I do make cold calls. I am in a sales and marketing position at a software company, TractBuilder. It can get hard after a while; I don’t like doing it for hours in a row, luckily I get to “mix it up” with some other tasks. But I have certain guidelines and tactics when I make cold calls.
I create a targeted list using a contact repository, such as Jigsaw. I also get contact info from events that I attend or purchased lists. I comb through the list thoroughly to make sure that everyone is truly a potential client. This means seeing what kind of company they are, what department they are in, and what their title is. I do not always get directly to a manager, a potential user is good to talk to too (if you know how to move it up the chain).
You can use LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter to research both individuals and companies, as well as looking at their websites. Why is this important? I already know it is the type of company that would use our products, and I’ll be talking to the right person. Isn’t that good enough? Maybe. But doing a little research gives me an idea of how many potential users there are, what parts of the country or world they do work in (different products are more useful in different regions), I may even find out what they are currently doing to achieve what my products do so that I can directly address their current process. The last thing I do is send a warm-up email. This email contains an introduction of me and our company, a synopsis of our products and services, and a request to talk with them further.
Making the Cold Calls
I start making calls between 24 and 48 hours after sending the warm up email. If someone responds with an “opt-out” to my warm up email I don’t call them. Here is my call order:
3. Call, Leave Message.
5. Call, Leave Message.
7. Call, Sign-off Message.
If someone answers I stop this process and switch to one pertinent to their needs. If I never am able to get a hold of them I send another email with much more detail than my warm up email. I never call the same person more than once a day and I try to vary the time I call. The point of the first contact is to see if they do have a use for our products and get them interested in learning more.
The Follow Up
Once you get someone’s attention you have to keep it. This means more follow-up emails, more phone calls, getting them a demo, giving a presentation, etc. Make sure not to be annoying though, when I finish a call with someone I ask when a good time to call them back is, it may be a few days, it may be a couple months, but whenever it is I make sure to call them back. And if it doesn’t work out, then at least I’ve exposed more people to our products, and I may call on them again in the future.
And that is how I make cold calls.