We know they do, but why?
1) People hate being surprised on the phone.
2) People get way too many phone calls and emails, and with the overwhelm/busyness they just don’t want to talk with people they don’t know and who don’t know them.
3) Cold callers launch into “their pitch” because they don’t have a friendlier way to start a conversation and gain permission / interest to talk.
A much better method if you want to use the phone: call in to ask for referrals. (This works with cold emails too).
You can also make great ‘cold referral’ calls without doing much research on the company beforehand; but no matter what, it’s essential to have a clear Ideal Customer Profile. You want to be “be a sniper not a machine gunner”.
Opening the Conversation
When calling ANYONE my favorite question to open a conversation: “Did I catch you at a bad time?” It’s friendly, and gives the person a chance to collect their thoughts. If they do have a few minutes, it always leads into a great chat. And if it truly is a bad time, you don’t want to talk with them at that point anyway, and ask “…when is a better time?”
What to Say Next
Think of the last time you went to a restaurant, looked at the menu, and didn’t know exactly what to order. What do you usually do?
Well, most people, in a very calm manner, ask the waiter for help: “I’m not sure what to order, what do you suggest?” is a common way to find out more about specials, or favorites.
Use the same approach when asking who you should be contacting.
Here’s an example: “I’m reaching out to see if your company’s a fit or not for what we do.” Usually, the caller will ask “Well, what do you do?” Answer the question in a friendly manner with no jargon.
You can then say something like, “I’m not sure where to begin, who to talk to to help me figure this out. I’m a little lost.” Again, think of how you request assistance when ordering food from an unfamiliar restaurant. You’re not freaked out, worried, sweaty-palmed, nervous. You are casual, calm, curious, gentle.
Be that way with the caller and they will help you.