The Three Laws of Cold Calling
Successful cold calling comes down to three laws that, over time, should yield some seriously great results for your small business.
LAW #1: HOOK THEM QUICK
A friend of mine received a call from an obviously nervous caller who rambled for over a minute before she cut him off and asked to be removed from their call list. If the caller had followed this first rule and hooked her quick, he may have been more successful. So just how do you hook them?
- Create a call script of if/then scenarios that leads the target to the next step (see Law #2).
- Call back until you get a live person. Start with a catchy hook and follow up with a clear statement about what you do, and how it helps your target. For example:
Hi, This is Susan calling from BizLaunch reaching out to small business owners in Toronto who are new to the market. Do you have a moment to chat?
If yes: BizLaunch helps small business owners create sustainable businesses with educational resources and consulting.
If no: Is there a better time to call back? We’ve helped over 1,500 small business owners in Toronto with educational resources and consulting services that I’d like to share with you.
- Keep it short. Some find that standing while making calls reduces nerves and makes them more concise.
- Practice so you don’t sound scripted. Instead, you need to sound confident, like this is a routine call from a professional they can trust.
LAW # 2: START WITH A SMALL ASK
Like any marketing and sales tactic, cold calling needs to lead to some low barrier that guides prospects to the next step in the funnel. So your cold calling won’t be as successful if your only goal is to get sales with that single call. Instead, you’ll be more successful getting permission to follow up.
A good way to do this is to have something to give away. Using the example above, the call to action of this first sales call may be:
Is it OK if I send you a link to a webinar that we recently hosted on the most effective low-cost marketing strategies?
If yes: Great! Let me get your email address and I’ll send it right away.
If no: It’s a YouTube link, so it’s free. Are you sure I can’t email it to you?
LAW #3: FOLLOW UP
Cold calling will produce three types of leads:
- A leads — those ready to buy now
- B leads — those who need to be nurtured
- C leads — those who are no longer prospects
Remove and suppress C leads right away. Have sales follow up directly with A leads within hours, either with the piece of content you got permission to send or with a proper sales call. Engage B leads with nurturing content like newsletters and personal emails periodically sent and with the purpose of identifying with they are ready to buy.
While cold calling might be scary, it can be a powerful, low-cost way to quickly identify and connect with a target audience.