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How to Open a Cold Call – Live Call Critique

How to Open a Cold Call

Hey everybody, this is Michael Pedone with salesbuzz.com, and I came across this YouTube video where the sales rep is making a cold call, and then she’s critiqued by her coach.

And so I’m going to let you listen to what she says, what he says. Then, I will share with you what I would do a little bit differently.

All right, here we go.

The Live Cold Call

SDR: “Hey, this is Rachel with Call Blitz. How are you doing today? Hey, how are you?”

PROSPECT: “You caught me in the middle of a meeting, but I can talk real quick. What are you calling about?”

SDR: “Oh, I’m the worst at calling you in the middle of a meeting, <laugh>. I promise I’ll be quick, though. I saw that your reps are remote, and I just wanted to know how you’ve been giving them coaching and feedback on their calls?”

PROSPECT: “Oh, great question. I listen to their call recordings and write down comments for them on where I think they can get better, but, hey, look, I have to go; how about you call me back in like 30 minutes after this meeting, Okay?”

SDR: “Oh, my goodness. Um, no worries at all. Enjoy the meeting, and I’ll reach out to you later.”

SDR Manager: “All right, Rachel, great job. Calling someone in the middle of a meeting. We all do it. I don’t understand why people answer in the middle of a meeting, but great job. How do you think you did?

SDR: “Yeah, um, I think I did okay. I mean, they were in a meeting, so there’s not much more I could have done, but I don’t know what you think about that.”

SDR MANAGER: “Yeah, um, I mean, it happens. Marcus, what do you think?”

SDR #2: “Yeah, I just don’t understand why people answer the phone during meetings, but I think, uh, you asked the open-ended question, which is where <inaudible>”

SDR MANAGER: “Yeah, that’s, that’s a good point, Marcus. Asking an open-ended question actually opens the conversation up, right? Like the yes, no questions, they can easily say yes or no, and it’s a dead end – so Rachel, despite the circumstances, great job asking an open-ended question, and sounds like someone you can call later on. So well done.”

The Cold Call Critique

All right, guys, so here are my thoughts, and this is what you would learn if you took the SalesBuzz training program, right?

So first of all, Rachel, okay, good job. It’s never easy when you’re making a cold call, and you’re being recorded and you got your boss listening in or anything, right?

So there’s gonna have some of that nervousness there. Regardless though, you still want to have confidence when you go into a sales call, and how do you have confidence?

Well, one, you have to be so confident in what you’re going to say that no matter what they say back, you’re confident, you know you’re going to be able to handle that.

And you do that by knowing what the step-by-step sales process is, starting with your opening value statement.

So her opener, I would change it to this. Are you ready? What I would’ve done is I would’ve gone ahead and said:

The Cold Call Script

“Hi, this is, _____, so and so with XYZ company. The reason for my call is we provide SDR leaders with a solution that brings back that in-house energy with remote sales teams. And if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer may be some help too. Would that be okay?”

Now, this is what their solution does. It helps SDR leaders who are struggling because now, ever since covid things of that nature, a lot of people are working remotely.

They’re missing out on that management that is able to coach in-house – that real-time feedback, and also that energy that comes with having a sales pit.

So right out of the gate, when you start with, the reason for my call is we provide SDR leaders, right?

You’re addressing it right to them. Okay? So that’s gonna pique their interest, and their antennas will go up.

And then you say with a solution that, okay, what does the solution do? What is it right now? The antenna’s still up, which brings back that.

And notice how I slow down and emphasize that in-house energy with remote sales teams; I mean, you’re hitting the bullseye right then and there.

That interest level’s gonna skyrocket cuz now they’re gonna wanna know how do you do that? So once I say that, and I go, and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer, maybe it’s some help to you as well.

Would that be okay? So this is one solution that you could have got right to the point and really hit the hop button.

Now, let’s say they really are in a meeting, right? If there really are in a meeting, they go, uh, you know what, this sounds interesting.

“Can you call me back in about 30 minutes when this is done?”

“Yep, absolutely no problem. Be more than happy to do that.”

And that’s it. You just move on, right? However, a lot of times a prospect will use that I’m in a meeting excuse as an escape route cuz they’re not really sure what the call is about yet.

So you could probably minimize getting their responses with a better opening value statement. Keep in mind, look at how I break the opening value statement.

Doesn’t matter what you sell; the sales process is the same, is the same. You have to pique interest first. How do you do that?

It’s not by sharing your solution; it’s by agitating a pain scratching and it or, or, or mentioning a problem that your solution solves.

And then you don’t wanna give the solution your opening value statement. That’s not the opening value statement’s job. You just have to pique interest just enough to where they will grant you permission to continue the call.

Okay? The other solution was where, or, actually, the other, I wouldn’t say solution. What she did was instead she asked that question there and, to the coach’s point, it’s an open-ended question, and that’s fine. However, you don’t wanna just ask an open-ended question just for the sake of an open-ended question.

Okay? I would’ve taken that question, I would’ve changed it up a little bit and I would use it as what I call my engagement question.

So here’s how this works. Step one piques interest. Step two, gain permission to continue to call. Step three, ask an engagement question.

All right? Now, the reason I’m doing this is I break the sales process down into four quadrants, or four, four steps if you will, right?

The whole sales process can be broken down into openers, qualifying, presenting, and closing. Your opener has a job of doing two things.

Pique interest, gain permission, and continue the call. Once you’re done with that level, you’re in the second quadrant, right? Or the second level.

And that’s qualifying. Now the qualifying phase has three parts. The first part is you have to go ahead and establish the problem or get what I call problem recognition.

Because remember, if there’s no problem, there’s no need for a solution that is step through, which is your presentation. Makes sense?

And you can’t just call and tell ’em they have a problem because they’ll doubt it. So the best way to get them to recognize a problem is you have to ask them a couple of questions.

And based on their answer, they will, You know, you will both determine if there’s a problem there.

And what’s the natural human instinct when somebody recognizes they have a problem? They normally want to know how to solve it, right?

And how you can help them solve it. And this is how you get sales engagement. This is how you get conversations, and this is where your confidence will come because you have this whole plan laid out, and everything just makes sense, and then you, it’s customizable to your vertical in your industry.

Okay? So again, peak interest gave Chris continue the call. And when you do that, I would’ve taken her question, her open-ended question, and rephrased it.

Instead of asking that question that way, I would’ve given two options. So let me ask a question.

When it comes to helping your remote sales team, are you doing ______ or _______?

And I don’t care what their answers that come back because what you’re going to hear is, well, they’re doing the first thing or they’re doing the second thing, or they’re doing a combination.

Or actually, what we’re doing is this doesn’t matter how they answer. The fact is you have their attention focused in an area that you need them thinking about.

You asked a question, and they responded. So now you’re in a sales conversation, and then you can go on to the next step.

All right? I hope this recording helps and this breakdown of what would’ve been done differently and what the coaching would’ve sounded like or looked like.

If your manager took the sales bus training program, this is the kind of stuff that we teach. I would just call it that next-level training.

Everything that and this coach did here, that’s fine. I mean, that’s what a manager does, right? It should be doing those common questions.

But if you really want to get to the next level to get better, faster, and quicker, this is the kind of feedback that I think you would be able to give your team going through the sales bus training program.

Or if you’re a sales rep yourself and you go through it on your own, this is the stuff you’ll learn.

So you can start making a lot more money.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company offering live & on-demand sales consulting.