I Survived Making A Cold Call, And 7 Reasons Why I Will Never Do It Again

Are you building connection with your prospects first?

So, I actually performed a cold call the other day.

It sucked.

To fill you in, I made a few cold calls on behalf of a client. I am producing a radio show on their behalf, and am doing a little recruiting to help secure specific guests for their show.

Let me say again, it sucked.

And, I am not surprised to report, and you aren’t surprised to learn, I haven’t heard a damn thing from the individual. And honestly, I assume that I never will.

And I don’t blame them.

Cold calling is hard. The target doesn’t know you exist. Doesn’t care that you exist. Doesn’t want you to exist. Doesn’t want to give you time. Doesn’t want to make time for you…

…unless you build a relationship with them. And therein lies the secret to cold calling.

What I should have done for my client was accept their list of show targets, and then done the following:

1. See if they are active on Twitter, and follow them. Because then I can look for opportunities to engage with them when they tweet something.

1.5. And if they are active on Twitter, set up a Twitter Search query to keep an eye on their activity, so I can learn what they are interested in talking about in real time.

2. See if they blog. Because then I can look for new posts that I can comment and engage my target.

3. Do a Google search for them individually. See what pops up in the query. Are they active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc?

4. Do a Google search around their organization, to learn about their latest news, new product announcements, quarterly earnings, etc. Here, you are identifying opportunities to reach out and engage your prospect.

5. Search their name (and their organization) on LinkedIn. See what comes up. See what groups they are active in. Perhaps join those groups yourself to engage your prospect there.

6. Now you can connect with them on Google+, and place them in your “prospect” circle, and look for opportunities to connect there.

7. You are probably not friends with them on Facebook, but if you scan their profile, some people still allow you to view their profile. From this, you can see the things they are interested in (“likes”), and this could potentially give you some things in common, which make connection easier to achieve.

So, that’s what it takes. And yeah, it takes a little time. But when you finally connect with your target individual, it is NO LONGER a cold call.

It reminds me of the film Hoosiers, starring Gene Hackman. If you’ve seen it, you remember the coach’s instruction that the team had to pass the ball five times before taking a shot at the hoop. This was meant to encourage better shot selection and to break down the defense.

Same principle with destroying cold calls forever:

You shouldn’t make a contact to your target individuals until you’ve engaged in at least five meaningful non-sales conversations with your prospect.

This encourages more meaningful conversation to actually get to know someone, and breaks down their defenses to a cold sales call from a complete stranger.

The seven tactics above help with that. What do you think? And what else would you suggest?

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[Todd Schnick is a marketing strategist, helping entrepreneurs become intrepid marketers...]
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[pic from IMDB]

  • http://profiles.google.com/tomdrector Thomas Rector

    Great tips, Todd.  You have a brilliant way of taking what bothers us all and breaking it down into understandable steps.  Nicely done.

  • Todd Schnick

    thanks tom. you have anything to add?

  • http://twitter.com/jcarter_atl Jeff Carter

    Great post… I have been having good success using a combination of Linkedin and Twitter to connect with prospects and network with industry influencers. 

    After years of essentially starting each day with a list of names and phone numbers and calling until someone answers, I appreciate these tools allowing me to connect ahead of time so that both parties expect the call, understand and look forward to what we will be discussing. Takes longer on the front end, but each call is infinitely more productive.

    Also, the world needs more Hoosiers references!  Well Done.

  • Mail Joegaffney

    Todd, just found your blog in the last couple of days, your ideas/info is a breath of fresh air.I am trying to build a web/marketing consultancy and I cant see the benefits of cold calling. Love the hoosiers reference aswell, one of my favourite films.

  • Todd Schnick

    joe – a pleasure to connect. and yeah, you don’t have to make cold calls anymore. but there is some work to be done to forge a deeper connection with the people you care to serve….

    really glad you’ve stopped by!

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