Cold calling has grown to become one of the most powerful sales tools in marketing. It’s an outbound prospecting technique that involves a sales person contacting individuals who have not previously shown interest in their services or products. Think of it as a solicitation by telemarketing or phone. Shawn Sease believes that the whole idea of a cold call is that when people walk away, they’re better off than where they started. The call doesn’t have to end in a YES. Was it nice? Pleasant? Courteous? Was it a good engagement? In this post, we will talk about everything we learnt in our cold calling workshop with Shawn: the goal of outbound phone prospecting, the anatomy of cold calling, and what a cold call script looks like.
The goal of an outbound prospecting call is to convert interruptions into interaction or future completion. A completion usually ends in a YES/NO, NOT ME, or NOT NOW. Basically, a phone script should be framed to give you the chance to end at a completion, so you know what to do the next time you interact with the prospect – or never call them again. We make outbound calls for several reasons: building familiarity, gathering information, setting a meeting, and closing a deal.
Surveys are a tool you can use to help reduce the ask of the call. It also helps new SDRs who want to be in the role but are still learning and don’t yet have the ability to make quick judgments and make quick decisions. Basically, surveys help create easy scripts that SDRs can execute. An example of a survey script for a digital marketing company would be:
‘Hey, sorry for the interruption. My CEO asked me to give you a call. He gave me a list of the top 200 fastest growing pet e-commerce companies. So congratulations, he wanted me to just ask you three questions. We’re doing a little bit of research. It’ll only take half a minute and I’ll be out of your hair.’
In such an instance, there’s a high rate to receive a ‘YES’ due to the way you started the call and created an upfront contract. Then you proceed to ask your questions. The whole idea is to build a relationship with them and gain some valuable data about their company. So in a few days’ time, you or another SDR could make a follow-up call and see how their answers can be used to move them further down the funnel.
Basically, cold calling works by trying to draw a prescribed response from your prospect in such a way that you’d never be surprised. The Shawn Sease Cold Calling Method is broken down into three parts: the opening, the purpose & personal, and the close.
In the opening, the focus is to start a two-way conversation with a good rhythm. The more objections you get, the more information you have to further refine the script – because those objections can then be preempted and used as part of the script. At this stage, you should also focus on disarming the prospect’s fear, leverage their curiosity, and earn their trust. Remember to be mindful of opportunities that allow you to immediately schedule a follow-up call — you don’t want to get caught by poor timing. Allow the prospect enough time to respond.
In the purpose and personal stage, one of the aims is to be deliberate and honest with your prospect. Here, you should focus on converting value propositions and problem statements. Also, you should think about how the organization that you work for serves people, then turn that into a one-on-one phraseology with your prospect. Take those value propositions that sound like you’re talking about how great your company is, and turn it into a two-way conversation with your prospect. This way, you avoid just talking about your company and theirs.
For example: “I want to help you gain a framework, so you can assess your current situation there. Almost everybody I talk to already has something in place (or they’re already working on this right now). But, you know, they do keep their eyes open for the latest ideas and innovations. And part of the work I do here is to just set up brief introductory calls to share some of these things we’ve come up with.”
In ‘the close‘ stage, your priority should be your CTA. This is where you convert your prospect. You can end your call with something like:
‘Even if you decide not to pursue this any further than this next meeting, you’ll have gained an excellent framework to help you assess your current situation which will be a valuable resource for you in the future. So, how’s next Thursday around this time?
This type of closing focuses on the ‘WHEN’ as opposed to ‘IF.’ So, that way, you’ve removed any thought process from the prospect and invoked their decision making around when they’re ready to implement what you’re offering.
Here’s how one of Shawn’s cold call scripts would sound:
SDR: ‘Hey, this is [first name] from [company name], you’re not expecting my call. This is the first time I’ve tried to reach out. Do you mind if I take half a minute, I’ll share exactly why I called.’
Prospect: ‘No, what’s up?’
SDR: ‘Again, I’m [first name] from [company name] and the purpose of my call today is to get some time on your calendar to introduce myself and my company. Would this time around next Thursday work for you?’
Prospect: ‘Wait, you haven’t even told me what you do. What’s this about?’
SDR: ‘Thanks for asking, have you heard of company [company name], are you familiar with us at all?
SDR: ‘Part of the work I do here is to set up these brief introductory calls to share some new ideas and innovations around [insert what you do].’
Ask a question to preempt objections. Like, ‘I’m sure you probably have something like this in place.’ Write down their objections then wait for a response; the aim is to create a rhythm of the conversation.
SDR: ‘That’s It. Even if you decide not to pursue this any further than our next meeting, you’ll have gained an excellent framework to help you assess your current situation, and we’ll remain a valuable resource for the future.’ Then, ask for what you want. Something like: ‘How’s next Thursday at 3, or if that’s too pressing, the following week — do you have your calendar handy?’
SDR: If the answer is no, you can finish off by asking the three biggest questions in B2B sales:
So even if you don’t end up securing that meeting, you still walk away with a viable, tangible deliverable: data. This can be used for content marketing and follow-up calls, all the way up until the buying window opens up again. In the world of cold calling, you’ve gotta take every opportunity you can get.