What is your main goal when doing a cold call? I’ve been aiming to get appointments but my success rate has been rather low so now I’ve been wondering whether I set the bar a bit too high as the product I sell is quite expensive.
Contacts, contacts and more contacts. I love making cold calls and my service is pricey as well. I usually have a 50% success rate getting into see the person I ask for but it does run in streaks. If you can’t get in to meet your prospect then call at a later time to make your appointment. Respect their time as you are barging in.
The line I usually use is “We do business with (competitor) and was told I should meet you”.
I’m in the industrial construction industry and all of my prospects and customers are part of associations and most know or are familiar with each other. Before using that line, do some research to see if your prospect companies are in the same circles.
Always walk in with a name to ask for. If the person is not available then confirm with the receptionist you are asking for the correct person. If you are asking for the wrong person then ask for whom you should be calling on. Leave info for that person.
If you are extremely polite and thank the receptionist you will always get what you are asking for. Kinda like buttering up the gate agent for a free upgrade on your flight. I even keep a handful of $5.00 Starbuck cards and will offer it to a helpful receptionist.
I think it really depends on the industry and your product, there is no one-fit-all answer here. From my experience, getting a face-to-face appointment after one call is not realistic unless you really have a call with the decision maker right away. I’m in a rather traditional industry and I usually have to go through a few other people before reaching the one that will eventually be responsible for it. So yeah, probably trying to schedule a follow-up call instead might be a better goal.
As @suzym said, what is a reasonable outcome of the cold call really depends on who you’re actually calling? I’d try to improve your success rate by investing more time into researching the people you’re speaking to and thinking about what their points of interest might be for the problem you’re solving (in terms of what aspects/features of your product are most important for them specifically). Also, don’t just leave it with the cold call… you might be doing it already, but I’d suggest following up with an email immediately after the call and including some additional info that is of value to them. The prospect might just need to read/discuss/think the product through more. In my opinion, if you wait too long, you lower your chances of actually moving the deal further along.