This is the second of a four-part series on cold calling. In my September article, I went in depth on why you have to qualify for interest first. I also covered how to close for an appointment. And I made a very special offer, which I now repeat: If you email me a copy of your best script, I will send you a copy of the best scripts I receive—but only if you send me one. Email your scripts to [email protected].
I am also collecting information on the “state of the art in cold calling.” If you take my survey, I will send you a compilation of my Research articles on cold calling, updated with new material. You can take the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ ColdCalling2012.
Finally, in 2009, I did a similar script harvest resulting in “16 best cold calling scripts 2009.” Along with other valuable (and free) information, it is posted at www.billgood.com/coldcalling.
The biggest problem in cold calling, of course, is picking up the phone. This is abundantly clear from early respondents to my survey.
The second biggest problem is doing it right. What people tend to do is get a bad idea and stick to it.
The third biggest problem is having a great second call.
If you get over the hurdles of just doing it and then doing it right, you can still blow it with a poor second call. Here’s why this is a problem.
One valid approach to cold calling is to offer people information. I have called this “cherry picking.” Instead of trying to sell something or even set an appointment, you offer investment literature and then qualify. Obviously you have to call these leads back.
Another valid approach is to try to set appointments on a first call. I have personally tested this. It works. But it also generates about five times as many call back leads (cherries) as appointments.
So in both cases, you need a second call script.
A Failed Approach
When I am talking to someone who is having trouble cold calling, I always ask, “What do you say on the second call?”
A huge percentage of struggling FAs give me a version of the following. (This little script is right out of my book Hot Prospects, so I’ll just quote myself.)
FRED: Jackie, it’s Fred Smithers over here at Acme. How are you?
FRED:I sent you that information last week. Did you get it?
JACKIE: Doesn’t ring a bell.
FRED:Remember the big package? Brown envelope?
JACKIE: Oh, yes. I’ve got it. Haven’t had time to look at it yet. It’s about number six down from the top.
FRED:When do you think you’ll get to look at it?
JACKIE: Try me next week some time.
What a waste of time!
Second Call Objective
We have one primary objective of the second call: determine if this person is in fact qualified and interested enough to set an appointment.
If not, is he or she is qualified? If so, keep the conversation going to give us time to increase the interest level enough for the prospect to set an appointment. Failing that, find out when an investment decision could be made.