I don’t mind getting cold calls and I don’t mind cold calling. As insane as that sounds, I don’t mind cold calling because I think if someone can genuinely help someone out and do something of value for them then one person owes the other person a call. The person receiving the cold call will probably appreciate it.
The Bad Example of Cold Calling
*I pick up the phone*
Dave Smith the cold caller: “Hi my name is Dave Smith”
Me: “Hi?” (Immediately I’m thinking who is this and why is this person calling me)
Dave Smith the cold caller: “Wow… the weather is really warming up out there?”
Me: (….thinking, what is this guy talking about? This random guy just called to talk about the weather?) “Can you tell me what this call is about?”
Dave Smith the cold caller: “I’m Dave Smith from XYZ Real Estate Company”
Me: “Okay…. what’s up? What can I do for you?”
Cold caller: “I just noticed that you are a growing company and I thought I’d give you a call” (Awkward pause)
Me: “Okay? … Can I ask you how you got my info and what this call is about?”
Cold caller: “Well, I noticed that you are a growing company and I might have some office space that you’d be interested in”
Me: (Now I’m thinking…GEEEZ, why didn’t you just start with that!!? I’m often thinking about whether we may need to move our office to a bigger space one day. This guy might have info that is helpful to me. However, this conversation started with about 30-45 seconds of conversational awkwardness and at the 46-second mark, I didn’t even want to be on the phone. I ended the conversation by politely and firmly telling him that “I can’t be on the phone since I have a lot of stuff to do, thanks for the call and best of luck”)
The Steps to Successful Cold Calling
It’s okay to do cold calls if you do them right. After doing a lot of cold calls and getting lots of cold calls this is the formula that has worked the best in my personal experience:
Step 1: Introduce yourself, tell the person you’re calling which company you’re from and what your company does.
Step 2: Show that you’ve done your research and tell the person you’re calling the specific reason why you’re calling them.
Step 3: Establish credibility with the recipient of your call. They want to know why they should listen to you, what results have you shown in the past and what type of clients you work with.
Step 4: Offer the person you’re calling something of value.
Step 5: Ask an open-ended question.
So if the real estate cold call I received went according to this 5 step formula it would have sounded like this:
Dave Smith the cold caller: “Hi, I’m Dave Smith from XYZ Real Estate. We’re a real estate company that specializes in finding office space for young and growing companies. Honestly, this isn’t just some random cold call, I did my research and saw that your company was recently hiring employees and I just thought I’d give you a call to see if you’re happy with your current office space. Are you guys currently happy with your office space? Is it large enough for your team?”
Me: “We’re happy with our current spot, but I’m always interested in hearing about new places coming up.”
Dave Smith the cold caller: Awesome, there’s an office space that just opened up at the corner of King and Queen Street, I think the value for the space is quite good; the lease cost per month is $XYZ. I know you’re probably busy right now, how about I send you an email with some more information?” (etc, etc.)
The above approach actually leads to a normal dialogue where Dave gets to know my business needs and makes the call relatively short. In this call, he’s only aiming to get my permission to follow up over email. In the follow-up email, Dave should provide more details about the real estate listing that may be of interest to me and ask if I’d like to set up a time to view the office space. If I’m not ready to buy now, Dave can always ask to stay in touch via an email distribution list or via LinkedIn.