So is cold calling dead? Maybe for some, actually probably like most. It takes a thick skin or a forward-looking focus to be able to handle the rejection of 90% of the calls you make. I have gotten a few requests after briefly mentioning that when I cold called small business owners, they would thank me for my honest, candid and respectful approach when I used this script, so hopefully by sharing this and the rationale behind it you will be able to withstand the rejection of all those NOs and get to a YES. INTRODUCTION "Hi is ______in? or "Hello _____ please" "Hi _____. this is Jack Mehauf giving you a call. You're not gonna recognize my name; because I'm actually calling you as a cold call. Would it be okay if I quickly tell you why I called?" Explanation: This introduction is very non-threatening, you aren't trying to misrepresent yourself in order to get the call. You are also admitting you are cold calling them, how many business owner's get that every day? NONE. At the end you are asking them if you can quickly tell them why you called, this sentence accomplishes two objectives 1. Letting them know you will be quick, the biggest fear a business owner has when it comes to solicitation calls is losing time, so this well allay their concern. 2. Your asking them if you can tell them why you called, this raises curiousity, every telemarketer and salesman will barrel into their elevator speech not even taking time or courtesy to ask the business owner if it's ok. This will show you value them as a person and not just some guy to be told or sold. PAIN QUESTION "______, I won't hold you up. I (work with/help) small business owners like you who are (mad/ angry/ confused) with (the way their website looks/how to manage their business' online reputation/how few leads they are getting from the internet), and I wanted to find out if that was a concern of yours?" Explanation: Again you are reminding them that you value their time and yours, and that you will cut through the bullshit. The second line will induce the "herd mentality" trigger; you work with and help other small business owners like him. Next is the hook. This is basically like the act of creating a marketing avatar and asking them if they fit that mold. If you sell websites, ORM, Leads via PPC or SEO, you can basically reference that in addition to seeing if they are experiencing any pain that your common prospect/marketing avatar would have when confronted with that problem you solve. I like to feel it out but sometimes I would say "pissed" or "upset", just have to feel them out. A woman business owner isn't going to be pissed, but she will feel upset or frustrated. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (FILL IN SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS i.e. how, what, when, why) Explanation: Situational questions are basically the what's what of info needed in order to decide if this person is a fit for your service. If you do websites I would ask, "when's the last time you updated your site" "what do you like about it" "what do you dislike about it" "have you looked into some of the newer sleeker designs out there". If you were doing ORM you can ask questions like "do you have negative reviews of your business on other websites" "how does that make you feel?" "Have you looked into getting a system put in place to attract positive reviews while filtering out the negative reviews before they get to the internet".....chances are you will get a "no, how does that work", and now you have a dialogue going. If they are asking questions or sound interested, try to close them on an appointment. Don't sell over the phone, always close for the appointment, it's less of a commitment. If you are not local, then do a web-conference, I do web-conferences with senior citizens for their insurance, so I definitely works. SOFT CLOSE "________, if it's enough of a concern for you, we can meet 15 minutes over coffee to answer any questions you may have about _________. What time on (day) or (day) works for you?" or "________, it sounds like your interested but want to know more info on how I would help you with (fill in the blank), do you have 15 minutes on (day) or (day) to meet for coffee and I can answer your questions?Explanation: Did I say close for the appointment? Ok. Now I will say this, business owners are busy. The majority of business owners in the States are 1-4 employees (read single one man teams), if you want to engage with them, inviting them out for coffee may work, but don't disregard stopping by their place of work to get that meeting. You are more likely to get the meeting, and it will give you insight into the business you are tying to obtain as a client. Do meetings work out to be 15 minutes, rarely. Have business owners ever gotten mad or called me out on it? Nope. They may remark where the time went, and I will tell them we covered quite a bit of ground. I will ask them if they are clear with how the service works, and then I will tell them the package deal. When selling it's always easier to sell with options. If you don't have options or multiple packages then don't worry about it, it's just people don't like to be sold, so having options for them to choose makes them feel as if they chose that particular option as their idea. What if the business owner isn't ready? Chances are they won't be. Sometimes it takes repeated exposure to soften them up. That's why I will start a pipeline lead list. I do this by asking the business owner, "do you mind if I stop back in/give you a call in 6 months to see how you are doing". Chances are if you tried to close the sale but they didn't buy, asking this question will almost always get you a YES (unless you pissed them off or there's no chemistry), why? Because: A. It's a smaller commitment than actually buyingg B. Rule of reciprocity, people often feel bad when telling people NO, so by asking them this, this gives them a chance to not have to buy, but to also alleviate the guilt and perhaps reciprocate somehow Now that they said yes, put their name on a card and put it into an accordion like note card holder, 6 spaces down (months). So by the 6 month, you are calling on warm leads that have already been exposed to your brand. Modern sales says it takes 8-12 exposures to a brand before buying, so don't get on yourself if they don't say "YES I WANT TO BUY RIGHT NOW". One last idea I want to get out to you guys. Cold Calling is like panning for gold, gonna have to hunch over and work, get a little dirty, but you can't get mad at the mud, you can only keep looking for the gold in the mud. Same for cold calling, don't get pissed at the mud, let it embolden you that you got that NO. It just means you are one step close to a YES. Also don't forget, prospecting hinges on 3 elements: 1. Rate of activity (the only thing you have control over) 2. Timing (does the prospect need your service) 3. Chemistry (does the prospect understand and like you as a person aka trust what you are telling them) Chemistry + Timing = Client (repeat buyer/subscriber that may refer business your way) No Chemistry + Timing = Customer (may not buy again) Chemistry + No Timing = Pipeline Lead No Chemistry + No Timing = NEXT! Yesterday (on a Sunday) I met with one of my oldest clients of 6 years that I found through a cold call. I met with their whole family at their place of business for a multi-facet planning solution. This is going to a 5 figure commission with more sales on the way from other family members. Total commissions earned from this family is close to 15k, all from 1 phone call 6 years ago! Great sales and prospecting books I recommend are: QBS Question Based Sales SPIN Selling (and the workbook) Sandler Sales Principles The Wedge Getting to No One of the most helpful prospecting guides I have is FREE and I still read it to this day. If anyone has any questions or wants some sales advice I am making myself available to help you out. In addition to cold calling I have trained telemarketers, ran my own telemarketing team (outsourced), and helped a telemarketing lead company develop their lead program.