Cold calling has long been a staple of sales outreach, but in recent years, it has faced criticism and backlash as an intrusive method of communication.
With traditional cold calling, you spend a lot of time and resources to produce mediocre results; it’s inefficient. The exhaustion and rejection that come with it send chills down the spine of the most charismatic of sales reps.
As a result, many companies have turned to alternative methods of sales outreach, such as email or social media. However, cold calling is far from dead and has transformed in recent years… enter “cold calling 2.0!”
In this cold calling guide, we’ll look at what cold calling 2.0 is and how it compares to conventional cold calling.
We’ll also share some cold calling tips you can use to optimize your technique and leverage this timeless sales tactic.
Cold Calling 2.0: Overview
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling involves approaching potential customers or clients who haven’t been in contact with your brand by calling them. These prospects have no prior knowledge of the products or services being offered. That’s the difference between a cold and a warm lead – a warm lead is where the person has been ‘warmed up’ and has already had some touchpoints with your company. A cold lead – the one you are cold calling – has had no touchpoints.
What is Cold Calling 2.0?
Cold calling 2.0 is a systematic lead-generation technique that allows you to prospect new accounts without first making cold calls blindly.
It’s a fusion between cold calling and cold emailing. Rather than contacting the decision-maker directly, you’d reach out to someone higher on the hierarchical level with a request to refer you to the right person.
That way, you’d build a frame and authority before calling your prospect, which, in the case of traditional cold calling, isn’t there. The prospect would also have some prior knowledge of your value proposition, making it a borderline warm call.
Cold Calling 1.0 Vs. Cold Calling 2.0
Cold calling 2.0 is more targeted and personalized than traditional cold calling. Rather than blindly dialing a list of numbers, salespeople can use data insights to identify and prioritize the most promising leads.
Cold calling 2.0 also makes use of a variety of channels beyond just the telephone. Salespeople may reach out to potential customers via email, text message, or social media, depending on what is most likely to get their attention. This allows for more flexibility and the ability to connect with customers in the way that works best for them.
The goal of cold calling 2.0 is the same as the traditional version: to generate new leads and sales opportunities. However, the modernized approach is more respectful of the customer’s time and preferences.
Instead of disrupting their day with an unsolicited phone call, salespeople can reach out in a convenient and relevant way for the customer.
Benefits of Cold Calling 2.0
One key aspect of cold calling 2.0 is the use of data and technology to personalize and target outreach efforts. That can involve using customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer interactions and identify potential leads. You could also use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data and predict the best time to reach out to a particular individual.
Personalization through data and technology allows salespeople to tailor their messaging and approach to each prospect’s specific needs and pain points, increasing the chances of a successful outcome.
Another important element of cold calling 2.0 is the shift towards a more consultative approach rather than a hard sell. Take the time to understand potential customers’ pain points and offer solutions that align with their business goals.
By adopting this approach, salespeople are better able to build rapport and establish trust with prospects, leading to more successful outcomes.
Cold calling 2.0 includes a greater focus on building a strong online presence and leveraging social media for outreach. That can involve creating engaging content showcasing the company’s expertise and engaging with potential customers on social media platforms.
More benefits if you’re not sold on the idea of the cold calling process yet:
- The decision-maker is expecting a call from you, so they’re not bothered by the interruption.
- As your prospect is already aware of your value proposition, the phone call is much more effective (takes less time).
- You’ve been referred by their manager or someone at their supervisory level. That makes the prospects take you more seriously and be more cooperative in talking business.
- Instead of going through hundreds of random calls per day, your sales team is more focused on closing deals and building relationships.
- Your sales reps do not waste their time on leads that are impossible to convert. If they receive a “not sure yet” reply, they can approach the prospects after waiting for a certain period.
Best Time to Cold Call
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when it is appropriate to make a cold call, a few general guidelines can help increase the chances of success.
Consider the time zone of the person you are calling. Avoid calling too early in the morning or late in the evening, as these times may not be convenient for the recipient. Instead, aim for the middle of the workday. That’s when people are most likely to be at their desks and able to have a conversation.
DAY OF THE WEEK
Also, consider the day of the week when making cold calls. Many people are busiest on Monday and Friday, so it may be more effective to call on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
- The purpose of the call: If you’re looking to schedule a meeting or demo, calling at the beginning of the week may be more effective, as people are typically more focused. A mid-week call may be more appropriate if you want to follow up on a previous conversation or answer questions.
- The current state of the business: Consider the current state and any deadlines or priorities of your prospect’s business. For example, it may not be the best time to cold call if the company mid-launch of a new product or rebrand (a busy season).
- Personalization: Data and technology, such as AI, can be incredibly useful in predicting the best times to reach out to specific individuals. By analyzing customer data and predicting the best time to reach out, salespeople can increase their chances of success.
Ultimately, the best time to cold call will depend on various factors and will require trial and error to determine what works best for your specific goals.
How to Cold Call: Cold Calling Strategies
As mentioned before in this cold calling tutorial, cold calling 2.0 involves cold emailing to inform your prospect of the agenda of the incoming call.
Getting the right prospects
For a cold email marketing campaign, it’s necessary to work with specialized agencies that connect with data providers. These data providers have vast collections of contact information, including emails, phone numbers, and profiles.
The sales team can specify their target audience and provide details about their data needs and prospecting strategies. This may include expanding the current customer base, entering new markets, or introducing new products or services.
The agency will then match the available data with the provided profiles. This matching ensures that the emails are sent to individuals genuinely interested in the products and services offered (they’re qualified leads).
A list of target customers for an email campaign is created using the provided information. The top-down approach, a successful technique for cold calling, is used to identify decision-makers and their supervisors.
The emails are automated to save time and can be sent to multiple recipients simultaneously. However, personalized emails specifically addressed to the recipient are more effective than generic emails. After sending the actionable emails to the contact list, further actions are taken based on the replies received. These actions can be:
- Contacting the decision maker
- Seizing the contact after receiving a negative reply
- Sending more details about the services being offered
- Answering specific inquiries.
Here are some cold calling strategies you need to keep in mind to make more cold call sales:
Before You Call
Preparation is key. Before you start dialing, it’s important to do your research. This means learning about the company you’ll call and identifying the decision-maker you’ll speak with. The more you know about their needs and challenges, the better you’ll tailor your pitch to their needs.
You need to know what industry they’re in, their company size, website, first name, etc. These details matter because, when you are on the call with them, the more personalization points you can bring up, the more they recognize that you mean business. They’ll take you more seriously and won’t hang up in the first 10 seconds of the call.
If you have acquired their contact information from a lead magnet or through a social media campaign, you need to track that inside your CRM. That way, you’ll know at what stage of the sales funnel they are, and you can adjust your pitch accordingly.
It’s also a good idea to develop a script or outline of what you’ll say. This will help you stay focused and on track during the call and give you the confidence you need to deliver a compelling pitch. Just be sure to sound natural and genuine.
Matching Your Prospect’s Tone And Communication Styles
People generally let their guard down when they hear someone familiar. That’s why matching your prospect’s communication style works. Shawn Sease, the author of “Navigate 2.0: Selling the Way People Like to Buy,” has developed a framework based on that.
This conversation framework for cold calling involves identifying prospects and assigning them to one of four personas:
- The Fighter: They are a no-nonsense person who wants to hear details about the product and value choices immediately. You need to be able to answer as quickly as possible. This will help you match their energy and pace by mirroring their cadence.
- The Entertainer: This persona is extroverted and likes to build rapport, so salespeople should be enthusiastic and pivot to get them talking about their own company.
- The Counselor: They are a measured and cautious persona who wants concrete examples of how the product will benefit their team and prefers to make group decisions.
- The Detective: They are also a no-fuss persona who wants to see concrete data on how similar companies have benefited from the product. Detectives always strive to be accurate and avoid making mistakes, so they focus on the bottom line. Provide concrete examples and evidence when discussing your achievements, such as increasing bookings by 25% for a company like General Electric. Case studies and testimonials can strengthen your argument.
A pattern interrupt is a technique that involves surprising the person you are speaking with to alter their state of mind and make them more receptive to your message. Break away from the expectations that prospect has of the sales call and present something unexpected.
The goal of pattern interruption is to break through people’s usual defenses when they receive a cold call and create an opportunity for the caller to connect with the listener.
Imagine that you are a salesperson calling a potential customer to introduce your product. The conversation might go something like this:
Salesperson: “Hi, my name is Jane, and I’m calling from XYZ Company. We offer a new type of software to help your business streamline its operations. Can I tell you more about it?”
Potential customer: “I’m not interested. Thank you.”
At this point, the normal conversation pattern would be for the salesperson to thank the potential customer and move on to the next call. However, the salesperson could use pattern interruption to try to change the direction of the conversation:
Salesperson: “I understand that you’re not interested right now, and I respect that. But before I go, can I ask you a quick question? How do you currently handle [process related to the software] at your company? We’ve found that our software can really help businesses like yours save time and resources.”
By showing genuine interest in the potential customer’s needs, the salesperson interrupts the normal conversation pattern and gives the potential customer a reason to continue talking. This creates an opportunity for the salesperson to build a rapport with the potential customer and make a sale.
Setting the Intentions
What’s the next step after the cold call? For most, it would be directing a sales call or a demonstration call. Most people make a mistake by trying to sell their products or services right there on the cold call, which is not the time to do it. You typically have one to three minutes, and the prospect usually hasn’t even consumed enough content to make a buying decision.
You need to make your intentions clear to the prospect as well. Here’s an example:
Salesperson: “Hey, so just let you know I want to ask you a few questions on this call take about 30 seconds of your time, and then if it makes sense, I want to walk you through how it’s possible that Scaling With Systems could help you grow your business does that seem fair to you?”
In this case, the salesperson has made their intentions clear, and in doing so, the prospect understands the call’s outcome. If the prospect is genuinely interested, they’ll make a decision. If they allow you to continue, pitch your value proposition. If they refuse, it’s fine, too, as you’ll be saving your and their time.
Do the Least Amount of Talking
In a cold call conversation, whoever talks the most loses. People generally love to hear their voices. If you talk over them, they’ll lose interest quickly. Instead, actively listen to what they are saying and ask questions based on it. You’ll get an extra 20-30 seconds on the phone, which in cold calling is an eternity.
We are living in a world of distractions. Chances of your prospect forgetting about your existence after a 2-3 minute cold call are pretty high.
You can send an email after the call that touches on the points you’ve discussed during the cold call and some homework or content for them to consume. When they open the email, they’re reminded of your conversation. By consuming more content in the email, they’ll build more trust with you. This email will make them more likely to attend the demonstration call.
Pro tip: Introduce your prospect to your sales executive and the appointment center after the cold call. Before you call them again, add them all in a group text, which will dramatically increase the attendance rate.
Expert Cold Calling Tips
Stop Running from Rejection
It’s natural to face rejection in the sales industry, and that’s okay. Not every individual or company will be interested in your product or service. Some sales representatives may resist the risk of rejection by focusing on finding the most promising prospects to close a sale. It makes sense, but it can limit you.
While this strategy may work for larger sales, it’s important to contact every potential prospect when cold calling, even if it leads to a higher rejection rate. This will ultimately increase the number of successful sales. To enhance sales efforts, you can also use a CRM dialer to speed up calls.
Slow And Steady Wins the Race
It takes time for people to make decisions, especially with the abundance of information and options available in today’s market. It is unlikely to close a sale on the first call, and that’s okay.
Instead of trying to make a sale, the goal should be to move the prospect to the next stage of the sales process. If you are able to set up an appointment or follow-up call from an initial cold call, it’s a success.
Learn to Cut Your Losses
As you gain experience, you will become better at identifying whether a prospect is interested and worth pursuing. If you sense that a conversation is not going anywhere, it’s best to end it.
Otherwise, it’s a waste of both your time and their time and can affect your morale. While it is important to consider every opportunity, it’s also important to move on if it’s clear that it’s not a good fit.
Cold Calling Statistics
Cold Calling & Customers
Despite its negative reputation, cold calling is not always disliked by buyers.
- C-level buyers and VPs are particularly fond of cold calling as their preferred method of initial contact, with 57% preferring this method, compared to 51% of directors and 47% of managers.
- 82% of buyers have accepted meetings with salespeople who contact them through cold calls.
- 69% of buyers have accepted phone calls from new providers.
Cold Calling Success Rates
Cold calling success rates can be challenging to achieve due to various factors.
- On average, it takes eight attempts to reach a general prospect due to missed calls or calls being made at inconvenient times.
- Of all the cold calls made, only 28% are answered, 55% go unanswered, and 17% are non-working numbers. For companies using purchased lists, the percentage of non-working numbers may be even higher.
- It is estimated that it takes an average of 1.5 hours of cold calling each day for five days to secure one appointment or referral.
- You need to make six calls once you have reached the decision-maker to achieve success.
Cold Calling Tutorial: FAQs
Why is cold calling so hard?
Cold calling can be challenging because it involves the risk of rejection, requires personalization, may lack information about the prospect, can be limited by time constraints. However, it can be an effective way to generate leads and connect with potential customers by conducting thorough research and personalizing the approach.
What is an example of cold calling?
Here is an example of a cold call:
“Hi [Prospect], my name is [Your Name], and I’m reaching out to you today because I saw that your company [Company] is [Industry], and I noticed that you might be interested in [Product/Service].
At [Your Company], we specialize in [Product/Service] and have helped many companies like yours [Benefit].
I’m wondering if you have a few minutes to chat about how we might be able to help you [Goal].”
This example incorporates personalization by referencing the prospect’s company and industry and positioning your product or service as a potential solution to a problem the prospect might face.
What skills do you need for cold calling?
It’s helpful to have strong communication and persuasion skills, good listening skills, and the ability to adapt to different people and situations. Time management and resilience are also important to manage your schedule and staying motivated despite potential challenges. Learn more about effective strategies in this cold calling tutorial article.
Wrapping Up: Cold Call Tutorial
Overall, cold calling 2.0 represents a significant evolution of traditional cold calling tactics, focusing more on data-driven personalization, a consultative approach, and leveraging social media channels.
While it’s not without its challenges, cold calling 2.0 can be an effective tool for sales outreach when used responsibly and with other strategies. Companies can effectively acquire new clients by adopting a modernized approach and utilizing the latest technologies and tactics.
Speaking of acquiring new clients, we at Scaling With Systems have perfected the formula of client acquisition. We’ll help you convert strangers into long-term clients.
Our client acquisition strategy will give you the freedom you’ve always dreamed of. With a stream of new clients, you can focus your efforts on building systems and hiring team members to scale your business. If you are serious about automating your business, book a free consultation call, and one of our advisors will contact you.