I wrote about cold calling in my September and October columns and asked readers to take my survey. Here’s the most poignant of 142 answers I got to the question, “What is the most difficult part of the cold calling process? Please describe in detail.”
”First: Getting a list of potential qualified individuals. Second: Getting the person to answer the phone. Third: Getting their attention with something relevant to their situation. Lastly: Getting the appointment. In other words … all of it—I am not having success.”
My respondent’s analysis of her situation is quite perceptive. She has grasped that cold calling (or any marketing) is composed of many elements, and that to be effective, you have to control them all.
According to me, to solve something as big as 142 cold calling problems, it’s best to take the biggest problem first, break it down into its smallest parts, and then solve each of those. The first thing I did was classify each problem. For instance, “knowing how to reply to rejection,” “getting over the rejection” and “facing rejection” all belong to a rejection category.
After making several passes through my data, I identified these problems. The problem count is shown in parentheses.
If we add together the categories related to scripts, we get 62 of the 142 people reporting their biggest problem is with their script.
In this space, I cannot completely deal with solving “the script problem.” So, for those who are serious, I will present a free two-hour webinar, “Script Writing the Good Way.” You can register at www.billgood.com/coldcalling. It will be on a Friday afternoon in November. I may or may not record it. You are cordially invited.
Meantime, let’s solve at least some of the script problems.
There are two reasons you are not making enough contact: You are not making enough calls; and you may have a beat-up, highly resistant list.
Today, it takes at least twice as many calls to reach one person as it did 10 years ago. Your goal is: 60 calls per hour. To do that, every rule below must be in force.
- Call at the optimum time which is 8–10 a.m. If you are a rookie with no clients and therefore nothing else to do, it’s 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
- During your “calling block” allow no interruptions. Don’t take incoming calls, or at least have someone screen the calls.
- Don’t waste time leaving messages and writing down stuff that doesn’t matter.
- Let the phone ring four times, and disconnect.
- At every possible opportunity, ask for the direct extension number.
If you are making your 60 calls an hour and are not getting 2–3 cherries per hour, you have a list problem. Call a different demographic.
Since most of your dials result in no contact, it is vital you fully understand how to handle these.
Assumption: You are dialing small business owners.
YOU: 801-992-6868. 1 ring. 2 ring. 3 ring. 4 ring. Disconnect.
YOU: Immediately dial 801-997-6666. 1 ring. 2 ring.
RECEPTION: Good morning, Loblaw Company.
YOU: Good morning. This is Bob DaBlob. I’m calling from Reliable Securities. May I speak to Mr. Loblaw please?
RECEPTION: I’m sorry he’s not in right now. May I take a message?
YOU: No thank you. I’ll call back. 801-641-2345. 1 ring.
RECEPTION: Throckmorten and Company. Good morning.
YOU: Good morning. This is Bob DaBlob. Barbara Throckmorten, please.
RECEPTION: One moment please.
ASSISTANT: Good morning. Barbara Throckmorten’s office. How may I help you?
YOU: Good morning. This is Bob DaBlob. Who am I speaking with?
ASSISTANT: Clementina Domenica.
YOU: Good morning, Clementina. Again, I’m Bob DaBlob with Reliable Securities. I have some important information for Barbara regarding what’s called the financial cliff. She may fall off that cliff in January. It is important we speak. Could you connect me please?