Sales Process: How to Cold Call

Woman on PhoneThere was an interesting discussion about cold calling and its role in marketing today in a Linked In group focused on inside sales.

Before I share the discussion, as a quick review, cold calling is one method that can be used to uncover sales opportunities. 

The reason cold calling doesn't work for companies and professionals is they are banging the phones; no plan, no strategy, just sitting in misery and fear. Of course the results are poor. 

With that said, let's change the paradigm and create results through cold calling.

A big question that most people have about cold calling is "Should I leave a message or not."

Live conversations are the goal. However, in cold calling, live conversations can be rare, depending on the buyer persona of the niche you're working with.

When I have to leave a message I follow a 6-touch call, email, call process.

Call 1: I leave a well-crafted, 30-second, "value to the client" message, with a call to action at the end.

Then I email similar information in written form with a repeat of the call to action at the end of the email.

Call 2: In a few days (as promised in the phone message and email) call again and leave another message. Send a "Did You Get This" email (on top of the first email) after leaving the second message.

Call again in a few days (call 3) and make that a final message (take away). And email the take away message.

Often, on that 3rd call, the prospect will call either to set a time or say no interest.  Man on Phone

Either way works for me. No is as good as yes because it's final.

Maybe is what's costing businesses tons of revenue every year because it creates a weak sales pipeline. 

If no call back after call 3, move to content marketing.

Drip value driven articles and blog posts that are relevant and personal to the niche you are calling. Send  this content a couple of times per month.

Repeat the 3-step, 6-marketing touch process (as described above) again in 90 days. 

Leaving messages is a marketing touch in my world.

Messages that deliver value, done in a strategic sequence with email or other written follow up gets results all year long.

Images Courtesy: T-Koni

Trust Makes Sales

Trust and Skeptic-Crp-Scott McLeodRecently, I needed a new, replacement keyboard for my Dell laptop. I searched online and found a few companies that sold them.

Then I checked Amazon and lo and behold, they had vendors who sold Dell keyboards as well. 

Who made the sale?

The company who was on Amazon.


Because I have purchased from Amazon in the past and found that the people who sell through Amazon deliver as promised.

Trust is a key to making sales work. But you have to establish that trust with each interaction.

For the first time buyer, deliver social proof that you do what you say so buyers feel comfortable making that first purchase from you.

That's something the other laptop keyboard websites did not do very well, while Amazon vendors excel at it. 

Image Courtesy: Scott McLeod

This is Your Responsibility When Hiring Salespeople

Juggling SalesmanThis always surprises me and occurs at even the largest companies.

Most of the time businesses that are hiring sales people do NOT have a well tested and effective sales process to hand to the new sales hire.

The fact is, most business owners and executives incorrectly believe that marketing, client attraction, the system of selling, client relationship management (CRM) and online sales lead generation is up to the new sales hire.

This fundamental misunderstanding costs businesses hundreds of thousand of dollars every year.

Developing a sales process, testing it and ensuring it works properly is the responsibility of the business owner. 

It should not be in the job description of the new sales department hire.

Set your sales team up for success from the beginning. Hand them a complete sales process strategy that is tested and proven to work. 

When you do this you'll see a 10% to 40% (or more) increase in your top-line sales results.

Image: Realtyworks