A New Approach To Cold Calling
Think of this a second…
We take the newest person, put them through a full series of training (hopefully), then hand them the “dead list” and tell them to “cold call”. Welcome to radio.
Okay, managers stop reading here. Salespeople, start reading here. What I am going to share with you will make cold calling a breeze. Honestly. What I am going to do is give you the words that work and a plan that will get you in front of business people to tell your story.
Step 1: Assemble a list of 100 businesses. How? Make a list of categories you want to sell in. Used Cars, Furniture Stores, Tire dealers, whatever. Now go to Google Maps and put in the name of each category and your zip code. If I put the words Furniture and a zip code of 01201, I get this map
Now after figuring out which ones in each category are not taken by someone in my company I am ready for the next step.
Step 2: This is where most people write a script (some skip this step all together and fumble through cold calls). What I like to is to have NO script, but bullet points to work from. Here are the ones we use at our company:
In business 40 years
5 great radio stations
Could I ask a favor?
Can you spare 90 seconds?
These five statements are on the wall in front of the sales person who is cold calling. There is no chair. I also suggest a headset and a mirror.
Now here is the call:
Ring Ring… Hello abc furniture… Hi this is Chuck from the Radio Stations (we don’t say which it does not matter)… is this the person in charge or the person who actually makes things happen? Ha ha.. this is Barbara the owner. Barbara I need just 15 seconds of your time. I’m calling from Murphy Broadcasting. We have been In business 40 years which means if we’re not doing business with you, we’re are doing business with someone you know. Barbara we have 5 great radio stations which means we have the biggest mouth around. Now Barbara, Could I ask a favor? For the next 48 hours would you just tune your radio over to 96.9FM. That’s 96.9FM and here’s why. My resume is on the air and I want you to have something to go on. Those businesses are having success with us. Call em if you want to. Now Barbara I have one last question and we are out of here… after you’ve listened to 96.9FM for 48 hours, Can you spare 90 seconds? I am serious when I say 90 seconds. I’ll be in and gone before the door stops swinging. And Barbara, I am giving you a Guarantee that I will not waste your time and I will not waste your money. So can I have just 90 seconds in two days please?
This is NOT a script. The sales person needs to be standing, on a headset, looking at himself/herself in a mirror, smiling and stitching it all together. How will this work? If done correctly it will result in over 60% agreement to meet for 90 seconds.
Step 3: Preliminary Research: Remember that Google Map we did? That is all of Barbara’s competitors. I am going to read up on them so I know what is what. I am going to Google the furniture industry to see what is going on right now in Furniture. I am going to check the ads on bigger stores in adjacent markets. I am going to find out everything I can about Barbara’s business BEFORE I get there.
Step 4: I am in the door. I look rushed because I am! I have a stopwatch app open on my cell phone and as soon as I start talking I click the button.
“Hi Barbara. I have done some preliminary research on your business and I think that by working together we may find a way to put a few more coins in each of our pockets. But I have three specific questions I need answers to:
1) What do you offer that your competitors don’t or won’t?
2) Which of your competitors customers would you like to have more of?
3) What is the single largest misconception about your business that drives you CRAZY?”
Now, questions are answered. In the words of the Amityville Horror house… GET OUT!!! But oh they will try to keep you. Keep inching toward the door and then turn and ask one more question…
“If I can come up with something that I think can make you and me some money, would you like me to show it to you?
Try this. Don’t leave out any steps. I think you’ll be quite happy with the results.
Great piece Chris. Especially the part where you told managers to STOP READING. I am the sales manager and just had to proceed. Great stuff!
I wish I knew this back in the day when I was still in the biz hiring salesperson after salesperson. Outstanding.
If you still have friends in the business it would be great if you shared this age with them and it would be greatly appreciated!