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Being Resourceful Is A Requirement When You Cold Call


Over the years at AG we’ve continually analyzed the special combination of skills that separate our top inside sales reps from the herd. While it can vary wildly, there is probably one trait that we most commonly see across the board. Some are more conversational, some more to the point and others a blend of the two. But the one thing they often have in common is an innate understanding of how to navigate their way into and through an organization - a.k.a being “resourceful”.

As important as this trait is, we do find that it can be difficult to teach this skill. It’s one of those things, either you got it…or you need to consistently work on it. During our training process, there are a variety of things we do to train our people up on being more resourceful. The goal with our newer folks is to provide some simple but effective techniques to accomplish their goal of tracking down decision makers and passing quality leads.

A common statement that I would typically hear during my years on the phone was “when in doubt- just pick up the phone and find out.”  While I buy into the whole idea of being fearless when making your dials, I also believe in putting yourself in the best position as possible before you even pick up the phone. What I feel should always be on our mind is “what can I do to make sure I DON’T look like a teleprospector” when we cold call into a new company.

During their first weeks on the phones our teleprospectors typically get caught up in the first line of defense as they make their initial calls into an organization. Below are a few examples we share in our trainings on being more resourceful and avoid that from happening.

Have a contact name at the ready when you make your first call:

You never want to go blindly into an organization without having any direction. If you don’t have a name you are essentially announcing that this is a sales call. So let’s say for example you get an assistant on the line and ask “I was hoping you point me to the person who oversees your lead generation effort for XYZ Company”.  If you ask me that’s basically flying the cold caller flag as high as can be. From my experience all you end up with get up getting is..”feel free to mail your information to our address” or another favorite  “I’ll forward you to procurement’s voicemail”. Don’t get me wrong, there are going to be situations where you will have to resort to outright asking this question, but the only time I suggest using it is when all other avenues have failed.

Use Humor:

Commonly we hear- “That person is no longer employed here!”A good response might be “So that’s why I haven’t been able to get in touch with him/her!” Corny I know, but at the very least it loosens up the gate keeper who may be willing to forward you on to that person’s replacement.

Utilize all on-line resources:

Linked-in/ Jigsaw/Google/ The company website- all excellent resources to find contact information and to learn more about the organization you’re prospecting into. The goal is to sound as knowledgeable as possible as you’re calling in. Do the research necessary before-hand and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll be speaking a decision maker.

Let's face it, in the cold calling game you most likely have a strike against you with most gatekeepers. Using a couple of the tips above have given my team some traction in penetrating an organization further. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Good luck and happy teleprospecting!


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