1+4 Cold Calling Tips

1 Apr

Why would a blog posting from Inquisix mention cold calling tips? After all, we’re about exchanging referrals amongst sales people. Unfortunately, there are times when that referral is just not available and cold calling is required. This discussion came up in a previous blog posting, “Cold Calling Works?” where some sales experts chimed in with their thoughts in the comments.

I read a recent posting on DigIt! about a Cold Calling Tip. Just one! Elinor Stutz suggests the following to increase your response rate on cold calls –

“After leaving the voice message, immediately send a duplicate short email. But, here is where it will be slightly different. In the subject line, you can type ‘follow-up’. Begin the message from the reader’s point of view by stating, ‘I realize it is easier to press the reply key then to dial back. Per my telephone message…’ Keep your message down to one or two very short paragraphs.”

What do you think? Will this work effectively? I almost always follow-up a voice mail (cold call or not) with an email because some people prefer to return communications via email instead of phone. So I give them a choice. But to state, “I realize it is easier to press the reply key….” in your email? I’m not sold on that. Tone is often misunderstood in emails and this sentence can be read wrong too easily. What do you think?

Instead, I suggest that cold callers read this posting that provides 4 tips for cold calling from an inside sales rep that’s living it every day.

6 Responses to “1+4 Cold Calling Tips”

  1. Cold Calling April 1, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    Well I would recommend ditching the cold calling techniques and trying to find ways for them to contact you first. Then you won’t have these problems. Best of luck.

  2. Michael Kreppein April 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks for reading and responding. I think all sales people would love the phone to ring with interested prospects. Isn’t that what marketing is supposed to do for us! However, I’ve found in B2B sales that often the person calling in for information is a junior person who can’t make buying decisions and won’t introduce you to their manager. There’s no single answer for filling your sales pipeline with opportunities – inbound, events, cold calling, referrals, etc – but some are more effective than others. Guess which one I think is most effective!

  3. Kelly McLean April 3, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    I agree with you Michael – tone is very hard to establish in email, and can very easily be mistaken.

    What I liked about Elinor’s tip was the fact that it gives the prospect an out. They may not have the time to give you a call back, but if they want more info they can send you a quick note…and they know you’re ready and willing to work in whichever manner they prefer.

    It also gives value to your e-mail. Instead of just reiterating your voicemail, you’re telling them you have a solution they need, and you can make it easy to get.

  4. Michael Kreppein April 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    Kelly, thanks for commenting – it’s always nice when the inspiration for my posting comes and comments on this blog. I absolutely agree that you should follow up your voice mail with an email. But why tell the prospect they have an out? You don’t really want to give them an out – what you want is to make it easier for them to respond to you. And isn’t a response by either phone or email assumed by the fact you sent essentially the same communication in different ways? Your email could elaborate on your voice mail and point them to specific parts of your website relevant to the discussion. But to state you’re giving an out, especially with that wording? I’m not sold on that.

  5. Renee June 6, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    I realize this post was months ago, but I thought I would respond anyways. I am living the cold calling nightmare. Who enjoys cold calling? I don’t think anyone! But unfortunately some of us still have to do it. I take the do it all approach (cold calling, email marketing, direct marketing, networking, referrals, etc). I do whatever it takes to “get the job done”. I recently took a sales position with a small, but growing, business. There is no marketing team, telemarketing group, business developers, or lead developers. With that being said, I have no choice but to cold call. The phone is not ringing with potential clients. I have to go out and find them myself!
    I’ve always sent a follow up email (when available) after a phone call. I’ve found a greater response in doing this. I send something short and sweet, get to the point, explaining I understand how busy their day can be and I thought this may be an easier way to communicate. I get a response more often than not. I think clients appreciate you when you can empathize with how hectic each day is. Messages hardly ever result in a response.

  6. Michael Kreppein August 13, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    Just read a great post on RainToday about what it’s like to be on the other side of a cold call. Always nice to hear from the customer exactly what we’re doing wrong and how we can improve our technique. And not waste the prospect’s time…..or ours!

    http://www.raintoday.com/pages/4050_dead_on_arrival_5_deadly_sales_call_sins.cfm

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