/or they'll never be good at it.

Here is the correct way to cold call: Make the whole purpose of the call to get an appointment to meet with the business owner or decision maker. This appointment can be in person or remotely via GoToMeeting (or something similar), but make the whole purpose of your call TO SET AN APPOINTMENT. That's it. Nothing else. Don't try to sell your lead on anything except to meet with you.

You'll find that not only does your tone change when you make calls, but so does the tone of the person you are calling (both for the better!) It's important to remember that when cold calling and going for the Appointment Close, get straight to the point. Your call should never last more than a minute, unless the prospect starts asking you lots of questions (which is a good thing!).

Here is a specific script you should use to when you get your lead on the phone: "Hi, my name is Ben and I own a local marketing company that helps small businesses increase their online presence and in turn increase their revenues. The reason I'm calling specifically today is to set up an appointment to show you how I can help grow your business with our online strategies. How does tomorrow at 2pm work for you?"

This should be the meat of your call-- nothing more. Nobody is going to immediately buy something from somebody who just calls them up and tries to sell to them over the phone.

By stating that you are calling specifically to set up an appointment it will take the pressure off the owner that you are trying to sell them something right then and there.

By proposing a specific time to meet with the owner, it puts the ball in their court to respond to meeting with you. You have assumed that the business owner wants to meet with you and you either get them to say "Yes" and you've got your meeting, or you get them to say "No" to that specific time, but not "No" to meeting with you in general. This is a HUGE distinction that will improve your cold calling success rate by a factor of 10.

You will actually be surprised how many owners will say yes to the time you propose or propose a different time themselves. By utilizing this technique, you will not only find that business owners respond to you more positively, but you come across as more positive and confident because you have a specific plan of action when calling.

I can't stress enough how important it is to go for the appointment close within the first 20 seconds of calling. This will save both you and and the business owner plenty of time, which benefits both of you. When it comes time to meeting with the owner, they will now be a "warm" lead and be much more in the mindset to buy from you.

Remember, everybody likes to buy things, but nobody likes to be sold to. By tweaking your cold calling to this format, you will greatly increase your effectiveness and will start to find cold calling to be more fun. When you are successful at cold calling, you will enjoy it more and you will want to do it more because you will be seeing actual results.


Warrior Challenge!!

Here is my challenge to you-- take what you have learned above and implement it TODAY! Don't wait until tomorrow, TAKE ACTION TODAY!
  1. Go create a list of 20 businesses to try this out on. Make sure the businesses you pick are ones that are no big deal if you don't get the business (don't immediately try to get that big fish you've wanted to get for a long time, you need to practice first!).
  2. Call up those 20 businesses and use a variation of the script I provided above. Remember to use the exact phrase, "The reason I'm calling you specifically today is to set up an appointment..." and "How does [give a specific date & time] work for you?"
  3. Keep track of how many businesses owners you actually get a hold of. You will probably get 6 out of 20. Of those 6 owners, 4 will set an appointment with you. Of those 4 you meet with, one or two will buy from you. These are the numbers that I see for myself and it allows me to consistently make a sale every single day.
  4. Report back on this thread as to how this worked for you. If you fully follow this cold calling advice you will see a huge difference in how people respond to you when calling.
So go on, my fellow Warriors... take action on this today and report back your results! You will find that cold calling is not so bad once you actually get good at it!

-Ben


#offline marketing #calling #change #cold #cold calling #hate #lousy #marketing #offline #offline marketing #reason #today
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  • Profile picture of the author naruq
    Cold Calling does work, however there are more efficient strategies you can use to get in contact with the decision maker. You can send the decision maker a direct Mail letter first then follow up with a call.
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    • Profile picture of the author RRG
      Originally Posted by naruq View Post

      Cold Calling does work, however there are more efficient strategies you can use to get in contact with the decision maker. You can send the decision maker a direct Mail letter first then follow up with a call.
      Yep. And to add to that, you say in your letter, "I will call you Thursday morning. But you don't have to wait. You can reach directly at 555-1212."

      Then, call on Thursday. Great initial burst of credibility, actually doing what you say you will!
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      • Profile picture of the author Vrs
        Originally Posted by naruq View Post

        Cold Calling does work, however there are more efficient strategies you can use to get in contact with the decision maker. You can send the decision maker a direct Mail letter first then follow up with a call.
        Originally Posted by RRG View Post

        Yep. And to add to that, you say in your letter, "I will call you Thursday morning. But you don't have to wait. You can reach directly at 555-1212."

        Then, call on Thursday. Great initial burst of credibility, actually doing what you say you will!
        The only real difference between what Warrior Ben has said and what you guys are saying is the salespersons psychological state. In all 3 of your scenarios you're still picking up the phone to call a prospect - the only difference is when. Before or after a mailing.

        I've spent years cold calling - and I've done it both ways. Sending a letter first may make you feel better psychologically, but truth be told 80% of those letters either don't get read or they wind up in the trash anyway. The vast majority of the appointments set were still because of the phone call (or personal visit) you made. If that wasn't true they would've been calling you. And how often does that happen?

        (I know there are a rare few salespeople out there with outstanding approaches who will point out they DO have merchants calling them ... but even they have to admit they're accomplishing something which is outside the norm)
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by naruq View Post

      Cold Calling does work, however there are more efficient strategies you can use to get in contact with the decision maker. You can send the decision maker a direct Mail letter first then follow up with a call.
      In theory that is a good idea, but in reality I think it just slows down your cold calling process and gives you an excuse not to call right away. Regardless of whether you send something ahead of time or not, you will still need to get the decision maker on the phone and while it may help to start out with, "I'm following up on what I mailed you earlier this week..." you will still have the same problems if you go for the sale on the call and not go for the appointment. Plus, it makes cold calling somewhat spendy. If you have to spend $10 on direct mail pieces for every 20 people you call, you will spend hundreds of dollars every month. I'm not convinced that you get an ROI for the time and money it costs to mail a marketing piece ahead of time.

      I've found that every morning it usually takes 3 or 4 calls to get into the routine, but once I get past the first few, I get into the zone. Once I realized the trick of going for the Appointment Close rather than the Sales Close on the first call, my success rate shot through the roof. If it sounds too simple to be true-- it's because it IS so simple and obvious once you've seen it work.

      -Ben
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        Some years back I was reading/listening to a tape (tape! must have been YEARS ago) from either Tom Hopkins or Zig Ziglar. They claimed that they did an experiment where they took two groups of sales people....they told both groups that they had mailed letters to all the people on their list in advance, and to be sure to reference the mail piece by saying something about the letter they received.

        Of course, the reality was that they mailed letters to only one list of prospects. The results of both groups were identical. Like all the anecdotes in sales books and CD's I always have to question the veracity, although I realize it's important to use this type of device to make a point. However, I challenge any of you reading this to remember a single piece of mail you may have received in the past week.

        If you doubt me about this, you find a lot more information in the letter I sent you last week.
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    • Profile picture of the author blackbelt
      Another great post. When I was cold calling I trained 9 other people to do what I was doing. Actually we walked into the business and asked for the decision maker when we met him or her my first question was. " Mr. Smith your not totally against making money are you?" Then If I was referred to him I would drop a name and say your friend Bob told me to see you before I see anyone else today. Referrals are gold. I we closed 7 out of 10. Great post thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Vraibel
    Cool tip Warrior Ben. What sort of strategy do you have at the meeting? Do you bust out the laptop and show a presentation or just a quick pitch that you prefer?
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by B and B View Post

      Cool tip Warrior Ben. What sort of strategy do you have at the meeting? Do you bust out the laptop and show a presentation or just a quick pitch that you prefer?
      Thanks B and B!

      As for the actual presentation, it really varies on what I'm selling. When I am doing a presentation for Mobile Websites with a QR Code, I have a sales binder that I bring with me that has actual examples of work I've done, a page of QR Codes to scan that link to existing client mobile sites I've made, and a take-away to give if they ask me for it. (Although more times than not I close the deal on the first meeting, so I don't give the take-away to them.) I start out my mobile marketing presentation by asking questions to find out what the prospect knows about mobile already and then tailor how I go forward with what they've said. I will usually find something that the prospect latches onto and then I will make that a central theme because I know that is their "hot button".

      As for when I make SMS/Text Messaging presentations, I have a PowerPoint that I show them and I do bring in my laptop computer to show the presentation. While my computer is booting up, I usually start with a little "small talk", or what seems like small talk to the prospect, but really I am asking qualifying questions. Then I'm able to tailor what I say to what they seem to find the best use of the service to be for their business.

      If I am doing an online presentation (which I do for offering Reputation Management services), I just have a PowerPoint that I make full screen and then share my screen on GoToMeeting.

      The biggest thing with the presentation is to ask lots of questions. Really get your prospect talking. If you sit and talk at him or her, they will lose interest really quickly, but if you get them talking (and all business owners LOVE to talk!) you can almost get them to sell themselves on your product or service.

      I hope this helps answer your question!

      -Ben
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
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        Something that has worked for me is;

        Phone small businesses AFTER hours and leave this message;

        "Hi Folks! I noticed you have a Website..... HOWEVER....it can't be seen on the Small Screen of a Mobile Phone. I've created a Sample, "Mobile" version of your website and I'd like to show it to you.

        Call me tomorrow morn and let me know what time I can stop by and show it to you.

        Thank you,
        Don Alm....555-1234 x 123"

        This is known as...."Curiosity Kills The Cat!" They MUST SEE what you've created. And....I do NOT answer those that phone back. I ONLY phone those who are REALLY CURIOUS....curious enough to phone and leave a TIME. They...are serious about seeing what I've created for them.

        And....on those that phone back with a time.....I THEN....make up a Sample Mobile Site for them.

        Again....I don't phone big Corps....just small mom & pops in a certain Niche.

        Don Alm
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        • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
          Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

          Something that has worked for me is;

          Phone small businesses AFTER hours and leave this message;

          "Hi Folks! I noticed you have a Website..... HOWEVER....it can't be seen on the Small Screen of a Mobile Phone. I've created a Sample, "Mobile" version of your website and I'd like to show it to you.

          Call me tomorrow morn and let me know what time I can stop by and show it to you.

          Thank you,
          Don Alm....555-1234 x 123"

          This is known as...."Curiosity Kills The Cat!" They MUST SEE what you've created. And....I do NOT answer those that phone back. I ONLY phone those who are REALLY CURIOUS....curious enough to phone and leave a TIME. They...are serious about seeing what I've created for them.

          And....on those that phone back with a time.....I THEN....make up a Sample Mobile Site for them.

          Again....I don't phone big Corps....just small mom & pops in a certain Niche.

          Don Alm
          Is your response rate really good with this? This sounds like an easy sell considering the fact that ppl already know why they're calling, and are obviously interested since they're leaving messages, you don't really have to sell them at all, just basically show them their site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    @Warrior Ben ~ Thanks for the in-depth information and responses you have shared with the forum. You're quickly becoming one of the strongest contributors on here. When you post, I'm reading.

    @Don ~ great idea, I like it. Firing off a hundred voicemails some evening as an experiment would only take about an hour at most with a list in hand. Maybe that's too many the right out of the gate. The response could be too good! Better to start with 30 or 40 on the first try.

    Folks, practice the script with maximum enthusiasm as many times as necessary until it feels right and then go kill it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Brendel
    This thread has "Sticky" written all over it! We should nurture it into an awesome thread full of phone scripts.

    Here's a script that works wonders if you know the business owners name going in as well:


    ****ring ring****

    Them: Bob's shack of widgets, this is Sharon

    You: Hey Sharon, it's Tim over Blue Mouse Marketing. How's the day going?

    Them: Good

    You: Great! <--- (Like you mean it, sincerely) is Joe around? (replace Joe with owners name)

    Them: Yes, hold on please

    Joe: Yea, this is Joe speaking

    You: Hey Joe, this is Tim over at Blue Mouse Marketing. How's the day going?

    Joe: Pretty good, and you?

    You: Great! Look, the reason for the call .......
    It is key to speak naturally and NOT like you are reading a script or pitch. Do not pause in between your lines and questions. Stay sharp and LISTEN to the person on the other end of the phone. Also stay loose and smile the whole time like you are really talking to a friend.

    Do Not Try To Sell Over The Phone! Just as Ben said in the OP, your ONLY goal is to schedule a meeting to discuss your services with the owner / decision maker. If you can do that simple little task, then your close rates will go up and up!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jimian
      Originally Posted by Tim Brendel View Post

      This thread has "Sticky" written all over it! We should nurture it into an awesome thread full of phone scripts.
      Here's a live one about getting the appointment...





      There's variations on doing it...


      Jimian
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    • Profile picture of the author Web Writer
      Stay sharp and stay loose... excellent advice for cold calling. I'm not a lover of cold calling (because I'm lousy at it ), but it always goes better when I smile, when I listen and when I have a specific goal rather than a specific script.

      I would add that's it's important to remember that nothing that happens on the call is personal. Usually when people get discouraged it's because they're taking rejections personally. Remove that emotional component and it's much easier to keep going... and to keep smiling.
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  • Profile picture of the author gbvehiclehire
    Cold calling differs in many businesses. There can be many presentations on it. It depends on your skills & knowledge as well. I liked this forum information.
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  • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
    Great startingpoint for cold calling.

    Its true, you have to adjust cold calling for your ability to tackle fear and handle unexpected directions for the call. Its takes time and skill to be a master of the phone.

    Start up your cold calling skills, by calling ten differeetn business owners a day, with a proven script to get an appoitnment or to make them a free website analysis. Send the analysis two days in before your second call - and now you have a presenation or a product to give to your lead. This second call makes it a warm call, and not a cold call.

    If you are an unexperienced cold caller, do not ever try closing in first call, close in the second call - just by asking....... WHEN DO YOU WANT TO START RANKING YOUR PAGE FOR THE TERM I´M THE BEST SEO CONSULTANT....

    Practices makes perfect + study the phonemasters in this forum. There are at least 10 different black belt cold callers in here.

    Good luck,

    LASSE
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnseward
    Warrior Ben this is a great thread topic. This is going to be a huge help for my business partner and I to start getting clients. It is very difficult to get a script that works and it is reassuring to hear what everyone has to say that has had some good and bad experiences with cold calling. Its trial and error but once you get a script that works it can be as good as gold.

    Thanks Again!
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  • Profile picture of the author jgsketch
    Great stuff. Cold calling for a appointment is not that bad for me. My problem is being a blubbering idiot during my presentation. While I know my stuff, I tend to not convey the information in an easy manner. My closings suck.

    Would be great to actually listen to someone closing at an appointment. Anyone have any sample recordings of this? That would be pure gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaynycla
    Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

    Hi Fellow Warriors,

    I often come across posts where people are either A) looking for easy ways to get new business or B) complaining about how much they hate cold calling. These posts have always confused me because while cold calling may be intimidating or disliked by some (well, most!), it is still the most effective way to get new business. It is more effective than e-mail, direct mail, SEO, or any other passive ways people use to try to get new clients.

    Quite frankly, the reason people hate cold calling so much is because they are lousy at it. The reason people are lousy at it is because they just flat out do it wrong. Most people just call up a business and hope to sell them over the phone on the spot. When they don't get the sale, they get discouraged, give up, and get in the mindset that cold calling doesn't work and/or they'll never be good at it.

    Here is the correct way to cold call: Make the whole purpose of the call to get an appointment to meet with the business owner or decision maker. This appointment can be in person or remotely via GoToMeeting (or something similar), but make the whole purpose of your call TO SET AN APPOINTMENT. That's it. Nothing else. Don't try to sell your lead on anything except to meet with you.

    You'll find that not only does your tone change when you make calls, but so does the tone of the person you are calling (both for the better!) It's important to remember that when cold calling and going for the Appointment Close, get straight to the point. Your call should never last more than a minute, unless the prospect starts asking you lots of questions (which is a good thing!).

    Here is a specific script you should use to when you get your lead on the phone: "Hi, my name is Ben and I own a local marketing company that helps small businesses increase their online presence and in turn increase their revenues. The reason I'm calling specifically today is to set up an appointment to show you how I can help grow your business with our online strategies. How does tomorrow at 2pm work for you?"

    This should be the meat of your call-- nothing more. Nobody is going to immediately buy something from somebody who just calls them up and tries to sell to them over the phone.

    By stating that you are calling specifically to set up an appointment it will take the pressure off the owner that you are trying to sell them something right then and there.

    By proposing a specific time to meet with the owner, it puts the ball in their court to respond to meeting with you. You have assumed that the business owner wants to meet with you and you either get them to say "Yes" and you've got your meeting, or you get them to say "No" to that specific time, but not "No" to meeting with you in general. This is a HUGE distinction that will improve your cold calling success rate by a factor of 10.

    You will actually be surprised how many owners will say yes to the time you propose or propose a different time themselves. By utilizing this technique, you will not only find that business owners respond to you more positively, but you come across as more positive and confident because you have a specific plan of action when calling.

    I can't stress enough how important it is to go for the appointment close within the first 20 seconds of calling. This will save both you and and the business owner plenty of time, which benefits both of you. When it comes time to meeting with the owner, they will now be a "warm" lead and be much more in the mindset to buy from you.

    Remember, everybody likes to buy things, but nobody likes to be sold to. By tweaking your cold calling to this format, you will greatly increase your effectiveness and will start to find cold calling to be more fun. When you are successful at cold calling, you will enjoy it more and you will want to do it more because you will be seeing actual results.


    Warrior Challenge!!

    Here is my challenge to you-- take what you have learned above and implement it TODAY! Don't wait until tomorrow, TAKE ACTION TODAY!
    1. Go create a list of 20 businesses to try this out on. Make sure the businesses you pick are ones that are no big deal if you don't get the business (don't immediately try to get that big fish you've wanted to get for a long time, you need to practice first!).
    2. Call up those 20 businesses and use a variation of the script I provided above. Remember to use the exact phrase, "The reason I'm calling you specifically today is to set up an appointment..." and "How does [give a specific date & time] work for you?"
    3. Keep track of how many businesses owners you actually get a hold of. You will probably get 6 out of 20. Of those 6 owners, 4 will set an appointment with you. Of those 4 you meet with, one or two will buy from you. These are the numbers that I see for myself and it allows me to consistently make a sale every single day.
    4. Report back on this thread as to how this worked for you. If you fully follow this cold calling advice you will see a huge difference in how people respond to you when calling.
    So go on, my fellow Warriors... take action on this today and report back your results! You will find that cold calling is not so bad once you actually get good at it!

    -Ben

    P.S. If you find this post helpful, please hit "THANKS" below. Also feel free to rate the thread as 5-star Excellent on the Rate Thread tab at the top of this post! Thanks everyone!!

    Cold calling can be effective but lets talk about efficiency.
    If I am selling a product or service why wouldn't I just do PPC instead..of cold calling.

    You can easily setup a lead form on your website for parties interested in your product or service.

    With ppc you're narrowing down your advertising reach to a target market that would most likely be interested in your product or service thus increasing your conversion rates and reduing the time, effort and frustration that you will spend acquiring leads.

    Time = Money.

    Cold calling does work but imo its not 1971..take advantage of technology !!
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Some very good advice has been added to this thread!

    Tim, I really like your script! Knowing the business owners name and acting like they are expecting your call is a great way to get them on the phone. No employee wants to be seen as holding up somebody that is calling for their boss! The only slight tweak I would change is not asking how their day is going. It's just a personal preference for me, but I think it comes off as insincere sometime. However, if it is something you are comfortable with, keep doing it because your overall tone is much more important than one question!

    Mark NYC, PPC is a good lead driver in theory, unfortunately in reality I've found it to be a waste of money, time, and just doesn't produce results. The thing with PPC is that people already have to be searching for something-- which eliminates a huge chunk of the market. In theory they would close at a higher rate, but I've found that a lot of business owners don't even KNOW that they want your service until you explain the it to them and how it can benefit their business. Especially if you are marketing your services to local businesses, the click-through rates for local keywords are so small. Even if you get them to your page, then you have attrition of people filling out the opt-in. And even AFTER you've done all that work, you still need to call them and talk to them on the phone anyway. Might as well just cut out the cost and time of sending up a landing page and PPC campaign and just call businesses directly. It is much more efficient.

    I've heard people say many times that cold calling is outdated and is a relic of the past, but the reality is that it's still the single most effective way to get business and any business who is in any from of sales, still does it to this day. Don't get me wrong, it's great to take advantage of technology, but there is plenty of auto-dialer technology and CRM systems that I think are a better use of money than running PPC campaigns.

    Just my 2 cents... the most important thing is to figure out a plan and then execute on it.

    -Ben
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    • Profile picture of the author riseplaces
      Just want to chime in with a quick tip that works great.
      When you get the decision maker on the phone it doesn't hurt to say "Am I Interrupting Anything Important?" Notice I didn't say "Are You Busy?" The person could be eating lunch and say he's busy (he's busy eating lunch.) But the first phrase works every time it shows courtesy, it's never not worked for me. Also really quick here's a proven way to get passed call screeners:
      1. Q: Good morning may I speak with Bob (the owner) please?
      A: Who's calling?
      2. Q: This is David with Modern Marketing, IS HE THERE PLEASE? (I've just asked twice)
      A: What's this in regard to?
      3. Q: It's regarding a marketing discussion, COULD YOU PLEASE TELL BOB I'M ON THE PHONE PLEASE? (Just asked a 3rd time.)
      In this scenario you answer their question politely and immediately follow your answer with another request to be put through to the owner. Works all the time!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matty40
    Ben if your available on skype id love to pick your brain.
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by Matty40 View Post

      Ben if your available on skype id love to pick your brain.
      Matty, I have actually received quite a few requests for some Skype chats... I have still yet to install it, but send me a PM and I can give you my e-mail for the time being.

      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      I checked out Ari Galper's cold calling methodology today (unlockthegame.com) and this script goes against what he teaches. In my opinion, trying to set an appointment with the biz owner from the get go doesn't really take the pressure off them. After all, they don't know you from any other cold caller that calls them. If they do set an appointment, their defense will be up at the meeting for sure.
      I have read some of Ari Galper's stuff, and while he has has a very good sales pitch for his "ideas", I find it to be targeted to people who are new to selling and don't know much about the craft. This could just be me though. Like anything, you need to find what works for you and go with it. I have tried a lot of different cold calling techniques and the one I shared here is the one thing that has made the biggest difference for me.

      To give a little background, I learned sales by trial and error (don't we all?!). Basically I read as many sales books as possible and then take what I read and make it a point to implement something new every (almost) single day.

      Specifically I am very fond of Stephan Schiffman and Jeffrey Gitomer. I would highly recommend reading as many of their books as possible. Combined they have sold tens of millions of books (real books, not PDF's) and in my opinion have much more credibility than some online "Guru" who has around a thousand Twitter followers and appears to be selling "new" sales techniques catered to people who are inexperienced at selling. Just like in sports, there are fundamentals in sales and those fundamentals transcend beyond current trends and technology.

      By no means am I proclaiming to be an expert. However, I have read and implemented A LOT of advice from renowned experts-- the very people who do sales training for Fortune 100 companies. Again, it's what works for you and it is worth trying different techniques until you find something that works.

      For those who are curious, here is a list of sales books I recommend if you are serious about learning the craft:
      • Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!) by Stephan Schiffman
      • Closing Techniques (That Really Work!) by Stephan Schiffman
      • The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer
      • Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
      • The One Minute Closer by James W. Pickens
      • The Art of Woo by G. Richard Shell
      • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
      Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far! There are some very excellent tips in here for people to take action on. Keep the tips coming and GO GET 'EM!!!!

      -Ben
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      • Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

        For those who are curious, here is a list of sales books I recommend if you are serious about learning the craft:
        • Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!) by Stephan Schiffman
        • Closing Techniques (That Really Work!) by Stephan Schiffman
        • The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer
        • Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
        • The One Minute Closer by James W. Pickens
        • The Art of Woo by G. Richard Shell
        • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
        By the way, you can download many of these from your local library website for free for usually 21 days. Check out their e-media department and see if they have them. You'd be surprised.
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        Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
        - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I checked out Ari Galper's cold calling methodology today (unlockthegame.com) and this script goes against what he teaches. In my opinion, trying to set an appointment with the biz owner from the get go doesn't really take the pressure off them. After all, they don't know you from any other cold caller that calls them. If they do set an appointment, their defense will be up at the meeting for sure.

    I would be interested in what the percentages for actually getting a client are for an approach like the above as compared to the approach that Ari teaches. Anyone have any experience in both cold calling methods?
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    • Profile picture of the author Eduard Ruppel
      WOOWOWWOW this is a grat thead!!!

      And it helps me a lot, because I'm one of this call call shy Guys!!!


      Thanks loking forward for more input!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      I checked out Ari Galper's cold calling methodology today (unlockthegame.com) and this script goes against what he teaches. In my opinion, trying to set an appointment with the biz owner from the get go doesn't really take the pressure off them. After all, they don't know you from any other cold caller that calls them. If they do set an appointment, their defense will be up at the meeting for sure.

      I would be interested in what the percentages for actually getting a client are for an approach like the above as compared to the approach that Ari teaches. Anyone have any experience in both cold calling methods?
      There isn't a right way or a wrong way. Just because Ari Galper teaches something different doesn't mean other methods can't be successful.

      It's all about what's most effective for you.

      You gotta start somewhere and if you choose to follow Mr. Galper's advice there's nothing wrong with that.

      Just make sure you adjust it to fit your business, circumstances, personality etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mobileman12
    SICK POST on cold calling. genius, found, in this simplicity.
    BRAVO my good man-----Joe schroeder likes you
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  • Profile picture of the author darrylb
    You can't imagine how much I've struggled with this (or maybe you can...). Thank you all for helping this newbie.
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by darrylb View Post

      You can't imagine how much I've struggled with this (or maybe you can...). Thank you all for helping this newbie.
      Oh believe me, I struggled with cold calling for a long time! It was learning the trick to focus only on getting an appointment that really was a game changer for me.

      If anybody has taken my Warrior Challenge listed in this post, I'd love to hear your results. I'm sure other Warriors would find it motivating as well!

      -Ben
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

        Oh believe me, I struggled with cold calling for a long time! It was learning the trick to focus only on getting an appointment that really was a game changer for me.

        -Ben
        If you can somehow take a script and use it until you get that ONE appointment... then thats the ticket. I agree.

        For most people 90% of the struggle is just believing they can do it... and for MANY people, that first appointment is the first real success they have ever had... Once you get the thrill of writing an appointment on your pad, you realize that you have the power to create business... Its over with.

        People try to make rocket science out of appointment setting... but the truth is its just asking someone if they would be interested in hearing about your service. You can do it many ways... the key is to do it until you get an appointment... Then you will realize that it didnt require that much knowledge to do... it only required a willingness to break through your wall.

        Once the ice has broken, its broken.

        Great Thread WB. You yourself are a great contribution to the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingrep4u
    I see a lot of information here about what to say and call objectives, BUT what about the time between dialing and actually getting the decision maker on the phone?

    In my experience, 9 out of 10 times I get someone else other than the actual decision maker on the phone.

    They're almost always GATEKEEPERS.

    9 out of 10 times, if I asked for the person that handles their marketing, they already know that at some point I'm going to try to sell them something. It's a fact.

    So, what methods are you using to get past the GATEKEEPER and directly to the decision maker?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
      Originally Posted by marketingrep4u View Post

      I see a lot of information here about what to say and call objectives, BUT what about the time between dialing and actually getting the decision maker on the phone?

      In my experience, 9 out of 10 times I get someone else other than the actual decision maker on the phone.

      They're almost always GATEKEEPERS.

      9 out of 10 times, if I asked for the person that handles their marketing, they already know that at some point I'm going to try to sell them something. It's a fact.

      So, what methods are you using to get past the GATEKEEPER and directly to the decision maker?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      Rich

      That's a great question.

      Don't forget that gatekeepers are trained to field salesman calls.

      So... don't sound like a salesman!!!

      This is a two step process for me.

      1. Call up and say that you have something to send to the marketing manager... who should you address it to.

      2. Call back again (in a few days time) and ask confidently for that person like you know them. This requires that you ask for them by their first name. Say it like you are a peer and you need to chat. Often times if you do it right, the gatekeeper won't ask why you are calling.

      Just have a go and see how you get on.
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Rich,

      Really good question... @iamchrisgreen nailed it above-- find the decision maker's name and then ask for them directly (as if they are expecting you) when you call. Somestimes you'll be put straight through, but a many times the gatekeeper will ask who's calling. Just say your first name, as if the decision maker knows you, and quite often you will be put through.

      In terms of getting the name of the decision maker, Chris gives a good way above. I've also found that if you are looking for the owner (which is usually the case for smaller businesses) that looking up the business registration on your states Secretary of State website is a good way to find a name. Also be sure to check out the business' website or any press releases you might be able to find-- you can find names in those as well.

      If you are looking for a different decision maker besides the owner (marketing manager, IT director, etc...), Jigsaw.com (Jigsaw Business Contact Directory of Business Contacts and Company Information) is a good resource. It is free to join and see the names and positions of employees at a lot of medium to larger businesses. If you want to get the person's phone number it costs money but it works great for getting a name to start with.

      I hope this helps!

      -Ben

      Originally Posted by marketingrep4u View Post

      I see a lot of information here about what to say and call objectives, BUT what about the time between dialing and actually getting the decision maker on the phone?

      In my experience, 9 out of 10 times I get someone else other than the actual decision maker on the phone.

      They're almost always GATEKEEPERS.

      9 out of 10 times, if I asked for the person that handles their marketing, they already know that at some point I'm going to try to sell them something. It's a fact.

      So, what methods are you using to get past the GATEKEEPER and directly to the decision maker?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      Rich
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      • Profile picture of the author vernontheroar
        Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

        Rich,

        Really good question... @iamchrisgreen nailed it above-- find the decision maker's name and then ask for them directly (as if they are expecting you) when you call. Somestimes you'll be put straight through, but a many times the gatekeeper will ask who's calling. Just say your first name, as if the decision maker knows you, and quite often you will be put through.
        I guess i have one more question then, do you also usually ask for the name then wait a couple of days or do you ask for the boss's name and then ask to speak with him?

        Or do you tend to look them all up via the Secretary of State? Im just wondering what you normally find the most efficient way would be.
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  • Profile picture of the author vernontheroar
    I see a lot of information here about what to say and call objectives, BUT what about the time between dialing and actually getting the decision maker on the phone?

    In my experience, 9 out of 10 times I get someone else other than the actual decision maker on the phone.

    They're almost always GATEKEEPERS.

    9 out of 10 times, if I asked for the person that handles their marketing, they already know that at some point I'm going to try to sell them something. It's a fact.

    So, what methods are you using to get past the GATEKEEPER and directly to the decision maker?

    Inquiring minds want to know.
    lol SUUUPER GOOD QUESTION MAN. i actually just registered on this site 5 minutes ago just to ask that question, but you got there before me.

    so yea, how do you deal with the whole not being on the phone with the decision maker thing (instead of talkin to some pizza face kid with no idea whats going on)? That sounded like a big deal but nobody has really mentioned it so far, or does it just not matter?

    anyways, i thank you, and i hope many fine vaginas find their way toward you by the morn fine sir.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbecklund
    I want to share some of my cold calling experience. For getting names, if I don't have it, I just go into my intro to whoever answers the phone. Since I'm calling small businesses I figure everyone knows what's going on and that they know if the owner doesn't like their website and they will take my info or give me to the owner.

    For my "script" I just follow the sage advice of John Durham and tell them my first name and what I do and that I'm just calling around to introduce my services. Then I ask if they are happy with their website. This gives them an easy out and if they are not happy for whatever reason they will start talking about it and then I try to get an appointment.

    One of the most important things I've read here is to not sound like a salesperson. Sound like a regular person, relaxed and confident and friendly.

    Another thing I heard someone say is for people just starting out, consider your first calls as practice - they don't count. Whether it's five calls or the first day of calls, don't sweat it. You just have to practice doing it. Some days will be easy, some will be hard. It's like anything.

    I started out sending emails, I got one client and one good lead. Then I started cold calling and now I have a business with a good batch of clients and a bunch of leads. Best of all I know it will succeed.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by rbecklund View Post


      One of the most important things I've read here is to not sound like a salesperson. Sound like a regular person, relaxed and confident and friendly.
      First of all your entire post is Golden, but I really think this point above is important. People want to sell you all kinds of techniques... how to get around secretaries... There's no magic bullet to do that "Just be nice". Lol

      Why not just be honest?

      "Hey Im a web designer trying to drum up business, you folks need a website"?

      "Oh really? Already have one? Great Hows that producing for you, you getting many leads...?"

      "Oh okay, the reason I asked is because...".

      Question:

      Whats wrong with that?

      Answer: Nothing. Its perfect.

      Is it going to close every call?

      Not even close (Sorry), BUT, it IS the way to get to the ones that WILL close.

      Honesty is the best way to sound natural, and not be nervous. Why? Because you dont have to make anything up or worry about any tactic... Just say what you mean and someone will appreciate that.

      Still some folks wont believe you until you give them some "ancient secret", so we (teachers) have to reach them that way. Sure, theres a technique that can be explained for anything... but it all just says the obvious; "I am looking for people who need my services... anything I can help you folks with"?

      "Are you doing any of this? Any of that?"

      "Oh okay... I had a client last week who said the same thing and I told them..." (Start a conversation now).

      "Hey would you mind letting me send you my fax packet?"

      NATURAL. Whats strange about that? Its simply saying what you are calling about and being real. Nobody is going to think you are weird or call you a slick talking salesman for that right? They appreciate it.

      Being friendly but "to the real point" about why you are calling is the best way to open up a door... you are looking for "real interested prospects" , not people who you can trick into an appointment.

      However, if you want a trick, Im sure Ben with his experience has plenty of those up his sleeve too... Some people cant learn unless you tell them they are learning a secret trick. In the end they all do the same things... Eliminate the list down to people who are interested in a service like yours... my best advice? Just say why you are calling, be friendly and sincere, and let the interested parties come forward.

      Also, you have to know ("believe") that in a list of 100 businesses SOMEBODY needs your service... you simply just have to uncover them from the pile of numbers. Trust me, they are in there.

      Sounding good and professional comes with practice. At first you will get the "laydowns", and as you get better you will get the others... this will happen "naturally". I promise.

      You will naturally get better at this and your conversions will improve as your confidence level does... but thats an energetic tonal thing more than a slick pitch... It comes across unspoken. Also you become more relaxed as you learn to trust the timeless principles that will inevitably lead to success = "Repetition Is Mastery".

      Okay, thats enough posting for one night... I get in moods. lol
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      • Profile picture of the author sjohn
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Being friendly but "to the real point" about why you are calling is the best way to open up a door... you are looking for "real interested prospects" , not people who you can trick into an appointment.
        Thanks for pointing this out.
        This is powerful and can effectively same time in the longrun by capturing clients that will actually stay with you longterm.
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    • Profile picture of the author rbecklund
      Originally Posted by rbecklund View Post

      For my "script" I just follow the sage advice of John Durham and tell them my first name and what I do and that I'm just calling around to introduce my services. Then I ask if they are happy with their website. This gives them an easy out and if they are not happy for whatever reason they will start talking about it and then I try to get an appointment.
      Another reason why I like this simple approach is it doesn't allow you to make up excuses not to call. It's so simple and straightfoward and basic that there really is nothing to tweek. Sure I have tweeked things a bit, but that is after I've been calling a bunch and getting a feel for what works or sounds better for certain businesses.

      I guess what I'm saying is you just have to dive in. Don't worry about business cards (I didn't have any); I did have a basic website; Don't worry about a logo/letterhead/brochure (I didn't have one). All this stuff is good, but if you want to get started, just start calling people.

      Honestly, you will be so relieved once you start making those calls and realize that people are actually pretty dang nice if you are nice to them. And realize that you are actually doing something that was such a big hurdle in your mind.

      My girlfriend, who is a designer/writer and has done freelance, is continually surprised at how much business I'm bringing in and I don't even make tons of calls. The week before last I only made 220 calls. This last week I just worked to catch up.
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  • Profile picture of the author buyhomesnow
    -"Hi, I'm hoping you can help me out for a moment?"

    -----silence. wait for them to answer. 99% of the time they say "sure" or "how can I help you?"

    -"I'm just calling to see if you'd be open to hearing some different ideas I have on how you can attract some new customers to your business this month?"

    -----"Sure, what are your ideas?"

    -"Do you have access to the internet? It will be easier for me to show you what I'm thinking that way."

    Then you show them your ideas, create a little trust along the way as you give away all your "secrets". At the end of the call, you then say, "well those were just a few of the ideas I have for you, where do you think we should go from here?"

    They will then ask YOU for an appointment.

    The point is you will get to the truth of the whole thing in this conversation and you can then determine if you want to work with this person or not.

    I use the unlockthegame method with great success. It is less pushy and you actually build a relationship with people who want to work with you. The problem with traditional cold calling is that we treat it like a numbers game, make some headway with a few prospects and then all of a sudden get the silent treatment from the prospect and wonder why.

    The core idea behind this method is to get to the truth at the beginning of the process and to work with quality people, not just folks who are mining you for information so they can then turn around and have their current provider do it for them for cheaper than you by using your bid as a way to get their current guy to come down on their price.

    If you are successful calling people up and trying to set an appointment, then by all means, keep doing this. I think that for the majorty of people, this is just not their style and I'm here to say there are other successful ways to cold call so check this one out, there is plenty of free content on the internet about "unlock the game" and you can get started using this method without paying the guy a dime for his system because he practices what he preaches.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by buyhomesnow View Post


      If you are successful calling people up and trying to set an appointment, then by all means, keep doing this. I think that for the majority of people, this is just not their style...
      I LOVED your post...but want to add to this point , the "majority" will never be successful.

      You cant be successful only doing what the majority is comfortable with... they dont stretch themselves too far which is why there will always be the 80/20 rule.

      Successful people do what is not unsuccessful peoples "Style".

      Example:

      Maybe square automobile wheels are more your style than round ones... Great, but you have to have round ones if you want to go anywhere, even if they arent your style, its the way it works. If you like squares, become an igloo builder, but you cant put them on a car and use them for wheels.

      For some "offline" isnt their style, and they should be looking at other business models... but if they want to be in offline sales, they have to adhere to sales principles... and 80% of the people who want the money in sales, arent willing to go through the trenches and become good at it.

      Which is why salesman have a rep for being proud, because they made it past the place where the 80% cried "uncle", and fell off, and went looking for another shiny bell or whistle. Its not 'Me" who made this true, its nature.

      On another note:

      You hear more about cold calling in this section of the forum than almost anything else... because its the most effective method of marketing to offline business owners. Period. Not very arguable, but the majority will keep looking for other ways while the minority are actually closing deals.

      Again, loved your post BIGTIME, just pointing that out... The timeless laws dont fail... and one of them is that the 80% will always be with us, and they will always be looking for an easier way than the ones being used by the 20%, while the 20% are making deals and money.

      Another boring reminder, of the boring truth... However, I would rather be reminded of a boring truth that consistently makes money than an exciting one, that makes no one any money.

      The boring truth is that sales is for people who are willing to prospect and do the hard parts, always has been, long before the internet, and always will be.
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      • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        You hear more about cold calling in this section of the forum than almost anything else... because its the most effective method of marketing to offline business owners. Period. Not very arguable, but the majority will keep looking for other ways while the minority are actually closing deals.
        John, GETS it. So many people look for alternatives to cold calling and the reality is that even with all the advances in technology it is still the single most effective way to bring in business. There will be plenty of people out there who will want to sell you the latest and greatest strategy to getting clients while sitting on your couch, but I guarantee you that they are not getting clients using their own techniques.


        Originally Posted by vernontheroar View Post

        ok, so i guess most people here agree that it usually dosent matter who you talk to when trying to schedule an appointment?
        No, it is actually very important to set the appointment with the decision maker. The only exception to this is if he or she has an assistant who handles all his or her appointments. In that case though, it will probably be difficult to get an appointment.


        Originally Posted by ceonewbeginnings View Post

        What do you show them on the internet?
        I think you are referencing where I said to have an online meeting using GoToMeeting or something similar... What I mean by that is to set up an online presentation (I use PowerPoint) and then I share my screen with my prospect. I then go over the full presentation and sales pitch remotely. To be clear, this is NOT a substitute for meeting in person. I only do this when a prospect is out of town and it just isn't feasible to fly out and meet with them. Face-to-face is always better in my opinion, but if you are going after larger clients who are geographically away from you, online presentations are a good way to go.



        Originally Posted by Ron Hitson View Post

        That's all good, but if you get on the phone for 2 hours and set 2-3 appoints. and close 1, you don't need to work for free nor rely on friends. A man needs to go out into the world and earn his keep, at least that's what my dad told me.

        People will do anything to avoid picking up the phone. It's not that hard nor scarey. You're only trying to get the appoint. not sell the farm. Sell the farm in the appoint.

        If you dial 50 folks, you can and will set at least 2-3.

        Do that every day and you could easily sell something every day.

        You've got the Cold Calling gene, you just refuse to unleash the giant. The only thing people say is yes or no or hang up. Those that say no have raised their hands and clearly told you "I'M NOT YOUR CUSTOMER". That's a good thing, you'll call the next guy up. It's the fastest and most economical method I have ever used to find a customer.

        Get up in the morning and dial 10 calls and work your way up to 50 dials a day and you'll be setting appointments.

        You just need to talk to 1-2 people and than you'll be in the zone. The biggest hurdle for most is dialing the first number, after that, you'll drop it down to 6th gear and than there's no stopping you.

        Before you know it, you'll be a machine!
        Ron is somebody else who GETS it! If all of this advice sounds a little too easy, it's because once you get in the habit of cold calling every day, it becomes easy! Like Ron said, it takes talking to just a couple people and you'll get in the zone.


        Originally Posted by B and B View Post

        Just a quick follow up from my post a couple of days ago. I had the 2nd of 2 meetings today and I have mixed feelings about both. The first, I talked to the manager who in turn had to relay the details of the meeting to the owner (which I was informed of when setting the appointment). They don't do any marketing right now and the manager was fairly young so he had an understanding of what I was selling (mobile sites and sms marketing). I left the meeting feeling like it went well but still concerned about whether I'll actually hear from them.

        The 2nd, I met with the owner of a different business who was a lot more old school. I showed a mockup of the mobile site I made for him and he seemed curious. He had no idea about SMS marketing and after trying to explain it to him and getting a bad vibe, I abandoned the SMS idea and pitched some SEO. Even after explaining how powerful a top ranking could be, he didn't seem crazy about the idea of paying $497/mo. Towards the end of the meeting he told me he never purchases right away and always takes time to think about marketing tactics (he owns many businesses). He also told me he would be in touch next week.

        I don't have a great feeling that they will be in touch but I'll be sure to call them both and follow up next week. I only called about 10 businesses and got 2 meetings so I figure if I keep working on my in person sales tactics I could make this work.

        Anyways, back to work to get some numbers to call for tomorrow!
        B and B-- this is how sales goes. Sometimes you'll feel really good about an appointment and you won't get it. Other times you'll feel like you've blown it and you'll end up getting it. The most important thing is to stay consistent in setting appointments. The more appointments you set the easier it will become to set them. It will also become easier to close the deals. It just takes grinding it out and sticking with it. I can tell by reading your posts that you have the drive and determination to succeed-- get through the "trial" phase of learning how everything works and this will all become second nature to you. Best of luck and keep us updated on how it all goes!

        -Ben
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    • Profile picture of the author ceonewbeginnings
      What do you show them on the internet?
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    • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
      Originally Posted by buyhomesnow View Post

      -"Hi, I'm hoping you can help me out for a moment?"

      -----silence. wait for them to answer. 99% of the time they say "sure" or "how can I help you?"
      The pause is KILLER !!!

      I sometimes play around with the gatekeepers if it they are sounding like hard asses.

      Gatekeeper: "Hey Can I ask what company you are from"
      Me: "Yeah of course.... "
      Gatekeeper: "Eeerm.. so which company are you from"
      Me: "Oh, you wanted to know now?"
      Gatekeeper: "Yes"
      Me: "I'm not sure it's a company related issue..."
      Gatekeeper: "Oh.. erm .."


      This is for extremely tough gatekeepers and it can go either way.

      But you never know, you may just get through...
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  • Profile picture of the author vernontheroar
    ok, so i guess most people here agree that it usually dosent matter who you talk to when trying to schedule an appointment?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Vraibel
    Had my first day of cold calling today and used this script nearly word for word. I only had a sample size of about 10 businesses in the same niche as it was taking me forever to find the owner/managers name and I wanted to get going. I have one meeting scheduled for tomorrow and another for Wednesday. I'm hoping that I can close at least one and get my first offline client.

    Thanks again for all of your advice WB!
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    Have a list in the gambling niche? Feel free to PM me for potential JV opportunities.

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    • Profile picture of the author virtualprincipal
      I HATE cold calling and just can't bring myself to do it.

      My strategy is:

      1. Find a friend that you are comfortable with and do Pro Bono work for him or her without informing them.
      2. When positive results are achieved, make an appointment with your friend to show them the results.
      3. Friend will ask you to continue what you are doing but with pay. (your 1st client)
      4. You ask your friend to contact a couple of other business owners to refer your services.


      This is a lot of work and could backfire but I just don't have the "Cold Calling" gene....


      JSD
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    • Profile picture of the author vernontheroar
      Originally Posted by B and B View Post

      Had my first day of cold calling today and used this script nearly word for word. I only had a sample size of about 10 businesses in the same niche as it was taking me forever to find the owner/managers name and I wanted to get going. I have one meeting scheduled for tomorrow and another for Wednesday. I'm hoping that I can close at least one and get my first offline client.

      Thanks again for all of your advice WB!
      hey man, DEFINITELY let us know how it goes tomorrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Haha I still cant forget the days when I used to cold-call customers and get yelled at. Thank god those days are over.
    Signature

    >>>Get your websites ACTUALLY ranked by checking these out: Quantum SEO Labs, Home Page Link Building & SERP Ability. Want to get rid of negative listings? Check out Reputation Enhancer.

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  • Profile picture of the author rrolling
    Actually, the reason I hate cold calling is based on my social anxiety...
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Vraibel
    Just a quick follow up from my post a couple of days ago. I had the 2nd of 2 meetings today and I have mixed feelings about both. The first, I talked to the manager who in turn had to relay the details of the meeting to the owner (which I was informed of when setting the appointment). They don't do any marketing right now and the manager was fairly young so he had an understanding of what I was selling (mobile sites and sms marketing). I left the meeting feeling like it went well but still concerned about whether I'll actually hear from them.

    The 2nd, I met with the owner of a different business who was a lot more old school. I showed a mockup of the mobile site I made for him and he seemed curious. He had no idea about SMS marketing and after trying to explain it to him and getting a bad vibe, I abandoned the SMS idea and pitched some SEO. Even after explaining how powerful a top ranking could be, he didn't seem crazy about the idea of paying $497/mo. Towards the end of the meeting he told me he never purchases right away and always takes time to think about marketing tactics (he owns many businesses). He also told me he would be in touch next week.

    I don't have a great feeling that they will be in touch but I'll be sure to call them both and follow up next week. I only called about 10 businesses and got 2 meetings so I figure if I keep working on my in person sales tactics I could make this work.

    Anyways, back to work to get some numbers to call for tomorrow!
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    • Profile picture of the author garyfromdurham
      The advice given in this thread is brilliant.....if you have the confidence!!


      I absolutely hate going out talking to businesses whether I have an appointment or not.

      It doesn't matter how much I prepare, or practise my speech I am still so nervous that I find that I can't think on my feet and give satisfactory replies to questions asked.

      Even having the telephone script in front of me doesn't work because quite often the conversation doesn't go in the way that I expect it to go.

      The business owner can also see the fear in my eyes and can detect the quiver in my voice that gives me away.

      Some people can get over this in time but I think that the vast majority don't.

      I am in total awe of people who can go out and sell (I'd give my right arm to be like John Durham or Warrior Ben) but like public speaking I just hate doing it. That is why I try to find alternative methods to going out and selling.

      We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'd suggest that if anybody really did suck at cold calling or going out selling to consider having a sales person who can do that for them.

      it saves a lot of anxiety and lets you do the things that you are strong at.

      Gary
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      • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
        Originally Posted by garyfromdurham View Post

        The advice given in this thread is brilliant.....if you have the confidence!!


        I absolutely hate going out talking to businesses whether I have an appointment or not.

        It doesn't matter how much I prepare, or practise my speech I am still so nervous that I find that I can't think on my feet and give satisfactory replies to questions asked.

        Even having the telephone script in front of me doesn't work because quite often the conversation doesn't go in the way that I expect it to go.

        The business owner can also see the fear in my eyes and can detect the quiver in my voice that gives me away.

        Some people can get over this in time but I think that the vast majority don't.

        I am in total awe of people who can go out and sell (I'd give my right arm to be like John Durham or Warrior Ben) but like public speaking I just hate doing it. That is why I try to find alternative methods to going out and selling.

        We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'd suggest that if anybody really did suck at cold calling or going out selling to consider having a sales person who can do that for them.

        it saves a lot of anxiety and lets you do the things that you are strong at.

        Gary
        I agree that you should focus on the things that you're strong at, but everyone has the abilitiy to sell. You have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. And of course this is pretty much for newbies that know they need to make money FAST or it's back to searching Craigslist for a JOB and not clients! If you don't NEED to cold call and absolutely hate it, then don't do it. But if you have yet to get a client after 6 months of buying wso's trying to avoid cold calling, then do it for 48 hours, make your outsourcing money, and grow your business..Afterall, *If you want something you've never had..you have to do something you've never done* I was 100% sure I would NEVER cold call, got John Durham's lead generation report and just did it..part of it was because I got the report free and didn't wanna have to tell him...ummm thanks, but no thanks lol but also, I am not at the $10,000 per month level yet..where I want to be..(and will be ) by the end of this year. I did it for all of 48 hours and already have a telemarketer starting for me Tuesday. I'm NOT going against your post at all, just want people to know if you don't think you can do it, you can, and should!
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
          I agree with Diedra. It's not easy, but you cannot make a good judgement from doing it half assed for a little bit of time during a few days. You have to keep at it, and you will improv. Heck, I still suck at it but I can, do, and will continue to call.

          I read somewhere that it takes about 8,000 - 10,000 hours of doing something before you are considered a professional. If you think about that it means you will probably make 25,000 + calls to get to that level. Do you have the level of commitment, like those swimmers you see for one week in the olympics who have gotten up at 4:00 in the morning every day for ten years to make it to that one week? You CAN do this. I CAN do this. The key is to not let what happens on any one call matter.
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          • Profile picture of the author wilder1047
            Originally Posted by Daniel LaRusso View Post

            I agree with Diedra. It's not easy, but you cannot make a good judgement from doing it half assed for a little bit of time during a few days. You have to keep at it, and you will improv. Heck, I still suck at it but I can, do, and will continue to call.

            I read somewhere that it takes about 8,000 - 10,000 hours of doing something before you are considered a professional. If you think about that it means you will probably make 25,000 + calls to get to that level. Do you have the level of commitment, like those swimmers you see for one week in the olympics who have gotten up at 4:00 in the morning every day for ten years to make it to that one week? You CAN do this. I CAN do this. The key is to not let what happens on any one call matter.
            Internet marketing must have the largest amount of struggling "professionals" in the world!!
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        • Profile picture of the author regibiz65
          Great posts. Have learned quite a lot. Although I prefer organizing free evening seminars/presentation sessions with light refreshment (sodas, water & cookies) for small business owners. At the end, I pass on my Sign-Up Sheet.

          I have only done it once though...but the result was great and I tend to like it.

          With all the tips and scripts, I am going to try cold calling and see how it goes.

          Thanks Ben & all the other contributors. That's why I love WF.

          Regie
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      • Profile picture of the author peter_act
        Originally Posted by garyfromdurham View Post


        I absolutely hate going out talking to businesses whether I have an appointment or not.

        Gary
        There's one technique I use for anything I don't really want to do.

        Ask yourself "What's the VERY worst thing that can happen?

        The answer is usually (as we say in Australia) "Bugger all"

        You don't even lose a sale, you only lose a slim chance of making a sale, so forget it, and move on to #2 on your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mahara Adhe
    I hate cold calling because I bite at on-the-spot sales conversations. I also tend to undersell my services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ryans
    This is why I love this forum. I personally have a easy system that works to get in front of the owner or decision maker.

    Try this:

    Me: Hi can I speak to (business owners name),

    Them: Sure one moment

    Owner: Hi this is (name)

    Me: Hey (name), My name is Mike and I am a local freelance mobile site designer. I am looking to build my portfolio and noticed that your site is NOT view-able on mobile phones. So I went ahead and designed an example site for you. What time tomorrow can I come by to show you what it looks like and explain how to get new leads from it?

    CHA-CHING!

    Hope this helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author vernontheroar
      Originally Posted by Michael Ryans View Post


      Hope this helps!
      Actually, it realy did help a lot, this is the kind of answer i was looking for.

      thanks a log young man
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    • Profile picture of the author regibiz65
      Great script and to the point. This should sell about 70-80% of business owners. Thanks!

      Regie
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    • Profile picture of the author regibiz65
      Originally Posted by Michael Ryans View Post

      This is why I love this forum. I personally have a easy system that works to get in front of the owner or decision maker.

      Try this:

      Me: Hi can I speak to (business owners name),

      Them: Sure one moment

      Owner: Hi this is (name)

      Me: Hey (name), My name is Mike and I am a local freelance mobile site designer. I am looking to build my portfolio and noticed that your site is NOT view-able on mobile phones. So I went ahead and designed an example site for you. What time tomorrow can I come by to show you what it looks like and explain how to get new leads from it?

      CHA-CHING!

      Hope this helps!
      Great Script. Thanks!

      Regie
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Originally Posted by rrolling View Post

    Actually, the reason I hate cold calling is based on my social anxiety...
    You might actually be surprised at how much cold calling can help with social anxiety. Once you do it enough, and realize that you have the power to call up or walk up to ANYBODY and strike up a conversation with them, you'll develop the confidence that will help out with your social life as well. Regardless of whether you call on the phone, e-mail, send out direct mail, at some point you are going to need to talk to a person. The quicker you can get over social anxiety, the quicker you'll have success in offline marketing.


    Originally Posted by LegacyLewis View Post

    I hate cold calling because I bite at on-the-spot sales conversations. I also tend to undersell my services.
    There's only one way to fix this-- practice, practice, practice!! Contrary to what some people will want you to believe, there is no such thing as a "born" salesman... it is a skill that is acquired through lots of practice and experience. Some people may be more "outgoing" than others, but being outgoing does not equate to a good salesperson. There is so much more to it than just trying to be friends with people.


    Originally Posted by Michael Ryans View Post

    Me: Hey (name), My name is Mike and I am a local freelance mobile site designer. I am looking to build my portfolio and noticed that your site is NOT view-able on mobile phones. So I went ahead and designed an example site for you. What time tomorrow can I come by to show you what it looks like and explain how to get new leads from it?
    Michael, this is a great script! Warriors can learn from you!!
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  • The Gatekeeper problem for newbies. When you are new to cold calling and not experienced enough to get past the gatekeeper, examine the niche you are calling. Don't call lawyers, doctors, dentists, salons. These always have gatekeepers. Start with contractors like roofers, plumbers, heating and air, landscapers and construction. 9 out of 10 times you will be contacting the owners.

    Also like stated before, you have to strap on some leather skin and start calling. Like John Durham said, once you set your 1st appointment, the rest is cake.

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by sconlinemarketing View Post

      The Gatekeeper problem for newbies. When you are new to cold calling and not experienced enough to get past the gatekeeper, examine the niche you are calling. Don't call lawyers, doctors, dentists, salons. These always have gatekeepers. Start with contractors like roofers, plumbers, heating and air, landscapers and construction. 9 out of 10 times you will be contacting the owners.
      This is VERY excellent advice and I can attest from my experience that contractors are definitely very easy to get a hold of. In fact, their business phone is usually their cell phone, so they are the ones who answer it. They are also a group of folks who are very desperate for business, especially with the economy the way it is now!


      Originally Posted by riseplaces View Post

      1. Q: Good morning may I speak with Bob (the owner) please?
      A: Who's calling?
      2. Q: This is David with Modern Marketing, IS HE THERE PLEASE? (I've just asked twice)
      A: What's this in regard to?
      3. Q: It's regarding a marketing discussion, COULD YOU PLEASE TELL BOB I'M ON THE PHONE PLEASE? (Just asked a 3rd time.)
      This too is a very excellent way to get past the Gatekeeper without the Gatekeeper even realizing it! By asking for the owner so many times, and calling with the confidence like you already know the owner, you will get through quite a bit. No employee wants to piss of their boss by holding up a phone call that appears urgent!

      -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author Roma01
    Some great information on this thread. Having been in sales and sales management for many years the hardest thing is to train someone to cold call, they are usually either naturally good at it or never will be. Cold calling has some big rewards for those up to the task.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
      Originally Posted by Roma01 View Post

      Some great information on this thread. Having been in sales and sales management for many years the hardest thing is to train someone to cold call, they are usually either naturally good at it or never will be. Cold calling has some big rewards for those up to the task.
      OK, here's my problem. I suck at cold calling. Always have. I remember I worked with some friends of mine in high school (back in 1988) cold calling for donations to a fraternal order of police type organization. I sucked at it. My friends could do well, but I just sucked. And the worse I did, the more I sucked, and the less I wanted to call.

      I am trying to get into it now, but often find ways to put it off. I have a full time job, but don't need to use that as an excuse.

      If I keep practicing, knowing that I can probably only call for an hour or so a day at the most, could I get better at it?

      This e-book by Sid Walker is a GREAT resource I found when I was trying to cold call at another time:
      http://www.sellingwithoutwrestling.c...lfupthanks.htm
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      • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
        Originally Posted by Daniel LaRusso View Post

        OK, here's my problem. I suck at cold calling. Always have. I remember I worked with some friends of mine in high school (back in 1988) cold calling for donations to a fraternal order of police type organization. I sucked at it. My friends could do well, but I just sucked. And the worse I did, the more I sucked, and the less I wanted to call.

        I am trying to get into it now, but often find ways to put it off. I have a full time job, but don't need to use that as an excuse.

        If I keep practicing, knowing that I can probably only call for an hour or so a day at the most, could I get better at it?

        This e-book by Sid Walker is a GREAT resource I found when I was trying to cold call at another time:
        Sid Walker's Selling Without Wrestling - Get Your FREE Copy of "How To Psych Yourself Up To Prospect"
        Of course you can! But, you have to get out of the *I suck* mindset..It will leak over into your calls..trust me. My first call (with John Durham's lead generation wso) SUCKED!! Why? because I *knew* it was going to. I called a specific insurance agent, he was in a meeting so another agent tried to take the call for him thinking I was his actual client. She asked for my name, policy number, the whole nine lol I freaked and didn't call anyone else for another hour lol Then, I got back on the phone with the INTENTIONS of MAKING MONEY!! You have to set yourself up for success. Like others have said, once you get the ball rolling, it's pretty easy. And if you do it in a non selling way, no one is going to really be angry or cuss you out like you would think, just a simple no and you're on to the next. Remember,If you think you suck, you're probably right! (it's just a quote, I'm not actually telling you that YOU suck :p)
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        • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
          I also wanted to add this for everyone that hates cold calling for whatever reason. It is very easy to make GOOD money in a very short amount of time to the point that you could only have to do it for a few days, then hire someone else to do it for you and never have to pick up the phone yourself again!
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          • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
            Originally Posted by Deidra Renee View Post

            I also wanted to add this for everyone that hates cold calling for whatever reason. It is very easy to make GOOD money in a very short amount of time to the point that you could only have to do it for a few days, then hire someone else to do it for you and never have to pick up the phone yourself again!
            Deidra is absolutely right here (and in many of her other posts as well!).

            In the amount of time it takes to set up direct mail campaigns, e-mail campaigns, or any of the other ways that people try to get clients without talking to them, you can hammer out a bunch of calls and get an appointment. Once you get that first appointment and then first sale, you'll realize that it isn't as difficult or as intimidating as you may have previously thought.

            Once you have worked out a script that works, put an ad on Craigslist to hire an appointment setter to do the work for you. You can even hire a salesperson to make it completely hands off, but I would question why anybody wants to be in a business that involves sales if you never want to do sales. At one point or another you are going to need to be selling something-- either your services to prospects or your company to potential employees.

            The easiest way to get over the fear of cold calling is to just do it. And the beauty of just doing it is that you get better with every call you make!

            I want to continue to thank everybody who has contributed to this thread-- sharing tips, tricks, and experiences is what makes the Warrior Forum such a valuable resource to us all!

            -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Morris
    This a great thread here, it really looks like you guys know what your talking about. Cold calling is all about getting the meeting, and at the meeting you try to make the sale.

    I noticed 4 major problems that potential clients can throw at you when you cold call them with the methods that are discussed in the forum.

    Please correct me if Im wrong, but I have noticed these problems to be most commonly occuring ones,
    · “no thanks, I’m happy with what I’ve got”
    · “I’m not interested”
    · “I’m too busy.”
    · “Send me some information”

    I thought these were very important to address so I made a thread on how to respond to each of these problems! you can check it out here http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ents-have.html

    And the most important thing to remeber, is TAKE ACTION... PICK UP THAT PHONE!!!

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  • Profile picture of the author zeitgeistman
    Hmm,I'm a bit skeptical about cold calling because it still differs in geographical context.Say,in Asian countries,Multi Level Marketing Scams have set a bad example for cold calling,giving it a bad name and making people more aware and afraid to even establish contact with the person for fear that it might be a conman.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Morris
      Originally Posted by zeitgeistman View Post

      Hmm,I'm a bit skeptical about cold calling because it still differs in geographical context.Say,in Asian countries,Multi Level Marketing Scams have set a bad example for cold calling,giving it a bad name and making people more aware and afraid to even establish contact with the person for fear that it might be a conman.
      well the main difference is that MLM marketers and other scams require the person to sign up straight away, no meeting involved.

      When your main goal of the cold call becomes setting a meeting, then you shift focus away from your product, and it becomes more comfortable for the person picking up the phone.

      Josh
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    End of the day if you really believe in what you are doing, you are offering them a way to greatly improve their business, they WILL make money from using you , you are doing them a service making them aware of what you can do for them , you're not like all the others , and they need to know that so one of the others dont scam them or rip them off .
    Calling them is the first part of doing the business owners a massive massive service of making them aware you are out there and all the great benefits you can bring to them and their business.

    If they dont want that fine, sod em , tossers , let them get ripped off by cheap as chips Bodgett and Scarper Inc. , youre looking to meet and build relationships with those business owners who are forward thinking, dynamic and proactive not ostriches
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    • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
      Originally Posted by mjbmedia View Post

      End of the day if you really believe in what you are doing, you are offering them a way to greatly improve their business, they WILL make money from using you , you are doing them a service making them aware of what you can do for them , you're not like all the others , and they need to know that so one of the others dont scam them or rip them off .
      Calling them is the first part of doing the business owners a massive massive service of making them aware you are out there and all the great benefits you can bring to them and their business.

      If they dont want that fine, sod em , tossers , let them get ripped off by cheap as chips Bodgett and Scarper Inc. , youre looking to meet and build relationships with those business owners who are forward thinking, dynamic and proactive not ostriches
      Exactly! You're trying to reach people who actually WANT to grow their business and knows that in some cases you have to spend money to make money. I had a man tell me *I don't need to advertise, I have enough customers already.* Ummm ok, that's why you're sitting on the corner of no man's land and no man is coming in there...fool lol
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  • Profile picture of the author IMRookie1
    I just subscribed to this thread. Many of the ideas are actionable and easily applicable. I don't sell IM services but office spaces and I usually rely on my marketing to get them to call.

    I haven't really tried cold-calling for an appointment but I'm willing to test it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    I can really type this now because I'm not on my iPhone.

    Some people say how cold calling is like a slot machine - you just keep pulling, and soon will inevitably hit your jackpot. And you keep repeating.

    But I disagree - I don' t think it's random; unlike a slot machine, which takes no skill and relies only on chance, cold calling takes skill and practice.

    I think cold calling is like fishing. In fishing, you choose your spot where you want to fish, select your bait, the time of day you fish, and what kind of fish you really want and what kind you don't want. You throw your line and don't just yank at any little nibble - you work it. The fish don't care when your bait hits the water what kind of day you're having, if you're behind on your bills, if your last cast got nothing or if it got a whopper. They just care about what is in front of them - whether they want it or not.

    And when you land that fish, one fish isn't enough to feed your whole family, so you've got to do it all over again. To some people, fishing is a pain in the neck, and they'd rather go to Red Lobster and just forget it. To others, it's part of the game.

    That's why I think cold calling is more like fishing. You shoose your spot (your list, or what you're calling on), you choose your bait (your script), you cast over and over and over again (make your dials), and you eventually get a nibble here and there. And you've got to keep at it. Like I said earlier, in the grand scheme of things, what happens on any one cast (call) isn't what's important, it's just consistently doing it.

    That link to the e-book about Selling without wrestling is a really great (and free) resource for overcoming the obstacle of just doing the calls. And yeah, I still think I suck at it, but I will get better. I didn't have good results today, but I couldn't even put in a full hour of dialing.

    One lady I got, she's a business owner, said she wasn't interested in what I was pitching, in fact, she hates cold callers. But she didn't hang up, so I had a little fun with her I joked a little, and just tried to give her day a little bit of an unplanned turn, actually a positive and fun moment she wasn't expecting. I didn't get a sale, and I don't really care. These are just folks on the other end of a phone call, it's like calling to set up an oil change for your car or set up a doctor's appointment for yourself, you're just turning the tables.

    Enjoy it! Have a conversation, let your personality shine! Unleash that cold calling beast that somebody talked about earlier - anyone has it in them, you've just got to not fear it!
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    Even though i dislike cold calling due to the fact that there are better ways to mass produce your marketing message... it's still an effective way to get sales/customers/clients/etc. I think it takes enounciation, good word usage, and a script that you can follow to lead you through the phone call. Also, make sure you have alot of questions ready to ask your intended prospect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
    Ok, I am going to take this challenge..Have been doing cold calling for lead generation services, so no appointment needed. Will try to set up some appointments to sell websites tomorrow..will go beyond the 20 calls to businesses that you recommended Warrior Ben..if I need to..I will report back with my results!
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by Ron Hitson View Post

      Hi Deidra,

      the reason for the 20 is because of the follow-up you'll be doing. Within 3-4 days you'll have a lot of follow-up calls to make. 20 does not seem like a lot but before you know it, you'll be calling your 20 new leads a day and doing 15 follow-up calls on top of the calls coming in from people. If you work your leads well, you won't need to make a lot of calls.
      Ron is spot on here. While it can be tempting to just call every single business you can think of and hammer through the calls, it is important to pace yourself because there will be follow up calls that need to be made. If you try to call 50 businesses a day and then mange follow up calls, you will quickly see that you'll have to make 100's of calls a day to stay on top of things.

      With that said, I don't want to discourage people from making more than 20 calls a day, but it is important to pace yourself so you don't let things slide through the cracks and don't get burned out. Sales is a marathon, not a sprint!

      -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author Rocket Media
    Sales is a numbers game BUT we know that our service is in need.

    So TAKE ACTION because making 50 calls will only take you 2 hours or so. What do you have to lose? It's almost a GUARANTEE that you will call somebody (maybe even accidentally) that is interested in your services and it absolutely won't matter how awful you are at selling. That's the beauty.

    The better salespeople we become, the more $$ we make.
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  • Profile picture of the author NathanBai
    COld calling is workin well..believe
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  • Profile picture of the author Davy44
    Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

    Hi Fellow Warriors,

    it is still the most effective way to get new business. It is more effective than e-mail, direct mail, SEO, or any other passive ways people use to try to get new clients.
    Cold calls are more effective than SEO (as in having your site appear on page one of a major search engine) in getting new clients? I don't think so.

    Look, the techniques you outlined in your post are pretty standard techniques for making cold calls. Cold calls are a lead generation technique of last resort. You use them when you have no other means of getting a lead. The reason it is a fall-back technique is because its effectiveness in producing sales is POOR.

    Several years ago, I worked as a sales Associate and my company used call calls a lot because there was no better way to generate leads. One of the trick we used to get people to agree to see us was to tell them that they won a gift and that we'd bring the gift to them. Guess what? Sales were few and in between.

    It's easy to understand why cold calls produce so few sales. Even when someone makes an appointment, often he or she does not know that you are coming to sell them a product or service. And, many people including businesses do not make a decision to buy or spend money in a matter of minutes, especially if the amount involved is in the 100s or 1000s.

    So, while cold calls are one of the techniques you can use as a last resort to generate leads, their effectiveness is clearly doubtful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
      Originally Posted by Davy44 View Post

      Cold calls are more effective than SEO (as in having your site appear on page one of a major search engine) in getting new clients? I don't think so.

      Look, the techniques you outlined in your post are pretty standard techniques for making cold calls. Cold calls are a lead generation technique of last resort. You use them when you have no other means of getting a lead. The reason it is a fall-back technique is because its effectiveness in producing sales is POOR.

      Several years ago, I worked as a sales Associate and my company used call calls a lot because there was no better way to generate leads. One of the trick we used to get people to agree to see us was to tell them that they won a gift and that we'd bring the gift to them. Guess what? Sales were few and in between.

      It's easy to understand why cold calls produce so few sales. Even when someone makes an appointment, often he or she does not know that you are coming to sell them a product or service. And, many people including businesses do not make a decision to buy or spend money in a matter of minutes, especially if the amount involved is in the 100s or 1000s.

      So, while cold calls are one of the techniques you can use as a last resort to generate leads, their effectiveness is clearly doubtful.
      They should know that you're coming to sell them a service unless you're deceptive in your initial phone conversation with them. If I tell someone *I would like to set up a meeting with you to discuss setting up a website for your company, unless they're a little slow they will probably just assume that I'm coming to discuss the website and will eventually quote them a price. Now if I say, I want to discuss my free services, then get to the meeting and start naming all kinds of prices and packages, then that was my fault. But I disagree that the person doesn't know they will be sold something.
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by Davy44 View Post

      Cold calls are more effective than SEO (as in having your site appear on page one of a major search engine) in getting new clients? I don't think so.
      I have to disagree with you here, Davy. SEO can be effective in getting leads in the door, but if you are selling B2B services, it is very, very rare that somebody will just search for something, go to your website, and buy your services without talking to you first. Once you have received a lead from SEO, you still need to call the person up to start the process of selling your services. Technically this would be a warm lead and not a cold call, but you will still need to talk to the interested party. Yes, I will call the warm lead before making my cold calls for the day because the person has expressed interest (just like how I'll call a referral lead before cold calling), but just because I get a warm lead in the door doesn't mean that I don't cold call businesses for the day.

      Another reason why I disagree with you is that for many of us Offline Marketers who are selling services to businesses in our local communities, there just aren't the search volumes to justify using SEO as the primary way to acquire new clients. Many local keywords have less than 50 searches a month for a local searches. Even if you are #1 for the keyword, you can expect only around 30 visits to your website. Of those 30 people, getting just 3 to put in their contact information as a lead would be a good result. Of those 3, you can expect that only 1 of them will close. Getting 1 deal a month from SEO is just not a sustainable business practice.

      With cold calling on the other hand, I can make 40 calls a day and get 3 appointments, one of which will close. I would say this is much more effective than waiting for a couple leads to come in every month. Yes, there is more time involved by calling people up, but that time pays off because it allows you to close a lot more deals every month.

      Further, if you are only relying on selling to people who are already interested in your services because they are searching for them, then you are leaving the vast majority of business you can get off the table. I've found that most people don't even know the benefits of what I offer before I've talked to them. That's why there is a sales process-- to educate the prospect on how I can benefit their business and grow their bottom line.

      Originally Posted by Davy44 View Post

      Several years ago, I worked as a sales Associate and my company used call calls a lot because there was no better way to generate leads. One of the trick we used to get people to agree to see us was to tell them that they won a gift and that we'd bring the gift to them. Guess what? Sales were few and in between.
      The reason sales were few and far between was because the prospect had no idea they were going to be sold to when you met with them. Rather than set up an appointment to talk about your services (like how I mention in my original post), you used a "trick" to get your foot in the door. Not only is a business owner going to feel a little bit uncomfortable that they got tricked into a sales meeting, they are going to be put off and not want to do business with somebody who isn't upfront and honest about their intentions for meeting.

      Originally Posted by Davy44 View Post

      It's easy to understand why cold calls produce so few sales. Even when someone makes an appointment, often he or she does not know that you are coming to sell them a product or service. And, many people including businesses do not make a decision to buy or spend money in a matter of minutes, especially if the amount involved is in the 100s or 1000s.
      I think this is a direct result of the "trick" of giving somebody a free gift to get them to meet with you. When you clearly identify why you want to meet with them, they know they are going to be sold to. I've found that my close rate when I have an appointment with a business owner is around 35%. So 1 out of 3 appointments I go to I close. Business owners are more than willing to spend $100's, even $1,000's of dollars if you can clearly show the benefit to their business. Most business owners are interested in growing their business and if you can show them how they can do that by using your services, then they will sign up.

      Overall, it sounds like you read that cold calling should be the last approach from somebody who is trying to sell a sales course. Because cold calling is the least liked and most difficult aspect of sales there are a ton of hungry buyers for alternative techniques. The reality though, is that cold calling is still the most effective way to get new business. Yes, it takes work, but there is a reason that most Fortune 500 companies still rely on cold calling to get new business.

      -Ben
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    • Profile picture of the author Njenyus
      Originally Posted by Davy44 View Post

      Cold calls are more effective than SEO (as in having your site appear on page one of a major search engine) in getting new clients? I don't think so.

      Look, the techniques you outlined in your post are pretty standard techniques for making cold calls. Cold calls are a lead generation technique of last resort. You use them when you have no other means of getting a lead. The reason it is a fall-back technique is because its effectiveness in producing sales is POOR.

      Several years ago, I worked as a sales Associate and my company used call calls a lot because there was no better way to generate leads. One of the trick we used to get people to agree to see us was to tell them that they won a gift and that we'd bring the gift to them. Guess what? Sales were few and in between.

      It's easy to understand why cold calls produce so few sales. Even when someone makes an appointment, often he or she does not know that you are coming to sell them a product or service. And, many people including businesses do not make a decision to buy or spend money in a matter of minutes, especially if the amount involved is in the 100s or 1000s.

      So, while cold calls are one of the techniques you can use as a last resort to generate leads, their effectiveness is clearly doubtful.
      When you begin your calls telling them they have won a prize, you lose credibility. It's almost scammish. You have to be straight-up with people. The numbers may not have worked for YOU, but they definitely worked for your EMPLOYER! (but maybe not much because of the techniques you used)
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  • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
    Ok so I have 2 meetings for next week..One Tuesday and one Wednesday..we'll see how it goes..I'm SUPER nervous!!
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  • Profile picture of the author carmack
    I just happened upon this thread, probably because it has gone back to the top, but I did learn some things from it that I will try. I am new to marketing to offline and like most, cold calling is a frightening prospect. But when I look at it as just getting an appointment it also takes the pressure off me and should be easier to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author areevez
    Great post, I for one do not ask for an appointment through the phone as I find it easier to get them interested and leave them waiting for an email from me which would give them valuable, exciting info about whatever Im selling. After they respond, I talk on the phone with them and we naturally start discussing pricing and I simply go for the sale over the phone. Some clients even prefer keeping all contacts through email only or phonecalls only. I find that going after an email and having a killer followup will eliminate a lot of face meetings that may have not bee necessary.

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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    The deep deep truth is that if you keep calling, no matter what you say you can hardly go wrong and over days and days you build own your confidence more and more.

    The thing that gets you over fear, more than techniques is "understanding". Understanding that THOUSANDS of people WAAAYYYY less qualified than you do this everyday.

    If you can quit comparing yourself to a rocket science, and compare yourself to a high school drop out in a phone cubicle....you will understand that you CAN.

    People make a big deal out of things that others do all day long for 8 bucks per hour and make sales while they are yawing.

    An AVERAGE call center worker would be a SALES GURU here.

    How many people have put 40 focused, concentrated hours in on the phone for even ONE WEEK here?

    If not, are you really qualified to say something works or not?

    You see, its about the work ethic more than anything, thats why these directory sites can do this with 8 dollar per hour employees.

    When you have understanding, its less intimidating. when you understand that you arent failing, you just arent putting in the focused time and thats the problem, you havent given yourself the opportunity to live with your pitch like a monk for 100 hours.

    Its easy to see that when you look at 18 years who work in call centers...and they dont care anything about business, they just want 3:00 to hurry up and get here.

    Its not intimidating once you understand that all you are doing is calling people and asking them if they need your service...do you think in that phone book there isnt one person who would want it?

    All you have to do is dig till you uncover that person (its really that simple - simple doesnt mean effortless),
    and each call, or each 100 calls or so, you make a few more distinctions and get a little better at it, but if you arent even willing to do what that 18 year does....

    You have no right to be disapointed when you dont get any success.

    Alot of people say its hard...but they havent even really been in the trenches that hard core, they are focusing on 5 different areas spread over a 20 hour work week and each area might get a couple of hours of attention.

    These companies make it big because they have people 8 hours per day 40 hours per week with concentrated focus on only ONE area.

    Do we really have a right to feel cheated when we arent as successful as them?

    To get over cold calling anxiety...there are some good techniques, but the best way is just to understand that you arent really failing...you just arent really doing what the big guys really do, or I mean "what their 8 dollar employees" really do.

    Dont mind my "books" Im going through a divorce and currently acclimating to living by myself again, nothing better to do at this time than hang out on WF all weekend. Im like a cat staying home and licking the wounds out side of running an appointment here and there right now.

    Good for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author vero
    Hello Warrior Ben,

    Thank you for a great post... and thanks to all those that have also commented valuable information on here.

    I started your challenge today. My first 34 calls were to random businesses such as clinics, pharmacies, pawnbrokers, beauty salons, grocery stores restaurants, printers and even a tire shop and a roofing contractor. I called this list because I had it on hand from my last job. The result was not as I expected since I did not get great response although I have a few follow ups for tomorrow and a possible appointment (need to follow up on this too). That is ok. ( I used your script for this bout of calls, thanks

    Then, I started calling on plumbers in the area. I did this through doing a search on google through my iphone and saw which did not have a mobile website. I tried using Michael Ryans' script offering a mobile site that was already made and that I needed to show it to them. No luck either but I think this is because I had trouble with my phone (interference) and got a hold of a lot of answering services.

    I'm personally excited because I know if I keep doing it I will score an appointment. I will keep trying tomorrow.

    Thank you,

    Vero
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    • Originally Posted by vero View Post

      Hello Warrior Ben,

      Thank you for a great post... and thanks to all those that have also commented valuable information on here.

      I started your challenge today. My first 34 calls were to random businesses such as clinics, pharmacies, pawnbrokers, beauty salons, grocery stores restaurants, printers and even a tire shop and a roofing contractor. I called this list because I had it on hand from my last job. The result was not as I expected since I did not get great response although I have a few follow ups for tomorrow and a possible appointment (need to follow up on this too). That is ok. ( I used your script for this bout of calls, thanks

      Then, I started calling on plumbers in the area. I did this through doing a search on google through my iphone and saw which did not have a mobile website. I tried using Michael Ryans' script offering a mobile site that was already made and that I needed to show it to them. No luck either but I think this is because I had trouble with my phone (interference) and got a hold of a lot of answering services.

      I'm personally excited because I know if I keep doing it I will score an appointment. I will keep trying tomorrow.

      Thank you,

      Vero

      good job.

      keep at it and you will find "your voice" and learn what works and what dosn't for you.

      true story : when I was an Investment Broker (commodities), I had a list that after the 1st 50 calls I knew the list was not real good and probably a firm that lost money for investors (high commissions for salespeople and gambling their money).

      But! I ran into 1 guy who had made money!!! luck has it's benefits
      (sure the the list was 500 names, but I was stubborn and didn't want to feel I was 'running away from adversity", and I was lucky, by hard work).

      was it worth it? 100k investment made me a great commission and I experienced #'s game, and it felt fantastic.

      if you get a few appts. ... get 1 client ...is it worth it? yes
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      • Profile picture of the author vero
        Thanks Kirby for your nice words and great example of hard work!!

        I Just wanted to post a quick update about yesterday. I didn't mention that I sent two Or three emails out to plumbers websites. I received an email back from one of them and he seems very interested. He wants me to call him back today to set up a time to meet and to get details on the pricing. I was thinking $250 with set up and one month maintenance in case he needs changes. What do you guys think?
        Now, I have a few questions. This is The first time I deal with mobile sites. I suppose I have to purchase The m. Domain which that will be included in The price. I will set IT up for him and all.
        What is The process you guys go through when selling a mobile site?
        I will really appreciate your input guys!! This is super exciting to me.. My first client

        Thank you!!
        Vero
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        • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
          Research the guy's business and see what he pulls in per year. There's a website you can use to estimate annual earnings - I can't find it at the moment but I know it's out there. Anyway, price your services by that method. $250 might be a big number for you but a small number for him.

          You don't have to purchase the m. domain. The m in a site, like m.site.com is just a subdomain that you can add using the client's cpanel interface most likely.


          Originally Posted by vero View Post

          I was thinking $250 with set up and one month maintenance in case he needs changes. What do you guys think?

          I suppose I have to purchase The m. Domain which that will be included in The price. I will set IT up for him and all.
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          • good job!

            Pricing? get an idea of what his budget is by, what has he been looking at?

            Good Questions :

            Joe, there are so many marketing messages you get today , all moving at internet speeds, and in a tough economy...so What have you been Looking into?

            What have you done so far?

            what is working for you now, or not working?

            what do you look for in getting more business? How do you determine what is best for your business when you consider your Biz. Budget and Target Market?

            the more he talks, the better for you and your price!
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          • Profile picture of the author vero
            Thanks Mike. I will do that

            So my next question is... I read somewhere that there is a script that needs to be put on the client's website for mobile users to be automatically redirected to the mobile site. Is this true? I tried to Google it but it is kind of confusing.

            Thank you

            Vero
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            • Profile picture of the author carmack
              I haven't done mobile sites yet but I have heard that is how some do it. I'm not sure if that's the only way to do it or not.
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            • Profile picture of the author SpankinNewbie
              Hello Warriors!

              First post here.

              Scripts are a great starting point but nothing beats pure enthusiasm. The reason we are all skeptical and fear cold calling is because we either don't see the real value that we are offering these business owners or we can't express it well enough.

              Now suppose you knew, that buried under the dumpster pad behind their business was a suitcase of $100 dollar bills and you want half as a finder's fee. Would you have a problem getting past the gatekeeper? How about asking for half? NO!

              Truth is, what we offer can be like finding a suitcase full of money, but, we have to be able to quantify it for ourselves and for the client.

              Do your research before approaching and business and put a number on it. When you know that a higher ranking in Big G will make that owner $2500 a month then you will have no problem asking for $750.

              Here's a tip if you want to break the ice for yourself. This seems to work.

              1.Find a business that you want to target. Find a keyword that they don't rank well for on Google.

              2. Send an email to the owner (check WHOIS database and do some research, call and ask for the email). In the subject line write: There is a problem with your website.

              2. In the body, explain that the problem is that when you searched for "(the keyword you researched)" their site wasn't on the front page of Google (or you didn't find their mobile site, etc.)

              3. Tell them that you think you know what the problem is and would like to explain it to them. Ask for an appointment and wait for a reply.

              4. If they don't reply by the next day, move on to their competition.

              SpankinNewbie
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              • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
                Originally Posted by SpankinNewbie View Post

                Hello Warriors!

                First post here.

                Scripts are a great starting point but nothing beats pure enthusiasm. The reason we are all skeptical and fear cold calling is because we either don't see the real value that we are offering these business owners or we can't express it well enough.

                Now suppose you knew, that buried under the dumpster pad behind their business was a suitcase of $100 dollar bills and you want half as a finder's fee. Would you have a problem getting past the gatekeeper? How about asking for half? NO!

                Truth is, what we offer can be like finding a suitcase full of money, but, we have to be able to quantify it for ourselves and for the client.

                Do your research before approaching and business and put a number on it. When you know that a higher ranking in Big G will make that owner $2500 a month then you will have no problem asking for $750.

                Here's a tip if you want to break the ice for yourself. This seems to work.

                1.Find a business that you want to target. Find a keyword that they don't rank well for on Google.

                2. Send an email to the owner (check WHOIS database and do some research, call and ask for the email). In the subject line write: There is a problem with your website.

                2. In the body, explain that the problem is that when you searched for "(the keyword you researched)" their site wasn't on the front page of Google (or you didn't find their mobile site, etc.)

                3. Tell them that you think you know what the problem is and would like to explain it to them. Ask for an appointment and wait for a reply.

                4. If they don't reply by the next day, move on to their competition.

                SpankinNewbie
                Great Post..Thanks! And you are absolutely right about the enthusiam. I start off all cheery and excited with my first few calls, but after I get so many no's and not interesteds..it brings my confidence level down and it shows in my voice, so needless to say that day sucks! lol Also I don't like to be all cheery if the owner sounds depressed, so I bring my tone down to match theirs which is a BAD idea!! But I will try to *stay pumped* on every call.
                Just an update on my meeting: could not convince this man to get a website if my life depended on it lol but he did buy a fanpage and signed up for my press release service, so I'm thinking of calling him and offering the site for free (I bet he'll take it then lol)as a way to *over deliver* and keep him on my list of people to upsell in the future
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                • Profile picture of the author Njenyus
                  Deidra,

                  Most times (if not all), it's a numbers game. I understand wanting to over-deliver for your clients, but don't try to shove it down his throat. Your websites are valuable (so I hope) and it's HIS loss for not accepting your offer.

                  Many times, we don't value what we are offering. That's why a lot of people almost GIVE their services away. There are SOOOOO MANY prospects and leads out there and just as many ways to approach them. When you start seeing your products being worth way more than you are offering your clients, you will let their 'nos' roll off of your back.

                  That's why I no longer do the work before getting payment. There's nothing worse than doing work and having someone renig because they didn't have anything "in it".

                  VALUE YOUR WORK! You will become less stressed and make way more money.
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                  • Originally Posted by Njenyus View Post

                    Deidra,

                    Most times (if not all), it's a numbers game. I understand wanting to over-deliver for your clients, but don't try to shove it down his throat. Your websites are valuable (so I hope) and it's HIS loss for not accepting your offer.

                    Many times, we don't value what we are offering. That's why a lot of people almost GIVE their services away. There are SOOOOO MANY prospects and leads out there and just as many ways to approach them. When you start seeing your products being worth way more than you are offering your clients, you will let their 'nos' roll off of your back.

                    That's why I no longer do the work before getting payment. There's nothing worse than doing work and having someone renig because they didn't have anything "in it".

                    VALUE YOUR WORK! You will become less stressed and make way more money.
                    I would like to echo Njenyus says.

                    If I can't make a cold call with confidence (and handle the fear), I question my own belief in what I'm doing.

                    more No's the better, the less emotional response you feel.

                    and you get better with all of it.
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                • Profile picture of the author CMCarlin
                  Originally Posted by Deidra Renee View Post

                  Great Post..Thanks! And you are absolutely right about the enthusiam. I start off all cheery and excited with my first few calls, but after I get so many no's and not interesteds..it brings my confidence level down and it shows in my voice, so needless to say that day sucks! lol Also I don't like to be all cheery if the owner sounds depressed, so I bring my tone down to match theirs which is a BAD idea!! But I will try to *stay pumped* on every call.
                  Just an update on my meeting: could not convince this man to get a website if my life depended on it lol but he did buy a fanpage and signed up for my press release service, so I'm thinking of calling him and offering the site for free (I bet he'll take it then lol)as a way to *over deliver* and keep him on my list of people to upsell in the future
                  Well, it's important to clarify something: you should be matching their pace, but always keep a confident, enthusiastic (but not too enthusiastic where it speeds up your rate of speech) tone.

                  Great thread
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            • Profile picture of the author Mark Carter
              This is a great thread, with a lot of great insight from Ben, John Durham, Josh M and others.

              The key to being good at cold calling is first and most importantly believing that you can be good at cold calling.

              John Durham is so correct when he states the following:

              **************

              " The deep deep truth is that if you keep calling, no matter what you say you can hardly go wrong and over days and days you build own your confidence more and more.

              The thing that gets you over fear, more than techniques is "understanding". Understanding that THOUSANDS of people WAAAYYYY less qualified than you do this everyday.

              If you can quit comparing yourself to a rocket science, and compare yourself to a high school drop out in a phone cubicle....you will understand that you CAN.

              People make a big deal out of things that others do all day long for 8 bucks per hour and make sales while they are yawing.

              An AVERAGE call center worker would be a SALES GURU here."

              ************

              I had to cut and paste the above because it is so true.

              It's not in who you are. It's your belief in what you can do. Once you know your product or service there's NO reason you can't promote/sell it to anyone. Your customer is a human being, just like you. (They have to launder their socks and underwear too).

              Repetition breeds familiarity. If you are uncertain of making the call, roll-play your script with a friend. Give them a copy of the objections and let them fire them at you, over and over, until you know your response like the back of your hand. Do it over and over, quickly. Spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (or however long it takes doing so).

              In so doing, you'll build the confidence it takes to make the calls and handle the objections.

              Quick story -

              30 years ago when I was barely out of high school, two of my brothers and myself started independently brokering oil leases just south of San Antonio. Part of the process was cold-calling land owners to see if they were interested in leasing their land. I knew nothing about the business (other than what my older, self taught brother was teaching me) and was scared to death to pick up the phone.

              Finally, my brother told me - "Look, you need to realize that the people you are dealing with are just good old Texas farmers, and that you already know more about this than most of them do. A lot of them are struggling, relax, go call, and let's help them out."

              I knew that I needed to do this in order to be successful, and we were.

              We did this until the lease industry dried up shortly after.

              This experience paved the way for my 5 year stint as the southeastern account representative for a large records/data storage company. I had over 400 accounts that I needed to stay in touch with regularly.

              After the experience I gained from both positions, what I can tell you is this;

              1. Repetition breeds Familiarity. (Know your product - Roll play your script).
              2. Familiarity breed Confidence. (You now know more than they do).
              3. Confidence breeds Success. ( Go help your prospect).

              The more you call - The easier it will get, and the better you will get - GUARANTEED!

              You WILL get better with EACH (roll-play or real) call.

              Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Morris
    Hey guys, Here is the script that worked for me REALLY well to get me meetings and clients.. and i know that's what you guys want. (The script is from a product of mine, but you guys get it here for free)

    I hope some of you (the successful ones) will TAKE ACTION with this and try it out, you will find you can get more meetings than you have time for!!

    WARRIOR CHALLENGE:

    The Challenge is to only make 30 calls...... and see if you can fill up your entire next week with meetings I did this challenge a lot, usually you can get 2-3 meetings easily, but to fill up the week you need at least 5!... Go for it Warriors!

    Here is the script in PDF form! Enjoy... right click and save file, no opt-in.. of course

    Right Click Here and save as..
    SEM Cold Calling Transcripts

    P.S., If you REALLY don't want to cold call... then at least Hire someone that will, and give them this script... You will find someone that will bring in plenty of leads with very little work
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    • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
      Great stuff! I love that it also has some great tips for getting past all those gatekeepers!

      5 meetings, here I come

      Originally Posted by drummer05 View Post

      Hey guys, Here is the script that worked for me REALLY well to get me meetings and clients
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      • Profile picture of the author tdorland
        Originally Posted by somacorellc View Post

        Great stuff! I love that it also has some great tips for getting past all those gatekeepers!

        5 meetings, here I come
        Mike, I'd like to talk to you about your coaching. I can't PM yet, though. email me at tdorland (at) gmail.

        Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author tuscan
    You are wise beyond your years, Warrior Ben. Thanks for sharing.
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    @B and B:

    Try manta for a free directory of companies. It's a huge database and you can drill down to city, industry, revenue, size of firm. The owner/decision maker's name is almost always provided and 99/100 times it's correct. This should help you with your prospecting list.

    It sounds to me like you could use some assistance with qualifying your prospects. I think your gut feeling about whether they'll call you back from your last meetings & post is correct. What confirms this for me is that the prospects didn't understand the benefits of what you were talking about, and this means they didn't perceive that you were solving a problem for them. You must get some urgent "pain" on the table, and they have to be the ones who tell you what is going on for it to be real.

    What do you say when you call up to try and set an appointment? What kind of questions do you ask? Do you talk more than half the time, or less?

    People will agree to meet with you because they have time and they want a free education on your topic. However, you Do Not want to be giving a free education! That expertise is what you get paid to deliver! So you have to have some means of qualifying the "tire kickers", who don't have any urgent need for your services, out.

    If you can share some more details about how you're going about prospecting, I will be able to give more specific advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author Young Samurai
      This thread is fantastic. I can't believe I didn't spot it before today.

      I know I spend too much time in Mobile Marketing. I need to get out more.

      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      ...

      If you can share some more details about how you're going about prospecting, I will be able to give more specific advice.
      I'd like to hear from kaniganj on that very issue, qualifying the prospect.

      &

      It is unwise to trust all you read on the internet.
      - Benjamin Franklin

      Hadn't read this quote before, a gem.
      Signature
      Kyle
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnotes
    I started doing my first cold calling today and had a receptionist at a local dentist office tell me that maybe they didn't have a website because they were "so good" and "didn't need one", to which I replied, "the more exposure for people to find you, all the better for the business". She did however take a message for me since I broke the ice early in the call talking about the fall weather. Did I approach her comment the correct way? Anything I could have said better? Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Morris
      Originally Posted by chrisnotes View Post

      I started doing my first cold calling today and had a receptionist at a local dentist office tell me that maybe they didn't have a website because they were "so good" and "didn't need one", to which I replied, "the more exposure for people to find you, all the better for the business". She did however take a message for me since I broke the ice early in the call talking about the fall weather. Did I approach her comment the correct way? Anything I could have said better? Thanks!

      you could say, "even though you may not think you need a website, the chances are your customers DO expect you to have one, its more professional, its what all your competition are doing, its great for business, and is a great way of finding new clients as well.... I would love to speak to your manager about this...... is he in?"

      when speaking to the gatekeeper remeber to keep in mind that you are trying to speak to the business owner..... so always end your responses with, "This is very important for business and I know the business owner would love to hear about it, Is he in right now?"

      Also as a side point, i personally would never call someone if they didnt have a website already.... if they have a website, at least you know they are qualified in some way... i.e they have a slight interest in online marketing or promotion.


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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
      drummer made some good points. I totally agree also, focus on calling businesses that already have realized they have a need for a website. Even better if it's a really bad one.

      Great thread by the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnotes
    Thanks for the answers guys! How would you handle approaching businesses that don't already have websites? Cold calling? Walking into the businesses? I was under the impression that a lot of people here were calling businesses without websites? Isn't the goal to help them gain exposure they never had? Out of around 40 calls today, 1 has me calling back next Tuesday to set up an appointment. She has no website for her pizza business. I also left around 4 msgs with gatekeepers, and 3 voice messages for other businesses.

    Side note: I am working very hard on implementing John Durham's Business model from his "Newbies Read This" thread. Which is approaching businesses without websites. You guys are also so very helpful!
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  • Profile picture of the author vero
    Hello all
    this is my update for today ( I stopped calling for a few days because I needed money and a temp job came available) today I made 50 calls to dental offices. Most of them had gatekeepers and left messages. No appointments set though

    I just read Drummer05 script (thanks so much!!) I think I will be using this one when I follow up in order to pass gatekeepers. I am thinking I will make some more calls today to plumbers... let's see how that goes.

    Thanks for this great thread
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Morris
      Originally Posted by vero View Post

      Hello all
      this is my update for today ( I stopped calling for a few days because I needed money and a temp job came available) today I made 50 calls to dental offices. Most of them had gatekeepers and left messages. No appointments set though

      I just read Drummer05 script (thanks so much!!) I think I will be using this one when I follow up in order to pass gatekeepers. I am thinking I will make some more calls today to plumbers... let's see how that goes.

      Thanks for this great thread
      Awesome, my script has already helped loads of people.... let me know how it works for you

      Josh M
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Wow! I have been away from the Warrior Forum for a few weeks (working on starting a blog-- Warrior Ben Confidential) and saw some great additions to this thread.

    Josh, I've been very impressed with reading your posts. I think I've said it before, but you have a very good understanding of the fundamentals of cold calling. Many people think cold calling is dead or a relic of the past, but the fundamentals still apply.

    John Durham had a great point, that was echoed by Mark Carter above. When you realize that the average call center employee making $10 an hour would be a guru here, it gives a great perspective that anybody can do this.

    Cold calling is really not difficult, it just takes getting over that initial fear of making the first call!

    Reading some of the posts since my "break" on the WF I already feel out of the loop on some things!! It's amazing how much goes on in only a couple weeks!

    Anyway, shameless self promotion-- check out my new blog at Warrior Ben Confidential There isn't much in terms of posts yet, but I have a very detailed "About" page that explains my story and experience. I also included a picture of the real me, so you can now all see the man behind the Warrior mask!! ;-)

    -Ben
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    • Profile picture of the author vero
      So I wanted to keep posting my experiences so far on moving my offline business forward

      Between yesterday and today I made some cold calling and sent emails out offering websites and mobile sites.

      Today I have to come up with 2 websites and 2 mobile sites (dentists, painter and handyman)

      The handyman, besides wanting the mobile site, wants someone (me) to manage his online marketing.

      Now, I do not know yet if they will actually buy the sites from me, but I am excited about it and hopefully they will because they need it.

      Thanks so much for this post... it keeps me going
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      • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
        Having done a lot of face to face sales calls, and a lot of cold calling in my years, a couple of things that have always helped me when you sit down at the beginning of a cold call session, and that is that many people you speak to will say no, rather than yes. However people don't usually like to say 'No' directly (believe it or not) out of care for upsetting you, so hence why they often come up with all the excuses in the world -to let you down gently. The real thing you need to ascertain when someone tell you 'No' is, "I understand that my solution may not be something
        • (you have the time to look at) right now,or
        • (you are interested in( right now, or
        • (you feel you need) right now...
        But do you mind if I ask one last question?
        Is it that you (dont have the time/aren't interested/don't need it) just for now, or do you mean forever?"

        Often this will soften them up and you may be able to continue the conversation ultimiately leading to an appointment, or they may open up, and tell you that they are under a great deal of pressure at present, and they would love to discuss your solution, but just not right now.

        This technique (the 'do you mean no just for now, or do you mean no forever' technique) has worked well for me.

        Another point, is that you can't win em all. So just record your call statistics, and know that you need to make 25 calls, to speak with 15 people, to get 3 appointment to get 1 sale of $1000. This way you know the value of each of those 25 calls is $40. Therefore each 'No' you get was $40 in the bank

        Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Dmagnet
    Very nice thread. Thanks all for sharing your "nuggets of wisdom." I would also suggest change your perspective when you are "cold calling." Think of yourself as a walking talking billboard. You simply want to connect with a business owner that you can help and that is open-minded enough to sit down and learn about a potential solution to their problem.

    I am amazed at some of the approaches I have heard like "I sell mobile websites. Are you interested?" You have about 30 seconds to GRAB the business owners attention. Business owners are tuned in to WIIFM. That stands for "What's In It For Me."

    Try something a little more appealing like "I help local businesses increase their customer count. Is it safe to assume you'd like to bring in more customers?" Most will say yes. Then say "Great we need to talk for about 15 minutes. I'll be available at either 2pm or 4pm later today. Which time would be best for you?" Set the appointment.

    Your whole mindset should not be to get a sale. Rather to set as many "qualified" appointments as you can. Go after the "low hanging fruit" until you get the "marbles out of your mouth" and you feel more confident with the more challenging opportunities.

    I like to contact advertisers because they understand the value of promoting their business. If you are selling mobile websites then I'd only contact advertisers (in the beginning) that already have a web presence. The sale will be much easier if they a) have already spent money on promoting their business and b) they understand the value of having a web presence.

    I have trained hundreds of salespeople and in my experience sometimes it's just poor prospecting. So, learn who your customer is. What kinds of "pain" or problems are they experiencing? Know exactly how your product/service can help.

    Don't sell at people. Do you like to be sold? Ask questions that will help you determine if you are a fit for each other.

    Another common mistake that salespeople make is in the qualifying. This should be done after they verbally commit to the appointment. Say something like "Joe, you seem like a pretty direct person is it safe to assume that you make the final decision or is their anybody else that needs to be here too? If he says no then say "Great, so you'll be able to tell me yes or no while I'm here then."
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    The reason I think many people hate cold calling is because they expect failure. If you're calling a decision-maker, you should expect success. Not worry about messing up.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Warren & Dmagnet,

    Both of you offer extremely valuable advice above. Understanding what the business owner is saying "No" to is very important. Quite often it can feel that they are saying No to your services in general, but in reality they just have other things going on so now isn't the right time for them to buy.

    Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

    "I understand that my solution may not be something
    • (you have the time to look at) right now,or
    • (you are interested in( right now, or
    • (you feel you need) right now...
    But do you mind if I ask one last question?
    Is it that you (dont have the time/aren't interested/don't need it) just for now, or do you mean forever?"
    This script is GOLD to really understand what the business owner is saying No to. Just because they say no right now does not mean the deal is dead. There have been quite a few deals I have gotten where it was months after my initial cold call.

    VIP-IP, you are absolutely right about mindset being everything. As Dmagnet also mentioned, the mindset should not be to close the sale over the phone, but to get a qualified appointment. This minor tweak in thinking will produce amazing results for people who try it.

    -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author godinu
    Mindset truly is important, for both phone calls and in-person meetings. Life in general, really. People can pick up on your vibe. If you're scared, they will hear it in your voice. Even if you are nervous when starting out, the old adage "fake it til you make it" comes to play. Speak with confidence even if it is an act. Speak like you're talking to a friend rather than a stranger, that may help with the nerves. I never particularly cared for cold calling or telemarketing, but I once had a telemarketing job for another company and found out i was pretty good at it just by speaking like a regular person and not trying to ram sales down someone's throat. Comfort = more likelihood of success
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  • Profile picture of the author MKTNG
    Thanks for this, cold calling is a tough thing to accomplish successfully, but it is like everything in life--in order to get good at it we have to do it....ALOT...consistently and just keep going.

    A strong script sure helps but I definitely dig the advice for getting an appointment rather than trying to sell on a cold call.

    Thanks OP.
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  • Profile picture of the author StepAhead
    Yup, People hate cold calling. caller is in mind set to sale his product without knowing the mind state of receiver, without knowing does the person on other end knows a little about product. your post is seeming helpful. Thanks for share.
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    • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
      Originally Posted by StepAhead View Post

      Yup, People hate cold calling. caller is in mind set to sale his product without knowing the mind state of receiver, without knowing does the person on other end knows a little about product. your post is seeming helpful. Thanks for share.
      No problem. The mind state of the caller is a huge thing and this is what makes going for the appointment close so effective. You aren't actually trying to sell anything over the phone, so you avoid coming off all "salesy".

      Originally Posted by 4webmaster View Post

      Great great post.

      I've done cold calling in the past and wasn't effective.
      1- might be my voice
      2- gatekeepers (did not land to the right person)
      3- were not interested as many marketers call them on regular basis (same as email marketing)

      What does work for me.

      1- face-to-face

      I go with all materials demo printed on papers or my smartphone, agreements,... just like Ben suggest.

      Results:
      1- Employee call manager or marketing agent
      2- Make appointment or if have time listen to me
      3- close sales (mostly with small biz) or not interested, will think and call...(mostly big co)
      Congrats on finding out what works for you. Everybody is different and that is one of the most important things to recognize in sales. There is no one "right" way to do things. Find out what works for you and then give it your all. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author 4webmaster
    Great great post.

    I've done cold calling in the past and wasn't effective.
    1- might be my voice
    2- gatekeepers (did not land to the right person)
    3- were not interested as many marketers call them on regular basis (same as email marketing)

    What does work for me.

    1- face-to-face

    I go with all materials demo printed on papers or my smartphone, agreements,... just like Ben suggest.

    Results:
    1- Employee call manager or marketing agent
    2- Make appointment or if have time listen to me
    3- close sales (mostly with small biz) or not interested, will think and call...(mostly big co)
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  • Profile picture of the author lint631
    This is the most amazing post I have ever seen! It makes me sick to think of cold calling but I think I'm going to try it. I really need sales and have a great product but really suck when it comes to selling. I have a question:

    If you don't know who to ask for when calling then what do you say to the gatekeeper? Would you simply say, "Hi can I please speak to the owner or manager." or would you introduce yourself first?

    Sorry one more question. Is there ever a bad time to cold call? Say around the holiday season?

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author peter360
      Read this book, it will help you a lot: Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There

      Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author areoo
    Hey guys i got a quick question... How do you know whos the decision maker or owner?
    what if their websites dont show any info?
    on another not... is it ok if you dont have a good command of english and to talk to them in a less formal manner? would that matter?
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  • Profile picture of the author gabem86
    Wow I guess cold calling is really not all that bad when you just muster up the courage and get it done!
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  • Profile picture of the author jcjonas
    I wanted to revive this conversation.Thanks WB for initiating this thread. There is a lot of information here. I have been cold calling for years. And some you on this thread have thought of other ways other than cold calling to get customers. But let's be frank, those are just excuses. The most effective way to get new customers today, even with all this technology is to pick up the phone and call. You will make appointments. Its that simple, and just sell the appointment. If somebody hangs up on you, if they're nasty, whatever, just move on. I always start my day with 100 prospects to call and remember, you are going to get more no then yes. As far as getting through the gatekeepers remember 80% of the time you won't. But those 20% of the time that you do you can get an appointment or to. There is no magic bullet to get through the gatekeeper.

    Sometimes the approach I use, if I am unable to get through the gatekeeper I try something like what do you mean he's not interested. If I was to call the doctor directly and told him I have patients looking for his services but your receptionist told me that you not interested in new business, what you think he would say? Then I might ask - do you work on commission and she would probably say no. I would respond and say will you actually do because if the doctor had no patience you would be out of a job right? I know this may sound a little harsh, but you really had nothing to lose. I fshe's not putting you through to the DM. I do this in a playful way and have a little bit of fun with it. And that's what this is all about smile, have fun and get through it because successful cold calling will put you in that 20% of reps that are successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    I read in a book that expensive sales require less closing attempts for a high close rate. The higher the # of attempts to close, the lower the close rate (unlike with inexpensive sales, where 6-7 closing attempts are OK).

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author asiamaria
    Great post Ben

    So for something like seo, would calling and saying:

    "Hi this is Matt calling from bla bla just down the road, I came across your website and I had a few ideas how you could get it to generate more business - I've made you a 5 minute video to show you what I mean…what’s the best email address to send it to?"

    How would you approach this after making videos and sending them out?

    Appreciate your feedback
    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author StevieJK
    W-O-W!

    This thread is absolute GOLD!

    I was hesitant about cold-calling until I read this thread. Not any more though, onwards and upwards!
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    • Originally Posted by StevieJK View Post

      W-O-W!

      This thread is absolute GOLD!

      I was hesitant about cold-calling until I read this thread. Not any more though, onwards and upwards!
      Go for it.

      don't stop, even to listen to yourself. call and reach those good conversations.

      " No's will make you better, and Yes's will make you money"
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  • Profile picture of the author emrom
    YOu could also make the call to just fine out what their needs are. Most people hate making the call, because...they don't know what they will be asked or what questions or how to handle the rejection....so call with intend to just ask questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Totally agree... Most deals are closed face to face... Calling should be just for setting the appointment...
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankieTP2
    Bookmarked this thread. It's always good to know how other people do it.
    Signature

    I Bet My Wife I Could Make $100 Bucks In Only 3 Days...
    WITH NO PRODUCT - NO LIST - NO JV'S and NO TRAFFIC.

    Here's What Happened... Click HERE To Find Out The Results!

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  • Profile picture of the author Richard II
    Months later and still a Dynamic Thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author boatree
    I love it when I read this types of posts and feel fortunate that I have been cold calling B2B for the last 6 years and have gone through a lot of what you guys are going through now about getting past gatekeepers, not being confident on the phone and things of this nature.

    As John Durham has consistently repeated... You get better as time goes on. Just keep making those calls and ask yourself after each one what you could have done better.

    Also when the call goes well, pat yourself on the back and remember what you did RIGHT also and keep on repeating that.

    It also helps to have music lightly playing in the background, or through using earphones, if you have your left ear with the music on and right ear for the phone. It keeps you in the mood and helps you deal with the rejections.

    Also a big tip I can add... With all of the "maybe interested" people and all of the "call us back in 3 months", make sure you ADD these people to a spreadsheet... Because I promise you if you consistently keep at it and continue to add these people, after a month or two of cold calling you would have built a major list of "warm calls" which is your ultimate goal in this.

    Warm calls are considerably easier to make than cold calls.

    I am also surprised nobody has mentioned the following yet... For all you cold calling newbies, you HAVE to watch two movies that should PUMP you and even give you some tips.

    The two movie are:

    1. The Boiler Room
    2. Glengary Glenross

    I suggest you guys go to a DVD machine right now and borrow it.

    Your loss if you don't
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  • Profile picture of the author Tjpiper
    Great advice! Using the initial interaction with a business owner to set the appointment has helped increase my sales tremendously!

    You will always be able to close more deals when you meet the client in person. Set the appointment then sell them at the appointment. Many business owners are sold to over the phone several times a day - they get sick of it fast! Just set a low-pressure, no-hype appointment and save the sales pitch for the meeting.
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    • Profile picture of the author boatree
      In response to the above... Yes it is always easier to close face to face than over the phone for a service.

      However, you guys need to also be introduced to the idea of "qualifying" your prospects.

      Local business or not, nobody wants to spend a lot of time preparing for a meeting, to arrive and realize there was no chance in hell the business owner was going to buy anything off you.

      One of the easy ways of qualifying a prospect over the phone is to ask a few basic questions once they have agreed to meet with you.

      So you pitch, client agrees to meet, you say in response "that's great, so that I know I am not wasting your time can I ask you some basic questions to help me prepare for the meeting".

      In an internet marketing setting, the questions could involve:

      1. How did you initially setup the website for your business
      2. What internet marketing campaigns do you have running at the moment if any?
      3. How are you finding the results? etc

      The purpose of asking the above questions is to find out information. Information you can use to better prepare for the meeting.
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