3 Ways Generative AI Will Help Marketers Connect With Customers
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Ask a sales pro if they want to do some cold calling, and you’ll likely get some form of, “Do I have to?” For many, the idea of calling a stranger out of the blue isn’t so appealing. But mastering the art of the cold call can spell sales success, and it doesn’t have to be painful.
This guide will explain the nuts and bolts of cold calling, including my favorite frameworks for approaching calls and some script templates you can start practicing with right now. I’ll also explore the importance of preparing yourself, both mentally and physically, to get the most out of every cold calling session.
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A cold call is an unscheduled phone call made to a potential customer you’ve never interacted with before. That prospective customer is identified typically based on online research designed to find individuals or businesses that match a company’s buyer persona.
Far from just a sales pitch, cold calling is about exploration and connection. It’s an opportunity to introduce your product or service to a prospect who might not yet be aware of how it could benefit their business.
The purpose of a cold call is almost always to book a meeting, not to sell anything right off the bat. But that’s not the only reason to pick up the phone. Think of cold calling like shaking hands with a new acquaintance. Once the connection is made, you can learn a lot from the person on the other end of the line. Here’s how:
Nobody likes rejection, and cold calling can mean a lot of “No’s.” But I like to dive in with some perspective. If I know that only 5-10% of my calls are likely to yield immediate results, it’s easier to accept a few “No’s” in a row and keep going. It frees me up mentally to keep “smiling and dialing.” And persistence can pay off down the road – I’ve made cold calls that didn’t result in a second call until two years later.
Sales is fiercely competitive, and in many ways, cold calling is a lot like playing a sport. You can’t just walk onto the field during the Super Bowl and expect to win. If you want to succeed, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically before game time. That means doing your research, creating a game plan, and putting time in on the practice field so you’re ready to execute when kickoff time comes.
Let’s break down the elements that can turn a routine cold call into the beginning of a new relationship with a prospect:
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There are many approaches to scripting cold calls, but in my experience, these two examples cover most prospects and situations. Both scripts are easily adaptable to fit your individual style and needs.
Want to get straight into your pitch? The direct script saves time while getting across key points. Here’s an example:
“Hi Alice, it’s Marcus with Venli Consulting.
The reason I’m reaching out is because I listened to your Q4 earnings call and saw that you are aiming for a 10% topline sales growth while maintaining 30% margins through this upcoming fiscal year.
I’m actually working with the sales orgs over at Stripe, ZoomInfo, and HubSpot right now to help their teams blow their sales targets out as well.
We may be able to help your org as well. Do you have some time to discuss this Thursday at 3?”
The direct script is just that: direct. It gets right to the point, engages the prospect with relevant research, and ends with a call to action based on how you’ve already helped organizations like theirs.
This script has three key components:
Here’s what it looks like in template form, so you can try it out right away:
“Hi, [Prospect’s Name]. It’s [Your Name] from [Your Company].
I’m reaching out because [Specific Relevant Research/Intel].
I’m currently working with [Reference 1, Reference 2, Reference 3] right in your industry, providing them with [Your Unique Sales Proposition Including Benefits].
We may also be able to help your organization with [Unique Challenge]. Do you have some time to discuss this on [Date & Time]?”
The entire script should take 30 seconds or less to speak aloud on a call.
A complementary script with a different approach uses a permission-based opener that starts by asking the prospect if they’re willing to hear you out. Here’s an example:
“Hey Lisa, it’s Marcus with Venli. I know you weren’t expecting my call, but do you have a moment? I promise to be brief.
Great. In chatting with dozens of other HR execs in the SaaS space on the West Coast, one of the largest costs they’re seeing is increasing turnover in their sales departments. Each turnover can easily cost companies up to $100,000, if not more!
How are you handling these increasing turnover costs, and what are you doing to reduce turnover at your company?”
The permission-based opener is great for handling, “Why are you calling me?” objections right off the bat. Asking for permission to continue gives the prospect the power to say “Yes” or “No” before you start selling anything. You might be surprised how often this subtle technique makes prospects more receptive to hearing you out.
This script also has three components:
Here’s what this one looks like as a template:
“Hey [Prospect’s Name], it’s [Your Name] with [Company Name]. [Ask For Permission].”
“Great. In chatting with [Titles in Specific Industry], I’ve learned that they are facing [The Biggest Problems They Are Most Likely To Deal With — Tie To Something Tangible If Possible For The COl].”
“How are you handling/solving [Big Problem]?”
Do it well, and this template can get you into a meaningful conversation quickly. Once the prospect answers with something along the lines of, “You know, this is what we’re trying to do, but this is what we’re kind of struggling with,” the door is open for you to offer meaningful solutions.
Each of these scripts is designed to be adaptable, focusing on the prospect’s needs while remaining conversational and engaging and reflecting the core values of the Salesblazer approach.
Bearing those values in mind, let’s take a look at how you can write a cold call script to fit any situation.
Crafting a cold call script that resonates requires a blend of authenticity, strategy, and empathy. But it’s a pretty straightforward process when you follow these steps:
Cold calling is both an art and a science. Here are some quick tips to refine your cold calling skills:
Incorporating these tips into your cold calling routine can significantly enhance your effectiveness and create impactful and meaningful sales interactions.
Cold calling with skill and strategy can be a powerful way to increase your done deals. And despite what you may already think, making cold calls doesn’t have to be painful. Approach each cold calling session like an athlete or performer by preparing mentally and physically, executing your strategy and tracking the results. There’s a learning opportunity and a chance to start a new relationship in each and every call.
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