6 Types of Cold Calling Messages

May 17, 2012 by  Filed under: Sales 

Leaving a great cold call message is an art form and it takes a lot of practice to develop a confident, persuasive style that will encourage a prospect to call you back. You probably cannot create a great phone message on the spot. The easiest way to dramatically improve your cold calling success rate is to put much more effort into scripting and rehearsing your messages well in advance.

Here are six different types of messages that you can leave:

1. Mystery:

This message should arouse a prospect’s curiosity to the point where they have to call you to resolve the mystery or it will bother them all day. These messages are usually very short and they may even sound like a personal call from a forgotten friend:

“Hi Bob, this is Sean, I have tried to reach you for a couple of days. Can you please call me at… “

If you are already supplying one of their competitors or vendors you can allude to that too:

“Hi Jeff, this is Sean, I wanted to tell you about what is happening over at XYZ Industries. Please call me at.. “

2. Authority:

First, you contact the office of CEO or that of another very senior person in the company and ask to speak with their Personal Assistant, not the executive. You should then ask them to suggest someone in the firm to contact to discuss your solution. Then you can call that person and say:

“Carol, I was talking with the CEO’s office and they suggested that we talk about something. Can you please call me at… “

3. Referral:

This is similar to the Authority Message except in this case you have talked to one of the target’s peers or friends outside the company, perhaps at an industry event. You should ask the friend, “Do you know who over at ABC handles these types of problems?” Then you can call that person and say:

“Hi Dave, I was talking to Bob Smith at the luncheon yesterday, I believe you know him well, and he suggested that I contact you to discuss… “

4. Value:

These messages outline such a compelling business benefit that your prospect will feel forced to return your call. If you are lucky enough to call a prospect precisely when they are thinking about solving a problem that you can help them with, then a good value message can be a very effective way of getting their attention.

Generally, however, it is very hard to create a strong value message without first having a discussion with a prospect about their specific problems. A generic value message does not usually sound very distinctive and it can seem like you are just throwing a bunch of random numbers at someone to get a reaction:

“Hi Adam, my name is Sean and I can usually save my clients over 30% on their current training costs. If you can call me at… we can see about saving you some money too.”

5. Personality:

Buyers get a lot of messages from bored salespeople who sound like they are reading from a script so you need to stand out in some way. Some salespeople inject a lot of their personality into each message to make them sound memorable and friendly. One account manager used to jokingly threaten that he would start leaving singing messages unless they called him back. Try leaving messages with a clean joke or a quote:

“Hi Allan, this is Sean, I am sorry I missed you, I will try again or you can call me at… Just so that you don’t think that listening to this message was a waste of time here’s a joke (or inspirational quote, or possible winning lottery numbers… )”

6. Freebie:

If you have some useful intellectual property like a White Paper or a research report you can offer that in exchange for a return phone call. Unfortunately, given the plethora of free information that is available now online this tactic is not as effective as it was ten years ago, but if you have a great report it can still work. People are not short of things to read, so make sure that you are offering them something that is not just self-serving marketing literature and that it is not readily available on your web site.

You can also offer to give them some marketing items like a cool ball cap or a useful USB stick/penlight if they call you back to confirm their mailing address with you. Parents particularly like to get unusual free toys that they can give to their kids, so if your marketing freebies include things like model planes, coloring books or puzzles it may be worth mentioning that in your message:

“Hi Carol, my name is Sean, I am with XYZ, I have been trying to connect with you for a while now. We just received a bunch of cool toy trucks with our logo on them and I know my other customers who have kids are getting a big kick out of them. I would be happy to swing by and drop one off for you if you can give me a quick call to arrange a time.”

For nearly 20 years Sean Elrington MBA has been helping B2B account managers to close deals. He has worked as an account manager, sales engineer, consultant and trainer for Big 4 accounting firms, high-tech start-ups and multinational companies.

Sean provides B2B sales training. He is based in Vancouver BC and he is available for keynotes and training and can be reached at 604-806-0320.

Please see http://www.b2bSalesPower.com for more information.

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