The Sales Evangelist (Cold Calling)

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Syndication

Time often brings a great deal of change, and some ideas don’t survive the passage of time; though there are people who don’t believe it’s true, even with social selling, cold calling is not dead.  

Aaron Abodeely has a passion for helping sales reps and small business owners distribute their messages, and he noticed along the way that the industry was lagging behind in digital trends like social selling. Evolution is hard because we get into a bubble and a routine of doing things a certain way. We build processes around certain tasks but unless we’re out in the space learning from other people, we can’t learn how to evolve. 

Cold calling

Typically, cold calling involves calling, emailing, or nurturing leads that are cold outreach, meaning that these contacts haven’t had much, if any, contact with our business or our value proposition. You’re going in cold. We often have sales development reps in enterprise IT designated to contact these leads. 

Email came on the scene in the early 1990s, and it joined the landscape of cold calling and door-to-door selling and networking events. 

When social selling came on the scene, we learned that we needed to connect with specific contacts within specific organizations. We needed to find those people on social media and engage with them. Some of those connections would be senior connections while others would be peer-to-peer.

Social selling is the back end of social engagement, which is simply making friends and introducing ourselves to people in the space. It’s exhibiting genuine curiosity. The selling comes much later, which is why companies often struggle with this concept. 

Relevant and tailored

I reached out to Aaron on Instagram, but he noted that he isn’t particularly active there, as Linked In is his preferred method of contact. I sent him a message that I loved his content and loved what he was doing and I invited him to have a conversation with me. He explained that my invitation caught him off guard because I used specific details to affirm his work and explain the relevance of our messages. 

I sent him an audio message that was tailored to him, but it didn’t seek to sell him anything. We can’t pitch people right out of the gate because they don’t even know us yet. 

Although it makes sense that you meet someone, pitch to them, and then they buy, the truth is that if everyone in sales uses this same technique, no one will stand out. 

Social media

Many people believe that because we’re in the age of social selling, it’s foolish to invest in cold calling, but Aaron is on a mission to revive the concept. When he was an inside sales manager at his last company, he wasn’t doing much cold calling, but now, in his role as a consultant for clients, he’s effectively using email and cold calling to connect with an audience. 

He was trying to drive attendance to an event earlier this year, and many of those who took part said they discovered the information via email or LinkedIn or Twitter. Because he connected with them on social media, when he contacted them via email, they remembered him. 

The point is that we shouldn’t rely solely on any single method of outreach. It’s the mix of approaches that helps sellers get in front of the audience. 

Psychological wins

When we discover that a contact is excited to talk to us because we’ve made connections with him, that’s a psychological win. Instead of cold calling, it becomes warm calling because we’ve used advanced strategies to warm that conversation. 

By warming them up via social media and sharing relevant content, you’re engaging your audience. That way, when you do call, your name is familiar to them. 

There are automated ways to spam people on social media but consider the cost of a lead in your industry. The industry average for a trade show is $800 but for social media, it’s like $300. Do your own research, but considering that it takes only a few hours of your time to get in front of someone who might take an interest in your product, that’s big. 

Measure results

The challenge for executives and sales managers is that they don’t know how to measure these results. As a result, people spam on social media because they think they don’t have time to nurture this person. 

Many reps, in an attempt to save their jobs and meet their metrics, schedule a bunch of spam so they can reflect their efforts. 

Part of the argument for why cold calling and email aren’t dead is the reality that if we spend 80 percent of our time on cold calling and email and we hit our targets, we’re coming pretty close. 

Track how much time you’re spending on these ventures and then track your success rates from those efforts. As you begin to see success from these efforts, you can increase the amount of time you invest in them.

Making time

It can be difficult to make time for this kind of outreach, but consider investing an hour over breakfast or in the afternoon with a beer. Connect with 20 of your key buyers together and practice developing messaging that encourages relationships. Convey that your prospect is doing interesting stuff and you’d like to engage with him. 

A lot of companies are forward-leaning in this area because their buyers are people who are very active on social media. 

Driving engagement

Aaron recently had eight days to drive attendance to a technical workshop. He started by taking over the presenter’s LinkedIn profile and creating explainer videos of him sharing why folks might want to attend this event.

They deployed the video on LinkedIn and also one-on-one to specific people who might find the information relevant. They also employed cold calling as a follow up to LinkedIn and email messages. 

You can be aggressive with it but you must think long-term about the results.

Some type of two-way engagement is very good. For example, you’ve liked their post or left a comment and they responded. That’s a good sign and a healthy indicator. You can also send a thoughtful connection request. You simply have to adjust to who your buyer is. 

Make videos or launch a blog where you share thoughts about the industry.  

2-way dialogue

Begin by learning the language of the industry you’re pursuing. Go to technical meetups and learn to use the language your prospects use. 

[Tweet "Make your language conversational. Know your niche. Learn the space. In order to stand out as a subject-matter expert, you must speak the part. #SalesLanguage"]

Read magazines. Use meetups or YouTube. You may sound dumb trying to talk the way buyers talk, but it isn’t a sleazy thing. It’s your attempt at learning to communicate the way they do. Imagine going to a foreign country where people speak a different language. You may sound clumsy but you’re attempting to speak their language. 

It’s human nature to modulate how you speak to people. 

Some executives are scared to create content or speak broadly into the space, so start small.

Seek help

If you’re apprehensive about this, take screenshots and find time to sit with your sales leaders. Show this stuff to them in a one-on-one meeting. Demonstrate how you can get in front of C-level buyers. Make sure you’re hitting your baseline goals with calls and emails in order to get the leadership to adopt these concepts. 

“Cold Calling is NOT Dead” episode resources

Check out the Outcome Studio Podcast where Aaron interviews people who are sales and marketing experts or who just have cool stories to tell. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Instagram

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. 

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1134.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I received an email the other day from a sales rep that I found so annoying that I am dedicating this entire episode to the ways you can avoid making the same mistakes with your emails.

This episode will give you ideas to make sure your emails grab your prospect’s attention so that he will reply instead of deleting your email.

ANNOYING EMAILS

The annoying email I received began, “Hello there.”

Who is ‘there’? Do they not even know my name? I’ve done 1000+ episodes. 

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and my name is easy to find. The lack of effort on the part of the sender was evident from the very start. It is almost an insult.

And it didn’t improve from there as the body of the email in no way addressed my type of business or my needs. It was simply an email blast.

It was, quite frankly, a waste of everyone’s time.

The days of sending out crappy emails are long gone. You want your emails to encourage a reply, to start the kind of engaging conversation that will lead to a sale now, or in the future. It needs to open the door for continued discussions. [01:49]

ENGAGING EMAILS

Using the email I received as an example, how easy would it have been for the sales rep to look me up on LinkedIn, or on my website? Or why not call and try to find out the best point of contact for the email?  

Furthermore, nothing about the email had anything to do with sales. At all. It was a vague and generic email that didn’t even refer to me as a person.

There was no personal connection, so why would I want to continue that conversation?  

Here’s what I recommend instead: Make sure the subject line is catchy. It is the first thing they will read and frankly, it might be the last thing they bother to read, so make it good.

“Donald, I saw this on your website and thought it might help” is a fine example. They know my name, they know I have a website, they looked at my website … I am going to open that email. [05:11]

Next, begin your email by immediately referencing the thought contained in the subject line. Don’t tell them your name, or your company name because they don’t need it right now. It can all be found later in the signature block at the end.

Don’t even worry about saying hello – just dive into the issue.

BE DIRECT

“Donald, I noticed on your sales page that it wasn’t loading properly at the end. This could be caused by X or Y. I would love to talk with you about how we’ve helped other podcasters fix it….”

That difference makes all the difference! It is simple and easy to read. It provides insight and ideas, informs me of a potential problem and offers a clear step to solve it.

Instead of the overused and generic “We can help you save money/get more leads,” the email is specific and offers value to the targeted business. [06:41]

Another example of a good email: “I notice you have regular postings for new sales reps and we recently conducted a study with software companies like yours and found three critical reasons that prevent sales reps from succeeding… bullet point 1, 2, 3… Would you care to take a look at the full report?” [07:40]

The goal of that email is to grab the reader’s attention, to focus on their problem of high turnover and to speak specifically to that need.

Now compare that email to one that simply reads “Hey, are you hiring? Check out our new program.”

One email is clearly tailored to the reader and provides relative and pertinent information, while the other certainly does not.

FOCUS ON IDEAL CLIENTS

To be able to personalize your emails, I recommend the age-old principle of creating a list of 50 or 100 dream clients to focus on for a week or two at a time depending on your cadence process.

That focus will allow you the time to do a little research, to learn about their specific industry and to understand typical problems they might have. [09:13]

You might try to connect with them on LinkedIn, engage with them there and later send an email that ties directly to that LinkedIn conversation.

“It was great connecting with you on LinkedIn…” You are now someone the reader is already acquainted with so you’ll increase the likelihood of a favorable response to your email.

THE TSE CERTIFIED SALES TRAINING PROGRAM

These are all core fundamental principles of effective emails that we cover in greater detail in the three main courses of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. [10:24]

The first course, Prospect Like an Evangelist, teaches sales reps how to find, attract and engage the ideal customer for their company. We talk about how to use the phone and emails. We also address how to create a flow process and how to utilize social media and mailings to grab their attention.

The second semester focuses on Creating Irresistible Value – the middle of the sales process. How can we master the fundamentals of discovering what matters most to our buyers and how can we turn their interest into an appointment?

We will discuss ways to have deeper discussions with our clients so they can make effective and informed decisions.

The third semester is the Closing Course. We teach sellers how to understand and implement the core principles of closing.

These three courses can be taken as a series or ala carte. We’d love to have you in the next course that begins in January. To learn more and to apply for the program, please visit The Sales Evangelist.com/cstp. [11:41]

I want you to build stronger value. I want you to close more deals. More importantly, I want to challenge you each and every day to do big things. We need to be confident and we need to be determined. We need to be professionals that educate the buyer to save them money, to save their business and to save our bottom line as well.

“LAZY OUTREACH” EPISODE RESOURCES

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, a personalized and robust CRM with the capability to organize your company and effectively line up not only your sales but your client’s success. Go to TheSalesEvangelist.com/maximizer for a free demonstration.  [12:24]

We are also brought to you by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. It has changed the way we prospect.

Take advantage of the risk-free trial they offer specifically for the TSE community. First three months at half-price? You can’t beat that! To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never ever be the same. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher or wherever you enjoy fine podcasts.

And be sure to subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_980.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT

If your sales team focuses only on how many deals are closed, you won’t know much about your sales process. When the numbers drop, is the problem with the prospecting or with marketing? If you’re only focused on results, you won’t know. In order to find the holes in your sales process, you must evaluate […]

The post TSE 905: TSE Hustler’s League-“Holes In Your Sales Process” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_905.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Every aspect of selling has changed in the last 25 years. In any field where people have to connect with other people, the changes in communication have caused big shifts. For sales professionals, the key is to resist the urge to push back against millennials’ natural tendencies. Instead, let your millennials do their thing. On […]

The post TSE 886: Professional Selling In The Age of Kardashian: Let Your Millennials Do Their Thing appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_886.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Cold calling is always a challenge. If you’re in a role that requires you to spend all of your time doing cold outreach, it will mentally drain you. You may find yourself thinking that you can’t deal with even one more rejection. Many people discover they never knew cold outreach would be so hard. Today […]

The post TSE 862: I Didn’t Think Cold Outreach Was Going To Be This Difficult appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_862.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

Sometimes, rules survive long enough to become folklore. We adopted them as our own even if they aren’t necessarily good for us. As sales professionals, we must break the rules. Today on The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the importance of taking educated, calculated risks in order to improve our process. I’ll tell you about a risk […]

The post TSE 852: Break The Rules…Take A Risk! appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_852.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

Today’s guest is Johnny McLendon and he talks about his challenge with his business and what he did to get through it and finally land some big deals! Johnny is a photographer at heart and a certified drone pilot. He also came from the corporate world. By 2010, he started his photography business and progressed […]

The post TSE 754: Sales From The Street-“Cold Calling?” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_754.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Do you know why cold calling still works? That’s because not everyone can do it and you doing it gives you that competitive advantage. All the more reason you should do it because high growth companies has cold calling as their number one growth strategy. Today’s guest is David Sill, the SVP of Sales for […]

The post TSE 708: Why and How High Growth Companies are Still Cold Calling as Their Number One Growth Strategy appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_708.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

As sellers, one of our greatest fears is picking up that darn phone. We don’t have the confidence to speak to our prospects because we either don’t know what to say to them or we’re scared of rejection. But in exchange of that fear, you’re missing out on leads. You can’t just let that happen […]

The post TSE 666: How To Gain Confidence To Pick Up The Phone as a Small Business Owner appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_666.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 11:05am EDT

Does cold calling still work? Picking up that phone book and calling all the numbers listed would probably no longer be as effective. But the short answer is definitely yes. Cold calling or cold email still works. The key is to have an effective way of prospecting. My guest today, Marylou Tyler, is going to […]

The post TSE 528: Cold Emails and Cold Calling Are Not Dead! appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_528.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 9:06am EDT

This is yet another episode of the TSE Hustler’s League where I share with you a 10-min snippet taken from one of our 1-hour weekly webinar training. This semester, we’re focusing on Prospecting. We also have one-on-one coaching as well as have accountability partners to help us stay on track. Today, we talk about whether […]

The post TSE 445 – TSE Hustler’s League-“Cold Call or Not? If So, How?” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_445.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Are you struggling with managing your outside sales team? Or are you someone who’s struggling with approaching new people face-to-face, doing cold calls? Outside selling is a common problem of its own and today’s guest, Robert Hartline, is a total genius who created a solution for this. Robert runs a company called Call Proof, an […]

The post TSE 411: What Makes Someone A Successful Outside Sales Rep? appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_411.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

Cold calling is a challenge that pretty much every salesperson has faced at one point in their life. In today’s episode on Sales from the Street, Therrion White talks about the challenges he faced with cold calling and some strategies he put into place and not let this barrier get in his way to success. […]

The post TSE 394: Sales From The Street-“I Used to Hate Cold Calling” appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_394.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 9:27pm EDT

Today, we basically talk about how you can think on your feet when you’re cold calling. Or should you actually be doing that at all? Okay, so I’ve done this thing with Toastmasters called Table Topics, which is an impromptu 2-3 minute speech where you get to speak about a particular topic. And here are […]

The post TSE 307: How To Think Under Pressure While Cold Calling appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_307.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 11:13am EDT

A decision-maker is oftentimes protected by a gatekeeper or insulated. So how do you actually get to them? Getting past the gatekeeper is a pretty common challenge among salespeople. It’s all too common. But it remains a challenge until now. So we’re bringing in the man who’s got the key to the gate as he […]

The post TSE 254: The Key To The Gate! appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_254.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

Have you ever done cold calling and were faced with a situation that you least expected, or worse, that you haven’t prepared for? How did you handle those times? Check out this scenario: I went to this particular website and downloaded their white paper. I received a phone call from one of their reps and […]

The post TSE 135: Don’t Do This When You’re Cold Calling appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_135.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

Have you ever wondered if standing up while making phone calls is effective or not? Well, you are not the only one. I find that many people have that similar question. That is why I created this episode. I have tried it and saw that for me standing up was VERY EFFECTIVE. See some of […]

The post TSE 051: Does Standing Up When Making Phone Calls Make A Difference? appeared first on The Sales Evangelist.

Direct download: TSE_051.mp3
Category:Cold Calling -- posted at: 8:24am EDT

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