I love cold calling — I really do. It isn’t that I personally love doing it, rather, I love it as a sales technique that is powerful in fast-growing markets with an average ticket value high enough to warrant the effort. Way back in 2001, I personally made many cold calls to web design companies in an effort to sell my content management software. While I wasn’t successful then, by 2004 when we started cold calling college and universities to sell content management software, the technique proved extremely effective.
Here are seven ideas for more effective cold calling:
- Look for clues online for qualified people to call (e.g. tweets, LinkedIn Group discussions, Google Alerts, etc)
- Develop a compelling 20 second value proposition to get the message across quickly suitable for both live phone conversations and voicemails
- Incorporate relevant social proof into the opening line (“We helped Acme Corp make $500k/year more by automating their lead nurturing…”)
- Recognize that the goal isn’t to make a sale on the first call but rather to get them to see a web demo or take some next step
- Connect SmartSheet.com with Amazon Mechanical Turk to outsource high quality list building
- Use SalesLoft’s Automated Prosepctor to harvest names, job titles, and more automatically via a Google search
- Hire a sales assistant to take care of the heavy lifting
Cold calling is effective and works for startups. Like anything, it’s hard work and takes time to get good, but the results speak for themselves when well executed.
What else? What are some other ideas for more effective cold calling?