Top 10 cold-calling tips to close more deals

January 18, 2021

There is no one-size-fits-all cold calling strategy that works for everyone.

The success depends on your target audience, industry, buying cycle, etc. These tend to vary from prospect to prospect and from product to product.

But there are formulas cold calling experts use to break the ice, close more deals, and ultimately, ramp up the revenue. These formulas can be studied and leveraged by anyone.

So we decided to get in touch with experts in the field and search for the perfect formula. We talked to people like Morgan Ingram, Anthony Iannarino, Tony J Hughes, and many more.

The insights we got are amazing! Today, we will share them with you, 100% unfiltered.

Introducing 10 amazing cold calling tips and tactics that are proven to work in 2021 and which will help you close more cold calls.

Morgan's 4 essential cold call elements

When we were speaking with Morgan Ingram, he shared his amazing cold calling strategy with us in this video.

It consists of four elements:

  • Intro line

It's always a great practice to ask people if they have time to chat. In this way, you show them that you appreciate their time.

  • Value proposition

Go straight for it. This sparks the conversation. Your goal should be to have a clear value proposition, but also ask leading questions that will make your person think.

This is important because, when that person stops for a second and thinks about what you just said, then answer it, you have the conversation flow from there.

This part should also answer: Why exactly did you call that particular prospect? How exactly can you help him achieve his goals?

  • Call-to-action

It's always a good practice to ask people if they have time for "discovery call".

  • Finish it off

If they say yes, then you want to try to arrange the next meeting right on the call. This improves your chances of actually having the prospect on your meeting.

Let's go through an example:

Hi [First Name], thanks for taking my call, do you have a few moments to chat?

I'm calling because I talk with thousands of sales reps like yourself, and my biggest focus is making you confident for cold calling and closing more deals. Can you imagine yourself being more confident and closing more deals?

Hey, since there's a mutual benefit, would you be happy to chat next week about this?

That's great! So, I have this calendar invite, can you please accept it while we're on the call?

How to get more meetings from cold calls

Anthony Iannarino is another great cold calling expert we've interviewed in our community.

He shared his process of getting meetings via cold calls. Take a look at his interview here.

As you know, the main goal of cold calling isn't to sell but to schedule a meeting or a discovery call where you're going to motivate your prospects to buy.

Here's how your cold call might look:

Hi [First Name], it's [Your Name] from [Your Company].

I'm calling you today to ask you for a 20 minutes executive briefing where I'm going to share with you the four trends that I believe will make the biggest impact in your industry in the next 12 months.

Listen, this is an executive briefing. I'm not going to pitch you. There may or may not be the next step, but even if there is no next step - you are still gonna benefit from this.

What do you look like [exact day] for a 20-minute executive briefing?

Start with the self-reference humor

Milovan Milosevic, VP of revenue operations at Shyft shared with us his opening lines to break the ice.

He prefers to start the conversation with a joke at his expense.

It looks something like this:

Hey [First Name], it's [Your Name] here, the guy with that fine radio voice that unfortunately operates in a wrong decade.

... and millions of variations.

By doing so, Milovan explains people tend to let the guard down, remember him and the conversation is off to a great start.

"I called you six months ago" strategy

This is one brilliant cold calling strategy designed by our very own Ena, who has a strong career in sales for years now in the SaaS world.

Ena's great ice-breaker looks like this:

Hi [First Name], it's [Your Name] here from [Company Name]. I had a chat with you six months ago about helping you get more sales meetings with cold outreach, but you told me to call you in six months. So I decided to give it a shot now and see what's the current situation.

Why is this great?

No one remembers the cold call they had six months ago, and you should play on that.

Even if they never talked with you, but you "said" that they asked you to call again in six months, they might feel a little "obligation" and "empathy" with you.

Visualize your perfect sales conversation

According to Scott Leese, 6x Startup Sales Leader, and CEO at Surf & Sales, it’s crucial to have a sales script by your side.

Before a meeting, he suggests visualizing how the perfect sales conversation looks like, writing it down and keeping it in front of you during the call.

Get the full breakdown here.

That way you will always know where you are and what to ask to end the conversation in the right way.

Вe specific in terms of agenda and next steps

One more tip from Scott Leese... It’s very important to be super specific about the agenda and the next steps. If you are planning a second call - you should discuss the day and the exact time when you plan to call.

Take a look at his advice.

If someone says that they are not sure and other people have to be involved in the next meeting, you can put a placeholder in both calendars, and then check two days before whether it still works for everyone and reschedule if not.

Want co check more Q&A sessions and interviews with sales pros? 👉 Click here.

Find a calling schedule that works

In a lot of cases, sales reps don’t manage to close a deal only because they call at the wrong time.

So in some cases, finding the schedule that works can improve your success rates and help you secure more meetings.

  • Research your audience. If they are working from 8 am to 4 pm, and they have recurring meetings each morning from 9 to 11 am, you can call them between 8 and 9 to avoid meetings
  • Keep track of when prospects answer the phone. Is it in the morning or afternoon?
  • Look at activity records of those prospects who bought from you
  • Look at when your prospects are spending time on social media

3 questions to qualify the lead in the right way

When selling to big corporate clients, it's quite often that you face multiple decision-makers in the process.

We talk about this with Tony J Hughes and he gave us his magic questions to handle these situations.

There are 3 questions you need to ask:

Hey, do you mind if I ask you what's happened inside the organization that's caused you to look at this now?

And if they answer that...

Ok, so. If the business wants to invest in this area, you know with us or with somebody else, what improved results the organization is expecting? And also what is your expectations (meaning how it influences you and your role)?

And the 3rd question is...

Where do you see the risks in getting this done successfully?

How does it differ from what other sales managers do?

A lot of people focus on qualification frameworks, but the reality is that no buyer wants to be qualified by a seller.

But this two-way information sharing strategy helps to determine the likelihood of winning the deal.

If the person you are dealing with doesn't give you access to other people in the organization or any information back (after these questions) - then they are probably not going to buy.

And that's how you can test whether it's worth investing your time or not.

Pat Cavanaughs’ best cold calling tip

Very often, your prospects will try to find excuses and say something just to “politely” shut you down.

So, what do you do in this case?

The answer lies in one (or two), simple sentences.

All I’m asking for is 10 minutes of your time. Believe me, when I say, I would not be willing to waste your or my time if I don’t know for a fact that I could help you!

Or, you can say something like this:

All I’m asking for is 10 minutes of your time. I’ll even bring the stopwatch in so you can track my time.

Sentences like these reinforce that you respect your prospects’ time and actually help to grab attention.

A voicemail as a winning solution

What to do if the person doesn’t pick up the phone? The answer to this question is quite simple - leave a voicemail.

But how to do it the right way and what to say?

Our suggestion: impress your prospects right at the beginning and try to make your opening line as convincing as possible.

Has someone recommended you?

Then mention this and try to personalize your voicemail as much as you can.

DO’s and DONT’s of leaving voicemails

  • Keep your voicemails under 20 seconds
  • Don’t forget to use a friendly and energetic tone
  • Insert urgency in your voicemails - this will prompt them to call you back ASAP
  • Don’t forget to use your prospect’s and your name in the voicemail - otherwise, it would feel too generic
  • Don’t try to sell
  • Don’t be desperate. Don’t run any promotions or exclusive deals
  • Don’t leave a voicemail only once - if the prospect doesn’t pick up the phone a second time, leave another one.
  • Remember - the goal of voicemails is to have another call with them
  • Deliver just one message

In the end, your voicemail can look like this:

Hi Jack, [Your Name] here from [Your Company]. Glad to see that [Company Name] is [some personalization]. I think that I might have a solution to one of your problems. What if I tell you that you can [value proposition]?

Just call me on this number if you’re happy to receive my help!

Haven’t received the callback?

Don’t worry and leave one more voicemail like this:

Hi [First Name], I left you a voice message last week regarding [problem]. Did you have time to think about this?

Just a quick reminder here - I’m more than happy to help you [desired outcome] as I helped [similar company]. Are you available for a quick 15-minute chat next Wednesday at 10 am?

Bottom line

If you got here - I believe you know that cold calling is still one of the best ways to build relationships with prospects before trying to sell something in 2021.

You may hate it, and if you still do this as in the 90s, better not to do this at all.

But if you want it to bear fruit - you should test new options and evolve and I hope these 10 tips from experts will help you to do this.

Be persistent and may the sales force be with you! 🤞

What you should look at next
cold calling
Complete guide to cold calling [+ sales cadence example]
Learn everything you need to know about how to prepare for a cold call, overcome fear of rejection and hit your sales goals faster.
Mihaela Cicvaric
July 13, 2020

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