32 replies
I currently make a few bucks doing offline marketing.
I want to try the cold calling route but I have a question....

What do (should) I say to a cold call?

I have no problem cold calling people, although I hate it. (personally)
But as far as a foot in the door, what shall I say?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
#calling #cold
  • Profile picture of the author Zen Warrior
    Hey Dave,

    I am getting ready to do the same--cold call.

    I've been reading quite a bit, but of course, experience is the best teacher...I don't think that I have a problem with it either, but don't like doing it....yet!

    I do know that being relaxed and not pushy has to help...

    Waiting to hear more from the experts

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author DavePalermo
      I ain't the nervous type, but as far as what I should say kinda puts me off from calling people.

      I always have great rapport when I am on the phone, just need a foot in the door with what I should say.

      So yes an expert adviser would be nice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    I have spent countless hours researching this on the forum. Just do an advanced search in the offline section for cold calls or cold calling.

    Also, I suggest following John Durham, Jason Kanigan, Ken Michaels, and Iamnameless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gladiator
    Well what are you selling? You should have in depth knowledge of your product or services this will make you feel confident and able to take the conversation in the direction that you want.

    ex.--- Hello John, How are you today? I was looking at your website an i noticed that.....

    You might get quick objections but turn things around by taking control and what you are going to do for them. Get rid of their pain sort of speak! You should not sound like a sales guy but you should be a pro on what ever you are talking about and go for the close!

    I realize that this is a little confusing but Here is what you should do take a few leads and just go for it not really caring about the deal! It is also the numbers game, the more call the more potential deals!
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    • Profile picture of the author DavePalermo
      I get what you are saying and that is good advice.
      Thanks....
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  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    The best thing to do when it comes to cold calling is to be personable. You want the decision-maker to feel like you aren't a salesman (even if you are), but a professional/expert providing a service they will benefit from.

    What are you offering? Obviously the way you handle a cold-call will vary depending on what services you are offering.
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  • Profile picture of the author FIP
    Zen Warrior nailed it - its experience.
    I used to do it for a living (hard, tough, repetitive work in a saturated marketplace)

    The value was it meant I had to develop my skills further. I had to listen more. I had to find ways to connect with people...often in 2 seconds

    And I might add, do it in a way that was ethical and genuine.

    So hard to give meaningful advice on this.

    What I would say is don't talk over people. Listen. Don't get too salesy, and certainly be prepared to get used to the word 'NO'

    I probably had around 50,000+ people say no to me, in some shape or form in near on 3 years.
    That said well over 10,000 said yes.
    Hours at times spent getting 'NO' after no.

    But ALWAYS my attitude was how can I connect with these people, how can I get them to say yes right now, or even better still in the future...

    What I can say is that if you focus on the bigger picture and building relationships with people, the cold calling will take on much more meaning and over time you will build a database.....hopefully!
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    • Profile picture of the author Zen Warrior
      Originally Posted by FIP View Post

      Zen Warrior nailed it - its experience.
      I used to do it for a living (hard, tough, repetitive work in a saturated marketplace)

      The value was it meant I had to develop my skills further. I had to listen more. I had to find ways to connect with people...often in 2 seconds

      And I might add, do it in a way that was ethical and genuine.

      So hard to give meaningful advice on this.

      What I would say is don't talk over people. Listen. Don't get too salesy, and certainly be prepared to get used to the word 'NO'

      I probably had around 50,000+ people say no to me, in some shape or form in near on 3 years.
      That said well over 10,000 said yes.
      Hours at times spent getting 'NO' after no.

      But ALWAYS my attitude was how can I connect with these people, how can I get them to say yes right now, or even better still in the future...

      What I can say is that if you focus on the bigger picture and building relationships with people, the cold calling will take on much more meaning and over time you will build a database.....hopefully!
      Thanks to Dave for starting this post, as I am going to start calling tomorrow, and like him, I am not exactly nervous, I am a calm person and can connect with people well...

      But this is an unknown...I know what I am selling--and have proven results to show folks if need be-- but just getting my foot in the door....

      And I like the quote by Thoreua
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  • Profile picture of the author linda75
    Originally Posted by DavePalermo View Post

    I currently make a few buck doing offline marketing.
    I want to try the cold calling route but I have a question....

    What do (should) I say to a cold call?

    I have no problem cold calling people, although I hate it. (personally)
    But as far as a foot in the door, what shall I say?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I have trained thousands of cold callers to sell advertising space over the phone and we had to close the sale then and there over the phone.

    I will tell you some things about coldcalling that newbies dont know.

    When you start you are frightened of hearing the word "no"
    When you become experienced you realise that the word "No" is your best friend. If you let them, personable people will waste hours of your time in conversation with no intention whatsoever of buying anything. You realise after a while that you're role is more of a detective to question people to really ascertain if it is worth your while pitching them. Eventually you realise that your biggest enemy are the time wasters and your biggest friends are people who not only say a straight no but actually put the phone down because they have saved you a few more seconds of time.

    When you become good you will find that you get a lot more "nos" because you are questioning people correctly and they are making decisions, likewise you get a lot more yeses

    When we used to start selling on a new publication we used to think about what people might respond to and sell that, it wasn't created yet. We would test and test until we found an area that had traction, and at that point when we got sales we would create the thing.

    We would start off with a very rough pitch first of all because we wanted to get all the objections and problems out in the open and then we would write answers to all of them until there was nothing left.
    A pitch needs to build trust immediately (which is why we would sell on publications for big business organisations) you could partner up with a cpa or someone who already has their trust and they will talk to you. One barrier down, the next is scarcity. We would have 3 advertisers per section or find another way to add scarcity into the mix, Basically use marketing prinicples in your pitch. Hope that helps
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by linda75 View Post

      I have trained thousands of cold callers to sell advertising space over the phone and we had to close the sale then and there over the phone.

      I will tell you some things about coldcalling that newbies dont know.

      When you start you are frightened of hearing the word "no"
      When you become experienced you realise that the word "No" is your best friend. If you let them, personable people will waste hours of your time in conversation with no intention whatsoever of buying anything. You realise after a while that you're role is more of a detective to question people to really ascertain if it is worth your while pitching them. Eventually you realise that your biggest enemy are the time wasters and your biggest friends are people who not only say a straight no but actually put the phone down because they have saved you a few more seconds of time.

      When you become good you will find that you get a lot more "nos" because you are questioning people correctly and they are making decisions, likewise you get a lot more yeses

      When we used to start selling on a new publication we used to think about what people might respond to and sell that, it wasn't created yet. We would test and test until we found an area that had traction, and at that point when we got sales we would create the thing.

      We would start off with a very rough pitch first of all because we wanted to get all the objections and problems out in the open and then we would write answers to all of them until there was nothing left.
      A pitch needs to build trust immediately (which is why we would sell on publications for big business organisations) you could partner up with a cpa or someone who already has their trust and they will talk to you. One barrier down, the next is scarcity. We would have 3 advertisers per section or find another way to add scarcity into the mix, Basically use marketing prinicples in your pitch. Hope that helps
      Welcome to the forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by linda75 View Post

      When you start you are frightened of hearing the word "no"
      When you become experienced you realise that the word "No" is your best friend. If you let them, personable people will waste hours of your time in conversation with no intention whatsoever of buying anything. You realise after a while that you're role is more of a detective to question people to really ascertain if it is worth your while pitching them. Eventually you realise that your biggest enemy are the time wasters and your biggest friends are people who not only say a straight no but actually put the phone down because they have saved you a few more seconds of time.

      When you become good you will find that you get a lot more "nos" because you are questioning people correctly and they are making decisions, likewise you get a lot more yeses

      Linda: What an awsome post. I have never heard this explained with such clarity. Please write a book so I can buy it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trev81
    Some tips.

    On the first call, gather information - name, position, email, do they have a website, social media etc. Allows you to build up a profile against the lead.

    Always ask open ended questions - how? what? why? You dont want yes and no questions.

    Get the prospect to talk about himself or his buisness.

    Sell benefits, not features.

    I try not to ever pitch, and try to have a more natural conversation flow. Help build rapport and brings their guard down.

    Actively listen to what they have to say - uh-huh, yes, I see, um-hum.

    Get feedback while on the phone - How does that sound to you? What do you think so far? How can you see this helping you? etc, etc

    Smile when you are talking. Makes the world of difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Take time to do a search as suggested on John Durham, Jason Kanigan, iamnameless, phone script. You will come up with some examples of phone script which you can edit to make your own.

    Just start calling, the more you do it the easier it gets. The most difficult thing about telephone cold calling is 'getting started'. Once you get going it gets easier. If you know your product well, and believe in it, it's easy to overcome most objections.

    In starting out just go for the easy 'YES', and keep dialing until you get them. You will get them. Don't take the 'NOs' personally. The person on the other end could just be having a bad day, nothing to do with your call. Hang up, say a few choice words under your breath, if you need to vent, put a smile on your face, and then keep dialing.

    The market is not as saturated as many may think. The person who didn't buy from me today, may buy from you tomorrow. Have contests with yourself, set goals for yourself (ex. - you won't take a break until you make 50 calls back to back). With each call it gets easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtchaschowy
    Dave are you trying to get meetings?
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  • Profile picture of the author stanigator
    If you're trying to get sales, it may be more effective to cold-email to warm up the contact before getting to talk on the phone. Better yet, find a way to get introduced.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavePalermo
      The business that I currently have is from Craigslist and from me striking up conversations with business owners.
      (Remember, you are a business owner as well so don't act like a salesman)

      I am not sure if I want a meeting.
      I like being able to not do that.
      If they insist and I am able to then yes.
      Which 95% of the time is not possible. (Still work full time job)
      I like to direct them to my website (Which is still under construction)
      And sell them on the phone.

      Tough order of business but I love a challenge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gladiator
    Here is the way i see this. I call the potential client pitch them yes pitch them but without a script and not sound like I'm desperate but I'm the Guru , you need me and I can help you with your business because this is what I do!

    Yes direct them to your sign up page or ask for the money, ask for the money this is where all objections will come out and if you can't come to some kind of agreement then there is no deal!

    I'm way too busy to run to every face-to-face appointment but before I go I have a commitment that he/she can go ahead and money is not a problem! Qualify, qualify before you waste time!

    One more thing why not just do phone only it does not have to be local!
    Also when you do your calls become and play a character don't be exactly you! By doing this you will not take it personal and the rejections will not bother you.

    If you have a bad call forget about as soon as you hang up the phone, move on to the next call you will get better at this in time. IMO the only way to learn how to be a good closer is to just do it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    If you are "trying it out" you're going to have a much harder time getting into it and liking it (and being successful). Since I am an appointment setter, my recommendation is to save yourself the pain, if you really don't know what you are doing, and hire an expert to do the calls for you so you can see what CAN be done by someone who knows their stuff. Then try your hand at what they are doing (while they are doing it) and see if you can keep up. If so, do it for yourself...if not, then you already have them set up to go.

    Someone else made a good point. It depends on what you are trying to do on the call. Make a sale? Make an appointment? Both of these have different approaches and need to be carefully planned.

    Again, a seasoned caller will be able to set up your script for you (with the information necessary), and they will show you how to do it. There is no need to "train" a seasoned caller, you only need to tell them what you offer, what you need, and what you expect.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavePalermo
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      If you are "trying it out" you're going to have a much harder time getting into it and liking it (and being successful). Since I am an appointment setter, my recommendation is to save yourself the pain, if you really don't know what you are doing, and hire an expert to do the calls for you so you can see what CAN be done by someone who knows their stuff. Then try your hand at what they are doing (while they are doing it) and see if you can keep up. If so, do it for yourself...if not, then you already have them set up to go.

      Someone else made a good point. It depends on what you are trying to do on the call. Make a sale? Make an appointment? Both of these have different approaches and need to be carefully planned.

      Again, a seasoned caller will be able to set up your script for you (with the information necessary), and they will show you how to do it. There is no need to "train" a seasoned caller, you only need to tell them what you offer, what you need, and what you expect.
      I did cold calling for a business when I was first out of high school.
      They gave me a script and I was memorized by the money I would make.
      After a month of constant rejection I walked into the bosses office and said that I was no good at this cold calling.
      He was cool about it and since it was my last day I thought what the hell.
      I deviated from the script and made 4 sales in a row.
      Needless to say at the ripe age of 20 I broke 6 figures in 4 months.
      And at the ripe old age of 20 I managed to piss it all away.
      (Company went under shortly after go figure.)
      I hate scripts and agree that a professional is better for cold calling.
      But I love a challenge....
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by DavePalermo View Post

        I did cold calling for a business when I was first out of high school.
        They gave me a script and I was memorized by the money I would make.
        After a month of constant rejection I walked into the bosses office and said that I was no good at this cold calling.
        He was cool about it and since it was my last day I thought what the hell.
        I deviated from the script and made 4 sales in a row.
        Needless to say at the ripe age of 20 I broke 6 figures in 4 months.
        And at the ripe old age of 20 I managed to piss it all away.
        (Company went under shortly after go figure.)
        I hate scripts and agree that a professional is better for cold calling.
        But I love a challenge....
        So this guy had a successful cold calling room, that was making sales off this script he used...

        Most companies use them for a reason. I know a company that has used the same verabtim script for twenty years... in fact a couple of them, and they have telemarketers who make sales all day, while some guys come in and they cant stand doing a script...even while others make sales off of it all day long.

        In my experience, some want to be original and have a need to "not be" told what to do verbatim (really pride most of the time- and in all but a few cases it come before a fall) , but the concept of verbatim scripts itself is proven a gazzillion times.

        Again, I dont know a business owner who could stay in business for a MONTH using a verbatim script that doesnt work, so obviously his script worked to some degree, if he had a room and was employing people.

        Welcome to the forum BTW.

        The issue with NOT using a verbatim script for me, is that you cant duplicate "off the cuff".

        Emyth is my business Bible personally.
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        • Profile picture of the author DavePalermo
          Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

          So this guy had a successful cold calling room, that was making sales off this script he used...

          Most companies use them for a reason. I know a company that has used the same verabtim script for twenty years... in fact a couple of them, and they have telemarketers who make sales all day, while some guys come in and they cant stand doing a script...even while others make sales off of it all day long.

          In my experience, some want to be original and have a need to "not be" told what to do verbatim (really pride most of the time- and in all but a few cases it come before a fall) , but the concept of verbatim scripts itself is proven a gazzillion times.

          Again, I dont know a business owner who could stay in business for a MONTH using a verbatim script that doesnt work, so obviously his script worked to some degree, if he had a room and was employing people.

          Welcome to the forum BTW.

          The issue with NOT using a verbatim script for me, is that you cant duplicate "off the cuff".
          Their script did work, many guys were doing 1-2 sales per week, but when I would listen to the owner calling potential customers, he used a fake laugh and small talk to accomplish his goal.

          This place I worked at sold industrial lighting at an obscene markup (hence the obscene commission / $3000 per sale)
          When I finally came to the realization that being a script zombie wasn't working for me, I deviated from the script (not too far but put my twist on it) and had a nothing to loose blase attitude when I called.

          Yes the script worked.
          I suppose my attitude changed when I finally thought I didn't really care anymore.
          When the money started to roll in I was giddy calling these people.
          And it made my job way less stressful.
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by DavePalermo View Post

            Their script did work, many guys were doing 1-2 sales per week, but when I would listen to the owner calling potential customers, he used a fake laugh and small talk to accomplish his goal.

            This place I worked at sold industrial lighting at an obscene markup (hence the obscene commission / $3000 per sale)
            When I finally came to the realization that being a script zombie wasn't working for me, I deviated from the script (not too far but put my twist on it) and had a nothing to loose blase attitude when I called.

            Yes the script worked.
            I suppose my attitude changed when I finally thought I didn't really care anymore.
            When the money started to roll in I was giddy calling these people.
            And it made my job way less stressful.
            That is what a script is for, it is a guide line. not a verbatum.

            the ones that make it verbatim, are pitching upsells for HBO, and crap
            like that, verbatim pitch, and no rebuttals, and NO getting to know the potential client...

            real sales...require a personal touch..

            A personal touch that works with every TSR is impossible to work / create into a pitch... that is why REAL phone rooms require you to memorize the product,pitch and rebuttals...

            but allow you the leeway to add your own personality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Larry Young
    Grab all the information about your product you are going to sell. any question can be asked from other side. you should have satisfactory answer for each query. then you can make a good impact to caller.
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  • Profile picture of the author ambrking
    One tip that I can give you when cold calling is not to rely on script. Use it as a guide instead, so that you would not sound robotic. It is important that you know and understand the product that you are offering so that if the prospect have questions you would know how to answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Scripts depend on the person using them, and the person listening. For us, scripts don't work, we don't use them. We use a basic guideline of what our clients need covered, but after about a week of a new contract, I have no script up, no selling points, no nothing...I just talk. I learn what I need to about the product and I talk. I can't stand not being able to converse with the people I call...and some people can't form a complete sentence without a script. Do what works for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      My take on prospecting and sales scripts.

      Most are written by non-salespeople. Did you know that? Some are written by the engineers that design a product. Some are written by the people that created the phone system. Some are written by a contract author that has never sold anything.

      That's why some scripts fail. That's why some salespeople can wing it, and make sales, better than the script will allow them.

      But....sales scripts written by people who have made 10,000 successful sales calls? Those are beautiful golden works of art that should be carved in stone...and memorized.

      Wing it? Sure, if your script has never worked before. Maybe you'll fall into a sale now and then. Some scripts actually prevent sales from happening. I've seen those presentation, I've had those "Prevent sales at all costs" phone calls. Most are reading scripts that will almost never work.

      But, if the script is a distilation of 10,000 successful sales presentation, or cold calls...then they really should be memorized.

      Ever watch a comedian on TV? Everything is memorized. Practiced, polished, and delivered smoothly. You think Jay Leno just wings it? Jon Stewart? Nope, they follow a script usually written by someone else.

      Ever watch a stage play? Would you rather the actors just wing it?
      No. Why? Because what is delivered is structured to maximize the impact of what is being said. That's a well written proven presentation.

      And here is a hard truth for all the "I don't memorize anything" crowd.
      Sure you do. Ever tell a joke? They are all memorized. Why? Because the memorized version is better than winging it.

      Ever have a conversation? Everything you say has been said before...by you. Every story is memorized. Every gesture is ingrained. Every emotion has been felt before. Ever watch a movie that made you cry? A speech by a political candidate that inspired you? Shakespeare? (spelling)
      All memorized, written by someone else.

      Memorize a proven script. After you use it for a few months, and eventually, when you start knowing what makes it work...change it a litttle. At least then you will know the difference between a change in style...and a mistake.

      I just bought a course from Jason Kanigan. The script he uses is more effective than what I've been saying for 25 years. I could tell in one listen. So I'm memorizing it (only a few words are changed, as I make appointments and don't close on the phone...and changes because of product). But that language will stay the same. His words...my sales.

      Are his words exactly like I would talk to a prospect. Not really. But with practice...the structure, and script, will become memorized.

      Success comes to the prepared. Ever get an objection? There is a best answer. Really. Find out what it is, memorize it, and always say it the same way. Winging it is what people do when they are unprepared.

      And I hate to say this, but I've never met a person that was at 100% all the time. And most of us just aren't that brilliant on our feet. You memorize greetings, questions, answers to their anticipated question, answers to objections, and closing sequences.....that way, you can be close to 100% all the time.

      When I trained salespeople, I would tell them "You are bright people..so the first thought is 'I don't want to use a memorized script'. But this script works, and will make you sales. So the deal is, after you make some sales and decide you want to make a change...tell me what it is, and I'll tell you if it will be as effective, and why...or why not. I don't mind changes as long as they are improvements, and not mistakes. Fair enough?"

      It really, really helped if they would go on 10 appointments with me and see 9 or 10 sales...using the exact script I gave them. That's powerful. That would also change their thinking that our prices were too high, people wouldn't buy, and closing was something to avoid.

      Anyway. I hope that helps someone.

      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      That is what a script is for, it is a guide line. not a verbatum.

      the ones that make it verbatim, are pitching upsells for HBO, and crap
      like that, verbatim pitch, and no rebuttals, and NO getting to know the potential client...

      real sales...require a personal touch..

      A personal touch that works with every TSR is impossible to work / create into a pitch... that is why REAL phone rooms require you to memorize the product,pitch and rebuttals...

      but allow you the leeway to add your own personality.
      Yes, yes, yes. Sorry, I should have made it clear. You vary the script depending on what the buyers says. And of course, add a personal touch. But I recommend that all after the script is internalized.
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      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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      • Profile picture of the author BryanKreuzberger
        Stop cold calling. There is a quicker more effective way to reach decision makers. Cold email them.

        I've sent 10,000 individual emails over ten years.

        If you are one of those people who say cold emails, don't work, this is for you.

        If you are one of those people who hates cold calling, this is for you.

        [I'm one of these people]

        If you like the idea of cold emailing but don't know how to write one, read on.

        Cold emailing doesn't work for most people because they haven't put much thought into what they are sending. They also aren't using leverage or the natural company hierarchy to their advantage.

        The first step to any deal is getting the meeting.

        I send one email to schedule meetings. Nine out of ten times, this is all I need. If you write your email correctly, the results typically look something like this:

        60% of meetings are scheduled because of the 1st email
        30% of meetings are scheduled because of the 2nd email

        Important people don't have time. They don't answer their phones or return their calls. So, how do you get a meeting with them if you don't know them?

        They receive hundreds of emails daily. Many times those emails manage them and their day. If there is a person you want to meet, or a company you need to get into, how do you break through the clutter? I have good news. There is a way.

        You need a cold email template.

        You also need to learn how to effectively pitch your product or service. Remember it isn't about you, it is about the person who you are contacting.

        To get a template that works, GOOGLE: "cold email template"

        [This is the most ripped off template on Google]

        This template was developed over 10,000 individual emails. It was from a recent interview on RiseToTheTop. It covers 9 steps to landing any meeting with cold emails.

        I used the exact template to sell tens of millions of dollars in products and services to companies like Bank of America, Best Buy, P&G, and Verizon.

        If you want to receive the template or have questions just PM me.

        [Full disclosure I give away the template because I want to help 1,000 entrepreneurs grow their business]

        and

        [I hate cold calling]

        Good luck getting meetings!

        p.s. There is only one scenario I cold call. But that is included in an upcoming course.
        p.s.s. To access the free course PM me or google breakthroughemail
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by BryanKreuzberger View Post


          p.s. There is only one scenario I cold call. But that is included in an upcoming course.
          p.s.s. To access the free course PM me or google breakthroughemail
          Bad form dude. bad , bad form.

          If you plan on being a productive member of the community then read the forum rules.

          2 posts and your pitching.. not acceptable.
          Signature

          Selling Ain't for Sissies!
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by BryanKreuzberger View Post

          Stop cold calling. There is a quicker more effective way to reach decision makers. Cold email them.

          p.s. There is only one scenario I cold call. But that is included in an upcoming course.
          p.s.s. To access the free course PM me or google breakthroughemail
          Not cool. Put your pitch in your signature.
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          One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

          "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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  • Profile picture of the author meeka87
    This post helped. I'm doing cold calling very soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    The first thing you need to try and do is alter your attitude! Although I recognize and understand that you may strongly dislike cold calling - you're going to have a special love for it once it starts bringing you some income! As long as you're personable, happy, and professional on the phones, you should be successful. Best of luck starting out your offline journey!
    Signature
    "Be the hero of your own movie."
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