At any one point in time, when I ask revenue heads, what percentage of potential buyers from your universe of the market are actively looking to buy something similar to what you sell, I get an optimistic answer. The answer ranges from 5% to 25%. So my question is what about the remaining 75%? Aren’t these potential buyers part of your unsold territory?
To this 75 % of the market, you can’t reach through content marketing or inbound marketing. You will have to knock their door. So companies that have reached a saturation point of inbound marketing or launched a new product that doesn’t have enough search volume needs to knock strangers door.
But the question to ponder at this stage is why this 75% of the potential customers not researching or looking to buy a product similar to what you sell? This boils down to mostly two core reason. It is either ignorance- the potential buyer is unaware that a better way exists or Rationalization- the potential buyer has tried to solve the problem earlier but it failed. So as a salesperson you want these potential buyers to start their buyer’s journey.
How do you do that? By creating hope. Creating a hope among the potential buyers that the old problems can be solved, now. There are now better ways and with proven success. Hope is created by education. Educating the prospects of newer & better ways. But there are two things to this. The prospect should accept you as trustworthy and capable.
Here I will like to highlight an important aspect. Salespeople who are cold calling are guilty until proven innocent. They are guilty because of the association with the sins that other cold-calling executives have exercised on potential buyers. We don’t trust cold callers. The moment we guess a cold caller, our brain distrust nerves opens up. (I have written an article with neuro-scientist of Harvard University, which you can read here, to know how the brain reacts to cold calls.) So what is the way out? Before I get into a solution I want to pose few more pertinent questions.
Have you been cold called in the past 6 months? Did you buy the product promoted? Did you learn anything new? Did you like the experience? In most of the scenario, there is a negative answer to the above questions. This is the sin committed by past cold callers that a new entrant gets associated with. What if the experience is completely opposite? What if you get to learn something new and valuable in your cold call? Would you love the experience? Would you like to evaluate the product promoted seriously? Absolutely yes. The bottleneck is that you have gained this trust and appear valuable within the window of 20 secs. We should also remember here that cold calls are meant to penetrate the 75% of the market who are not aggressively looking to buy a product similar to what you sell. We also learned that to enter this market, we have to create a hope. Hope that, in this world today better ways of doing things, is available. Hope can be created by education. Hence modern day cold calls have to be valuable, insightful and educative.
Let me present some sample cold call pitches for a commonly sold commodity.
“Hi, I am Raj. While researching about you, I could see that you are an entrepreneur. Most of the startups have been using credit cards to manage short-term cash flow. With that insight, I have been calling you? Is this the time we can talk?”
“Hi, I am Raj. While researching about you, I can see that you are a first time newly employed executive. Many people like you have been using credit cards to buy new dresses to elevate this status in the office from the 2nd month itself rather than wait for a couple of months. With that insight, I have been calling you. Is this the time we can talk?”
“Hi, I am Raj. While researching about you, I can see that you are a matured executive from Haryana. Quite a few people like you have been using credit cards to fund their parties during the month ends. With that insight, I have been calling you?”
I am sure, you would appreciate that these cold calls are quite more valuable than the type of calls we get. It is definite that it will increase prospect engagement and thereby sales percentage. I took an example of the simple product in order to appeal to varied readier community but, it can be applied to any category of product. Just that for large value deals, expensive products you should not expect to close the deal in a call. Calls can help you to send a mark and start the buying cycle.
There is a process to above calls. You will notice it is “Hyper Segmentation”. This is an age-old strategy. We group people with similar characteristics and approach them similarly with an insight or assumption. We can take a deep dive into this process and show how it can be applied to complex products and items. When a cold caller who has been calling to quite a few people where in the first person is a startup entrepreneur, the next one is a student and then a housewife, it is too tough to apply these techniques to the calls. That is why we developed a sales Engagement Software. It automatically hyper segments as it has been instructed by her master. It also reminds the salesperson with the call notes that have the insight to be shared. The sales person only focuses on conversation. An engagement platform does all the data entry at the back. It automatically creates tasks for calls that were not connected or were busy. She dials one number after another on her own. Itecords the calls and tags it appropriately. She can also customize an email and send it to the relevant person after the call has ended.
Imagine Sales aspires to be #1 player in this sales engagement software category helping the small and medium businesses.
There is another core practical aspect that is often ignored as we cold call. Markets wherein connect ratio is less than 10%, the mathematics of cold calls fails. Meaning to say, it becomes loss making to cold call. So if you are calling high-level executives who are guarded by personal assistants or receptionist, the maths fail. In these markets, you need to use Cold emailing.
In case you want an idea on how to cold call specific to your product category, please write to us in the below comments. I have earned my livelihood and my due fortune through cold calls. We also belonged to an era of sales wherein advertisement was not so cheap as it happened through online ads. Hence cold calls was a necessity for us. We all know necessity is the mother of inventions.
This post is an introduction to a 5 part series where I explain the frameworks needed to do outbound right. What cold emails work and what metrics we should benchmark? Subscribe to receive the rest of the series.