Cold Calling 101: 5 Steps to Cold Calls That Work!

Few things strike fear into the heart of sales reps quite like cold calling. Do you know where that fear comes from? A lack of control. The more control we have over any situation, the less afraid we’ll be. Same goes for cold calling.

So if you want to eliminate cold calling fears FOR GOOD, you just need a simple process or framework to follow so you know what to do at each step of the call. That’s where control comes from. And that’s what we’re talking about today.

The first step of the Cold Calling 101 is…

1. Confirm

Confirm you’re speaking to the RIGHT person. And that means the decision maker. You want to be speaking directly with whoever decides whether to buy. Because otherwise, you’ll be dealing with a gatekeeper who then has to go convince their boss to make the purchase. And along the way, your product’s value will likely be diluted.

So what does that sound like in practice?

  • “Hi, Will Barron from Who’s in charge of sales training at X?
    • Scenario 1: “That’s me.” — Move on to the next step
    • Scenario 2: “That’s Barry.” — Now we need to get in touch with Barry.
  • “Ok thanks. Could you connect me with him? Can I tell them that you referred me?”

2.  Break

This step is all about breaking the prospect out of their status quo, i.e. being comfortable with the solution they’re using right now. So ask them how their current solution is working out. As it turns out, most people will tell you there’s some kind of problem. Things could always be cheaper, faster, more effective.

So pop the question, like this:

  • “OK great, how are you training your sales reps right now?”

No matter what their response is, it’s important to still move on to the next step. Even if they tell you they’ve already got a solution that’s working great, still push forward to

3. Value

This is when you give a short snippet of the value you can offer. Don’t go too crazy on the details here. Just hit the biggest problem and the most important way what you’re selling solves it. One sentence should do the trick.

Now remember, you’ve got to push through to this step, regardless of whether they seem pleased or not with their current provider. Buyers will be open to new solutions more often than you might expect.

And if they push back, you only have three more sentences to get through (15 seconds max).

Now let’s look at what a value statement looks like in practice.

  • “We help salespeople find and close more sales in the next 30 days or your money back.”

See? Quick, succinct, and hit’s all the main points. Doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

4. Tie-In

Here’s where you tie in the value of your product to what the prospect is going through.

How can you help? What kinds of benefits that matter to THEM can they expect to see from working with you?

And more than anything else, why the hell should they care?

Here’s what it might look like in our scenarios.

  • Scenario 1: “It seems like you’re not happy with your current sales training solution. Would it make sense to see if we can solve this problem for you?”
  • Scenario 2: “Would it make sense to see if we can turbocharge your current solution so you can train more effective sales reps more quickly?”

 Once you bridge this gap, you can move on to the all-important final step…

5. Close

This is where the rubber meets the road ladies and gentlemen. Where everything you’ve done until now combines into the sweet success of a “yes” or the bitter pill of the “no”.

It’s time to make the ask.

Now of course the goal here isn’t to make the SALE. Because no one in their right mind is going to agree to buying after a thirty second conversation. Instead, your aim is just to set up a sales meeting. Schedule a call. That’s it.

So what does that look like?

  • “Ok great, it looks like we might be able to help. Does it make sense to jump on a quick 10-minute call tomorrow to discuss?”

Bam, simple as that.

Now the nature of cold calling here means you’re likely to get a “no”, even if you’ve done everything right. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. Instead, give them your contact info and ask for theirs as well. You can then plug them into your nurture sequences so that if something DOES change on their end, you’ll be the ones at the top of their mind.

And if you get a “yes” out of it all, well then mark your calendar because you just scored a sales call with a brand new lead. Congrats!

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