I tweeted out a post (Why Aren’t You Using The Phone For Agency New Business?) on the importance of picking up the phone for agency new business this week and happened to come across a post on the Sales Hacker blog that makes for an excellent companion piece.
And more than that, the post brings up a critical point related to getting that first meeting.
But before I get there, one thing I don’t love-the post is titled The 4 Most Important Cold Call Statistics for Sales Success in 2018 and it’s a must-read, but I would posit that there’s no reason to ever make a true cold call.
We (that is, RSW/US) are firm believers in a process that warms up the prospect with a few initial touches, all value-driven, so that once we actually do reach out via phone, that prospect is, minimally, aware of our client/the agency we’re representing.
OK, got that out of the way.
Now to the critical point, and I really can’t stress how important this is to your new business process-it should be the foundation of your overall new business mindset:
The “name of the game” in cold calling is different than other types of sales calls, such as sales discovery calls. Cold calls are not necessarily about listening or asking great questions.
They are about buying time, educating, and selling the meeting.
Achieving that goal is just as much about being listened to as it is listening well.
This is so, so important, and if you think about it, sounds anathema to what you traditionally learn about the optimal sales call-less talking on your end and more listening to the prospect.
That still holds true, but what agencies often gloss over is the nuance between, as the author points out, a sales discovery call, and the initial call that gets to that discovery conversation.
It is counterintuitive. For example, one of the four points/stats mentioned in the post is the following:
Successful Cold Calls Involve Less “Listening” Than Other Calls
The post explains further:
The talk-to-listen ratio for successful cold calls is higher than unsuccessful ones. The rep “owns” more of the conversation. . . Successful cold calls involve longer (not shorter) “monologues” from the sales rep.
So much about agency new business, rightfully so, is about listening to the prospect, but that’s not the first step.
I’ll give you one more quote from the post to underline this point, and it’s my favorite:
The average prospect monologue length in successful cold calls is only 3.5 seconds
That is, how long you can get the prospect to talk uninterrupted. It’s 8 seconds in unsuccessful cold calls.
Prospect monologue: 3.5s vs. 8s. Successful cold calls actually don’t have long bursts of talking from the customer.
Your job is not discovery. It’s to get the meeting.
That last line (above) should be the mantra for your first step in the new business process.
And it’s a step that’s often overlooked. Make sure, whoever is driving new business for you, that it’s taken to heart.