How to Avoid Roadblocks when Cold Calling

171129 Art Of Cold Calling Day 5@2X
Gabrielle Hughes
Content Marketing Manager

At the end of the day, only 5-10% of cold calls end successfully. So, what do you do the rest of the time?

With the calls that don’t go to plan...

Take the radical candor approach and be transparent with what you’re doing in the situation. If the prospect decides to end the call with “Send me some info” they probably won’t read whatever you send them.

Instead, say, “You know, I can absolutely do that. But, the thing is, when I follow up in two or three days and find out you haven’t read anything, I’ll know that it was just a polite way of you saying no.” Go on to explain, “If that’s the case, it’s totally fine - just let me know now. But if you’re actually experiencing (X, Y, and Z problems), we should really talk about them for 15 minutes and figure out a solution.”

Responding to “I can’t talk right now”

If your prospect picks up the phone but then responds to your introduction with “I can’t talk right now” or “I’m in a meeting,” they’re probably disinterested. Think about it - there aren’t a lot of people that answer the phone in meetings - especially from numbers they don’t know.

You can turn things around with an honest response. “Well, that’s what I say too when I accidentally answer a sales guy’s call. But I promise, this will only going to take 90 seconds,” or “You know, I’m also busy, but…” and then dive into your cold calling plan.

One last tip - never say OK and ask “When’s a better time?” Your chances of reconnecting from there are slim to none.

Leaving voicemails

Like cold calling scripts, many sales experts debate on whether you should leave a voicemail or not. Numerous voicemails may come across as pestering, but everyone has caller ID. Your prospect is going to be just as irritated by seeing your number pop up over and over again without any context. Voicemails also get your company name in the conversation - for instance, if your prospect is seeing your ads everywhere, this is another reference point in the number of touches.

In terms of content, less is more with voicemails. The optimal length is 8-14 seconds, and this should guide how much information you provide. Even though that’s a short amount of time, try to be creative. Have fun, be self-referential, and don’t be afraid to self deprecate. Some examples include:

“Hi (first name). I have no reasonable expectation that you’ll return this call, but if you see us at (event) or on an (ad) and think of us, please reach out - (XXX) XXX-XXXX”

“Hi (first name). I know 95% of voicemails are not returned, but 5% are - looking forward to seeing which one you’ll be. Give me a call - (XXX) XXX-XXXX”

Regardless of what you say, you should always leave a voicemail. If you don’t think it’s appropriate, you probably shouldn’t be calling that client in the first place.

Want to learn more on how to structure the perfect cold call? Download Nailing the Art of Cold Calling here. 


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