In this video, we discuss how to open and establish cold calls. In another video, we go through a full cold call process that goes from open to closed, and that video includes a discussion around the open. But since we discuss the entire process, we move really quickly through some of the tips and concepts that pertain to the opening and establishing of cold calls and focus solely on that in this training video.
Before we talk about the tactics to open cold calls, let’s take a step back and create more clarity around what the goal is at that moment. When the prospect first answers the phone, the goal is not to sell the product – it is simply to establish the call and buy a short window of time.
I recommend one of the first things you do when opening the cold call is to try to confirm that the prospect is available for your call. This is a fairly debatable topic in that many salespeople believe that if you try to confirm that the prospect is available, you are inviting an objection and giving the prospect the opportunity to get rid of you.
I don’t agree with that, and I believe that you should try to confirm that the prospect is available in order to get an idea if they are normal busy or if they are crazy busy. If the prospect is crazy busy, that is probably not a good time to try to execute your cold call anyway, and if you can identify that, then you can stop the call and try to regroup on another day. And if the prospect is normal busy and you get the green light to move forward, then you have just bought yourself a short window of time to try to execute your cold call.
How to Confirm Availability
The key thing with confirming availability is how you ask the prospect if they are available. Instead of asking if the prospect is busy because we know they are, ask the prospect if you have caught them in the middle of anything. Not only will this question do a good job at figuring out if the prospect is normal busy or crazy busy, but it is also a very casual and friendly way to talk to the prospect, and this can help to decrease their guardedness and build rapport.
Share the Purpose of the Call
Once you have confirmed that the prospect is available, the next step in the process of opening cold calls is to share the purpose of the call. Here are some options for that:
- Discuss research: If you had time to research the prospect and found a reason to talk or an area that you can help them, share that as the reason for your call and purpose for talking.
- Internal referral/name drop: If you spoke to someone else in the prospect’s organization or company, share that name and details of the conversation to warm up your cold outreach.
- Recap previous conversations: If you are following up with a prospect that you have spoken to before, recap the previous conversation and reason for following back up as the purpose for your call.
- Value points: If your product helps in some sort of way, you can share that as the purpose for your call.
- Pain points: If your product helps to solve problems or challenges, you can share that as the reason for your outreach.
- Name drop: If your product has helped another business, you could share that as the reason for your call.
After you share the purpose of your call, then deliver a soft sales takeaway. A sales takeaway is the opposite of what most salespeople do when they push the prospect to move forward, as it takes away the product that you are trying to sell by expressing doubt in fit and justification for moving forward.
You can deliver a soft version of a takeaway early in the call by saying something like:
I don’t know if those are areas that you want to improve.
I don’t know if you are concerned about any of those areas.
I don’t know if we can help you in the same way or not.
I don’t know if you are the right person for me to speak with.
This can be extremely helpful in your effort for how to open cold calls because when you deliver a soft sales takeaway like this, it can decrease the prospect’s guard, create curiosity, and increase rapport.