Cold Calling

CASE STUDY: The Art Of Prospecting

I was on LinkedIn today and I saw this post that caught my attention. It’s something that has been of great debate with my entrepreneurial friends and would love to share some insights.

DISCLAIMER

There is no right or wrong way. Just what works for the intended result you desire. This post is in no way judgemental but an attempt at improving future prospecting initiatives for all consultants, freelancers, and small business owners.

Prospecting

So let’s break down this approach.

  1. The great
  2. The gap.
  3. Future improvements.

The Great.

Doing The Uncomfortable.

It takes a lot of courage to make a cold call. A cold call if you have no idea is a call to someone who doesn’t know you, has never interacted with you and you have no idea who they are other than probably they work in XYZ field.

For anyone who colds call, you have to appreciate the level of discomfort one has to overcome. It’s no “walk in the park” feat and you only get more comfortable with time.

Having A Great Attitude.

Alden, despite the rejection still took it without any bitterness or resentment. In fact, he posted the whole ordeal on Linkedin for feedback. The only way you get to learn is to make mistakes and post them for people to critique and give you feedback. Nothing free’s up and agitates the ego like taking “feedback”(The ego begs to differ and sees it as criticism.) Now it’s sometimes outright that some people are just plain old malicious and miserable with their existence and only feel excited putting others down. Those you must avoid at all costs and the way to know of their presence is by their behavior. They always have something to say without any +ve input on how they would improve the situation. Ignore whatever they have to say at all costs.

The Gap 

The Approach.

What could have been done differently to avoid this approach would have been to send an email or to initially touch base so as to set a future follow-up date. Lots of people still find door knocking and cold calling as intrusive despite the noble intentions. Some don’t mind at all but it’s hard to determine who does and who doesn’t. That’s why, to reduce friction, initiate initial correspondence using email or text. The reason you would do this is to:-

  1. Break the ice
  2. Test to see if they are open to your offer.
  3.  Warm them up for a follow-up congruent touchpoint.

I’ll give you a template you can use later.

The Initial Statement.

“Hey is this John?” Let’s assume it was John. What you’re communicating is that you have no idea if this is John. Now if you called an office number where an admin assistant picked up the phone, then this would be a reasonable starter question. However, if you called his cell phone (most of us have them at arm’s length) 90% of the time the probability that John will be the one picking up the phone is high! Don’t give John the window to shut you out by your lead statement because even if it was John, you just gave him an opportunity to denounce or accept his identity depending on the reason why your calling.( After receiving numerous telemarketing calls you learn how to become creative) In this case, he chose the natural combative, screening method we all use when facing a situation which we are trying to sort. When he responded “Sorry, who is this?” and we all know he’s not really sorry…(How can he be when you’re the one intruding?) What he is doing is buying time so that he can place Alden in a container. An identity container so that the brain can make a decision whether to hang up, engage more or even deny he is John. So from the very begining, what Alden has done is lost total control of the phone conversation by simply asking “Hey Is this John?”.

The 2nd Statement.

“My name is Alden” ……What John really wants to hear very quickly is why he should listen to you. Alden could have said he is Jerry Seinfeld(I find him funny) and John wouldn’t have given a decimal of a care. Why? The approach was handicapped from the beginning. Your cutting into his time, you haven’t immediately told him why he should listen to you and you’re talking about who you are and what your company does! Not cool. Maybe he was just about to take an elephant bite of a sizzling lemon marinated steak burger loaded with sauteed caramelized onions tomatoes and mushrooms when you just happened to call while his canines and molars were dangling in the air, burger in hand.Oh and by the way, if you noticed John is an engineer. So how do engineers process information? Fast, logical, get to the point, analytical.

Future Improvements

So the rule of thumb, before you get on the phone with anyone, initiate a touchpoint with least resistance. Start with an email or a text. Below is a template you can use.

Prospecting

This is a loaded template. If they are happy where they are, they won’t respond but then even if they are happy, there’s that question of “What if…” This template introduces FOMO( The fear of missing out) Everyone wants to know that they have the best package and fear being passed on by opportunities especially if it fell on their “lap”

You didn’t start with “make 200K” as that would sound scammy. Instead, you started with the number one reason why people leave jobs. Being undervalued and lack of being appreciated. That is a lack of job fulfillment.

The other thing is that they are way more open to your call because you have displayed that you have their interest at heart.

You also get to ask for a referral in a non-awkward way just in case they are not interested.

Finally, your phone number is the bottom of the email so they will recognize it when you call and you’re no longer just plain old Alden but Alden looking to hook me up.

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Cheers!

Lee Kariuki

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About The Author

Lee Kariuki

Systems and strategy. I grow businesses by simplifying them. What do your customers want, and what's in their way? Simple right? Reach me at admin@leekariuki.com.

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