Should I cold call after I cold emailed?

28 replies
Ok, so I cold emailed a bunch of business (before I figured out that didn't really work,) so now I'm going to actually cold call on Monday.

My question is, should I include those I've already cold emailed or does that look desperate? (I'm wondering because I don't even know if they read the email.)

Also, how do you convince someone to talk to you when you're not in the same town? Most of the best scripts seem to rely on the fact that you are.
#call #cold #emailed
  • Profile picture of the author ageofpwn
    sadie,

    Don't ever worry about looking desperate. Often times the person you emailed may not have received your email due to spam filters, or they simply did not take the time to read it.

    If you go back and call everyone, then you are insuring that you aren't letting anyone through the cracks. It's not a matter of desperation, it's just good business.

    The best companies in the world (think of even Groupon for this) have sales teams that are absolutely relentless. They get on the phone with people no matter what. It's just the best way to get someone to respond to you and listen to what you have to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Originally Posted by sadiecopywriter View Post

    Also, how do you convince someone to talk to you when you're not in the same town? Most of the best scripts seem to rely on the fact that you are.
    Make your own script. Split test the script.

    You don't need to set appointments to close the deal, I have more clients in others states than I have locally!

    The fact is, if they have a need that you can address, then you can close the deal. Maybe not always on the first call, but there are many first call closes. You just don't know until you try it and you make those calls. People say cold calling doesn't work for them.. it isn't that it doesn't work, people just aren't making it work.

    Even a crappy script will give you sales if you play the numbers.
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  • Profile picture of the author sondrac
    Definitely follow up cold emails with a call. Actually it's not a cold call, since you've already emailed them you made an attempt at contact. Also I call people and let them know I'm following up to see if they received the email.

    Adapt your script to your situation, present the benefits of your product or service and see if they have questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Sadie, there is some great advice already in this thread. I agree with the others, definitely follow up an e-mail with a phone call.

    Sondrac above nails it-- let the people you are calling know that you are following up on an e-mail sent to them. It provides a nice opener as a reason to call.

    -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Of course you should. It will get you great and immediate feedback. Did they see your email? Did it matter to them? Do they need copywriting services? You'll find out quickly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    In talking about split testing sales approaches, here is a link that was originally posted in the Copywriting forum:

    How to test responses at bars

    I thought the blog post was so good I went ahead and signed up for his list .

    Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenalowe
    Yes, definitely follow up with a call.

    I'm assuming from your screen name that you are offering copywriting services

    Next time, change the cold call into a warm call by:
    • researching the company in question, so you know something about what they do AND you know at least the right department to email, if not the right person
    • tailoring the email for the company; mention one of their products, ads, salespeople, or whatever is relevant to the services you are offering
    • telling them something specific that you can do for them; if you can demonstrate how this service improved a similar business, say so; a general quote is better than nothing
    • telling them that you will follow up on a specific day and time

    include a P.S. after your signature to remind them of your offer

    call them at the appointed day/time.

    Note: this advice is adapted from the excellent book "Selling to VITO" by Tony Parinello

    Some copywriters offer a proof-of-value service, whereby they will take an ad or similar for a company, rewrite it, and track the results. If the rewritten ad does not improve response by an agreed amount within a certain time frame, the customer does not have to pay.
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    • Profile picture of the author strangest
      Sadie,

      Always follow up otherwise the initial work was done for nothing. As for scripts, I don't believe in them. You come across as wooden and it can be more than disconcerting if the conversation goes off on a tangent, as most do. Your script is no use to you then, and no two conversations go the same way in any case. Much better to be natural and off the cuff. Cold calling is not for the faint hearted but once you get yourself into a certain mindset its easy to get the adrenalin flowing. The adrenalin will build your confidence. Confidence will gain interest. Interest means more conversions.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        Of course you should follow up! I have to agree with the others who have said that if you don't, what you've already done was for nothing.

        However, as much as I think it's great to sound natural, the best way to get there is with a script. A lot of people associate "script" with "robotic" and that's not at all true. "Robotic" is an attribute that can be attributed to the person delivering the script. A GOOD script will let you accomplish a lot more because you can measure your results with ease.

        Does something happen at each point in your pitch? How can you correct it if you say something different with each call. Without a script, in your desire to sound natural, you will have no idea of what works and what doesn't.

        If you're relatively new to sales, in fact, even if you're not, without a script you are going to go off track because you're starting without a track.

        You will not be able to maintain control of the conversation, and that's going to wind up in a lot of good conversations, but not many closes.

        I'm not saying that writing a good script is simple or easy, it's extremely difficult. It's more difficult sometimes for people who are skilled writers because they may not be used to writing a first person conversation.

        Write your script as if it's a play, and you're the star. It won't sound natural on your first pitch or maybe even the next fifty. But eventually it will.

        Here's the bottom line to all this: How can you measure your results if you do something different on every call?
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        • Profile picture of the author strangest
          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          Of course you should follow up! I have to agree with the others who have said that if you don't, what you've already done was for nothing. However, as much as I think it's great to sound natural, the best way to get there is with a script. A lot of people associate "script" with "robotic" and that's not at all true. "Robotic" is an attribute that can be attributed to the person delivering the script. A GOOD script will let you accomplish a lot more because you can measure your results with ease.
          I beg to disagree. As someone who has cold called 'off the cuff' for over 30 years to tens of thousands of businesses, there is no way the average person would come across as sincere when trying to use a script. By all means have a bullit-point list in front of you when telephoning, but no matter how good a script is only a small percentage will have the ability and quick wittedness to implement it correctly. Cold calling is an art that very few have and the only true way to learn that art is with experience.


          Does something happen at each point in your pitch? How can you correct it if you say something different with each call. Without a script, in your desire to sound natural, you will have no idea of what works and what doesn't.
          My point exactly. If something happens at each point in your pitch, chances are that there will be hundreds of variations as no two conversations will go exactly the same way. A script will not prepare or help you under these circumstances. You get to sound natural with experience, knowing your product well, and having a belief in your product that will come across in calls.

          If you're relatively new to sales, in fact, even if you're not, without a script you are going to go off track because you're starting without a track.
          Your not starting without a track if you bullit-point a list.

          You will not be able to maintain control of the conversation, and that's going to wind up in a lot of good conversations, but not many closes.
          If you can't maintain control in a conversation when your talking about your OWN product then I don't think a wooden scripted approach will help. Simply means your not cut out for cold calling.

          I'm not saying that writing a good script is simple or easy, it's extremely difficult. It's more difficult sometimes for people who are skilled writers because they may not be used to writing a first person conversation.

          Write your script as if it's a play, and you're the star. It won't sound natural on your first pitch or maybe even the next fifty. But eventually it will.
          By the same token it won't sound natural on your first pitch or maybe even the next fifty without a script. But eventually it will. Once you have that adaptability it will breed confidence. Being reliant upon a script won't achieve that.

          Here's the bottom line to all this: How can you measure your results if you do something different on every call?
          It's not about measuring your results, it's about finding a happy medium your comfortable with. If your not comfortable then it's not for you. Every call is different so you have to approach them as such; with different responses as the situation arises. You might have to try dozens of scripts before settling on one that you feel provided a modicum of success, but it won't prepare you for the unexpected.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelParsons
    One of the best ways I've found to break the ice and get past the gatekeeper is by using my name and asking for the person who handles "whatever you're pitching", something like:

    "Good Morning, XYZ company"
    "Good morning, it Mike Parsons, how are you today?"
    "I'm fine Mike, How can I help you"
    "I was wondering if I could speak with the person who handles your X (social media, online presence, online marketing)."
    "That Would be Jane, and Y (would you like to leave a message, I'll send you over, send you to voicemail).

    Gets you past the receptionist while treating him/her like a person and getting at least a name if you don't have one. Works more than it doesn't
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenalowe
      Originally Posted by MichaelParsons View Post

      One of the best ways I've found to break the ice and get past the gatekeeper is by using my name and asking for the person who handles "whatever you're pitching", something like:

      "Good Morning, XYZ company"
      "Good morning, it Mike Parsons, how are you today?"
      "I'm fine Mike, How can I help you"
      "I was wondering if I could speak with the person who handles your X (social media, online presence, online marketing)."
      "That Would be Jane, and Y (would you like to leave a message, I'll send you over, send you to voicemail).

      Gets you past the receptionist while treating him/her like a person and getting at least a name if you don't have one. Works more than it doesn't
      Very true - always make friends with the receptionist, assistant, and any other 'gatekeepers' that you encounter. They have the power to help or hinder you considerably.

      This also applies to the accountant (who makes sure you get paid) and the tech support people (who fix things when they're broken).

      Several years ago, at a 'real' job, I made a point to call the main tech support fellow once a month to let him know that everything was working great, the systems seemed faster than ever, and what a great job I thought they were doing. No one ever calls tech support to tell them that everything is fine.

      When I did have a problem, it got fixed instantly.
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  • Profile picture of the author juicyt
    I've found you don't even need the initial email, just go and ask if the saw it anyway as if you did send one. They will say No and you have broken the ice and you can check emails etc and go on with your pitch. They will be more open to you this way too as people want to fix your problem of the email and you suddenly are not the sales-y sales person.
    Still the best way to cold call i've found is to go and ask for a business card of the person you need to talk to. So tell them what you do, ask who you should talk to and let them know you just want to grab a card to call em at a latter date. Noone minds this. Then when you do call, you say "joanne said i should talk with you about". You havent lied, but the person feels as though as joanne said to talk to them, they should talk with you.

    MB
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  • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
    "Good Morning, XYZ company"
    "Good morning, it Mike Parsons, how are you today?"
    LOL if you start of like that most people will hang up on you because they know you're a seller, (i hang up immeditly) stuff like "how are you today" is a death give away for: hi i am Mike and i wanna sell you something...

    Yes you need to do the follow up call, just ask if they got your email... and if this is the path you're gonna choose you could just skip the whole emailing thing... 99% of the emails sent by so called SEO/IM people will not be read by anyone (or you must have a superb header) it goes directly into the bin.

    You're better off sending them a letter or postcard and call them after two days if they got the letter/card ... you will have a better change that they remember you... or you could do letter/postcard/email/call

    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      I honestly don't think there's much you shouldn't try when you have the "right" prospects.

      I'm a big fan of finding your exact target and going after them hard. For instance I only do non lead-gen/site rentals for multi-location owners. My ideal client at this time is someone with 10-50 locations. Now of course this is a client who can write me checks every year for $100k.

      So I email.
      I Fedex
      I postcard
      I send food
      I send cash
      I get to know the gatekeeper and all about her family
      I send them NFL tickets to come to a game with me

      I will do whatever. I contact them once every two weeks until they beg me to stop, which doesn't generally happen. So, I get the deals that others won't because they stop after hearing no once.

      In my lead-gen business, we find the best prospects the ones who can give us the most money and we go after them hard. For instance if I have a roofing website, there are probably 100 roofers in a big metro. But only 5-10 that have big advertising budgets. Why sell to #99 on the list teetering on bankruptcy when if I'm patient, and have 5-10 "touches" they can eventually give me a ton more money.

      Marcos
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      • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

        Why sell to #99 on the list teetering on bankruptcy when if I'm patient, and have 5-10 "touches" they can eventually give me a ton more money.

        Marcos
        Well if you're that good in what you're doing then you can get them out of the threat of bankruptcy instead of pondering the top 5...

        If you pull that off you will have a raving client for life, and we all know what a raving client is worth when it comes to referrals
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelParsons
      Originally Posted by YellowGreenMedia View Post

      LOL if you start of like that most people will hang up on you because they know you're a seller, (i hang up immeditly) stuff like "how are you today" is a death give away for: hi i am Mike and i wanna sell you something...
      I mainly deal with professionals, perhaps I should have expanded my post. Most "people" might hang up, but most receptionists/assistants will not. They will think you're an existent client 98% of the time, the other 2% are VERY SMALL or places where the owner answers and responds with "who are you."

      I agree, the mom and pop will hang up; but the dentist, accountant, lawyer or chiropractor won't.
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  • Profile picture of the author toffinpill
    You just don't know until you try it and you make those calls. People say cold calling doesn't work for them.. it isn't that it doesn't work, people just aren't making it work.
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    • Profile picture of the author gecko1
      I'm finding that biz owner are really not that bad to talk to if you are genuine.
      Send them the emails and call them a day or two after. You will be in their mind.
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      • Profile picture of the author dtaylor
        Originally Posted by gecko1 View Post

        I'm finding that biz owner are really not that bad to talk to if you are genuine.
        Send them the emails and call them a day or two after. You will be in their mind.
        I have not had a lot of luck with sending cold emails.

        I tried sending out a lot of cold emails with no follow-up, got nowhere.

        I tried sending out a lot of cold emails with a quick follow-up (within a couple of hours of sending it) That was better but still somewhat disappointing. I am just not a fan of relying on a cold contact to use as a talking point with the client.

        For me, it works much better if I call and get permission as well as correct email address then send a video tailored to their situation.

        DTaylor
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        • Profile picture of the author David Miller
          I've always found it interesting that people will suggest you stay clear of any phrases that might immediately indicate you're a salesperson. The theory being that at the moment you are identified as such, you will be shut down in some fashion.

          So what are these things that give us away?

          Typically harmless phrases like, "how are you?"

          So what is the gameplan here? At what point do they find out you're selling something? Is this merely to get past the gatekeeper? Aren't you tricking the gatekeeper if you do this....the gatekeeper that everyone says you need to get on your side?

          Now what I'm about to say is simply my opinion, and it also is my experience. If you take to time to read it, you may find value in it. If not, that's ok as well.

          First, I would suggest that people who are so ignorant that they would dismiss a person because they thought they were a salesperson, is not likely to be a viable prospect in the first place.

          I respect people's time and I respect people who respect my time as well as their own. Letting the prospect understand the purpose of your call is being respectful of their time, and yours. Most successful business people will appreciate it.

          Business people, successful business people, are typically busy. Part of the reason people become successful in the business world is because they remain open to new ideas. As salespeople, we are taught that we should never prejudge. Making the assumption that someone will be annoyed by a phone call from a salesperson is certainly prejudging.

          Much of this comes down to your belief in what you are offering. Is it a good product or service? Is it priced right? Is it something that will be of value to the prospect?

          Next comes this: Assuming that you are talking to a qualified prospect; Have you properly prepared yourself to present your offer in a concise manner? Are you prepared to answer the questions that you might typically expect? Is it going to be easy for the prospect to aquire what you're offering?

          All that being said, is there one GOOD reason to hide the fact that you are making a sales call?
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  • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
    All that being said, is there one GOOD reason to hide the fact that you are making a sales call?
    Yes because 99% wont give you the time of day if they found out you're a sales person selling SEO/Mobile/GP whatever... these people are getting called on a daily basis by people like us and they are all saying the same thing... hi am Mike how are you today....

    Maybe you like to talk to salespeople day in and day out, but i can tell you first hand that most business owners don't, they know exactly what is coming because they have heard it a gazillion times before.

    Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Originally Posted by YellowGreenMedia View Post

      Yes because 99% wont give you the time of day if they found out you're a sales person selling SEO/Mobile/GP whatever... these people are getting called on a daily basis by people like us and they are all saying the same thing... hi am Mike how are you today....

      Maybe you like to talk to salespeople day in and day out, but i can tell you first hand that most business owners don't, they know exactly what is coming because they have heard it a gazillion times before.

      Dave
      Than perhaps you'd like to share what you do UNTIL you let them know you have something to sell? Clearly you believe that businesses are being slammed with dozens of sales calls everyday, and I will not attempt to dispell that. But at what point do you jump out of the cake and yell "surprise!"

      Look, I'm not saying "hi, I'm Joe, how are you?" but I don't see the need to hide the reason for your call.
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  • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
    Clearly you believe that businesses are being slammed with dozens of sales calls everyday
    I have had a brick and mortar business here in Holland, i painting business. And i got called and emailed a view times a week and that is just from Dutch SEO companies in little Netherlands

    So i can imagine that business owners in the US/UK are getting called a lot not only from local SEO companies but also from abroad... the competition is huge... but i guess you have another opinion... fine by me.

    What is do is i use direct mail, yes i sell them true direct mail but it isn't as near as intruding as cold calling or emailing, for my mobile site business i have for example a list of a 50 restaurants, what i do is i create 50 mobile website demo's... nothing fancy just a demo site.

    I have it setup that i only have to change the colors and logo according to the business owners site, then i create a screenshot of both sites in a Iphone emulator... both are being put together on a postcard with a great header and a personalized URL like www.mydomain.com/DavidMiller


    For a landingspage where i have a video showing them the benefits of a mobile site and i send that to the prospect.

    After 24/48 hrs i do a follow up call and 90% of the business remember the postcard and are happy to talk to you, i sell about 60% of my sites, and of that i get a lot of extra work.

    This works much better because you're way less intrusive and people are more likely to buy from you, and you don't have to go true the aggravation of cold calling....

    That is how i do it.

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author terip
    You can cold call after you cold emailed but my suggestion would be to make sure first that your prospects have replied and have set up a phone appointment with you. Otherwise, you might be on the receiving end of an agitated person that you may have disturbed. Make sure to set up the appointments first before calling those you have e-mailed.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClarkKent
      Originally Posted by terip View Post

      You can cold call after you cold emailed but my suggestion would be to make sure first that your prospects have replied and have set up a phone appointment with you. Otherwise, you might be on the receiving end of an agitated person that you may have disturbed. Make sure to set up the appointments first before calling those you have e-mailed.
      That's really either my fault for not expressing the value in what I'm offering, or their fault for writing-off any person who calls them via the phone.
      I'm offering a service at a reasonable price that they frankly need if I'm calling them (if they don't need it, I haven't qualified them properly).

      By the way, for everyone who's cold emailing to try to warm up potential clients, I hope you're including your postal address, identifying your message as an advert, and including an opt-out button at the bottom of your emails.

      If not, you're probably violating CAN-SPAM.
      CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business | BCP Business Center
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    I would cold call also after about 3 days from the initial email. If that doesn't persuade them... follow up with direct mail and pitch your offer/package that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author roseca
    yes you should, it will different kind of marketing.
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