Daniel reached for the phone, which felt like it was getting heavier with every dial.
As he dialed the number, he told himself: “OK, 80 down and just 20 more to go. You can do this.”
“Hello, Johnson & Smith Development, how may I help you?”
“Hi. My name is Daniel with Oak Insurance and I’m just giving you a quick call to talk about having an opportunity to review your insurance…”
“Sorry, I don’t have time to discuss my insurance. And I’m happy with my broker. Goodbye.”
Daniel sunk down in his chair and buried his head in his hands. He was six months into his new career as a producer and now he was questioning if this was a good career move after all.
Tom, another producer in the office, was walking by when he noticed Daniel.
“What’s going on Daniel? Rough day on the phones?”
“Yeah, I don’t know if I’m cut out for this. I hate cold calling!”
“What kind of results are you getting?”
Daniel pointed to the notes scribbled on his yellow legal pad.
“Well, it takes me about 100 dials just to get two appointments. I need to set about 10 appointments in the next couple weeks and I don’t know if I can handle making 1,000 calls to get those.”
“Yeah, if your conversion rate is only 2 percent then that’s tough. When I first started out, I was averaging around that too. But now I’m around 10-12 percent, so for every 100 dials I make, I’ll get about 10 to 12 appointments,” Tom said.
“Really? If I could get 10 appointments for every 100 dials, then I’d honestly be much more motivated to get on the phones. Tell me, what’s your secret? You bribing them?” Daniel asked with a smile.
Tom laughed. “Yeah, I promise them a $100 Amazon card if they set an appointment. I’m just kidding. What happened was that I learned a new approach to cold calling and it forever changed my results. Here email this guy…”
The OId Way of Cold Calling
When Daniel arrived at one of our live sales training workshops, he told me the above story and said he wanted to learn to be just as effective as his co-worker, Tom, was on the phone.
I asked what he was doing now.
“Well, when I get a prospect on the phone I was taught to say:
“‘Hi, Daniel here, I’m just giving you a quick call to talk about having an opportunity to review your insurance. Can I get your renewal date, so I can call you back closer to that time?'”
He told how he’ll get around two appointments for every 100 dials.
“OK. I see. Let’s try a different approach,” I said.
5 Simple Steps to Get 5x More
The first thing we taught Daniel was to change his primary goal for the call.
“Instead of leading with trying to get a renewal date, lead with trying to get an appointment,” I said. “And if you can’t get an appointment, then fall back to a renewal date.”
I gave him five simple steps:
1. Lead the conversation with a bold statement… (Something powerful to get the prospect’s attention).
2. Prepare for the six most common “get you off the phone” responses… (Doesn’t matter how good you are, they will respond in a way to get you off the phone).
3. Follow up the “get you off the phone” response with a simple request…before I hang up can I ask you ONE question…? (Offering to hang up makes them relax for a moment and keeps them on the line).
4. Tell a very brief story linked to a powerful question that delivers your value. (Story sets the context, then question delivers the value).
5. Close for the appointment. And if all else fails, ask for the renewal date.
After we trained him on all five points, we asked him to test this new approach out for 30 days and then report back with the results.
Lead the conversation with a bold statement. Something powerful to get the prospect’s attention.
Results: From a 2.14 percent to 11.76 percent conversion rate
A week later I get a call from Daniel, “Randy, this stuff works! I’ve improved my cold calling conversion rate by 5 times!”
What’s the moral of this story? Oh, and yes, this is a true story. Daniel is a producer in the southern part of Georgia and these are his actual numbers.
One of the main takeaways here is that cold calling still works if you know the proper techniques to use.
The other point to remember is that the number one reason to make cold calls should be to set an appointment. If you recall, in Daniel’s old way of prospecting, his main goal was to get the renewal date. However, when he did that, he found that it was nearly impossible to get that same prospect on the phone a second time when the renewal date was approaching.
And like Daniel, you’ll also need to prepare for the most common “Get off the phone comments” people make and how to overcome them.
Finally, you’ll need to learn how to be a good storyteller, so you can capture and maintain the attention of the other person on the line.
I challenge you to make these simple adjustments to your cold calling process and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know about your results.
To learn more about upcoming sales training workshops in your area please email email@example.com with “Producer Sales Training” in the subject line.
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