Cold Calling is Dead – Do This Instead

Before you start reading, just ask yourself: when is the last time you received a cold call and enjoyed it, or didn’t hang up immediately?

Your answer is likely “a long time ago” if ever, at all. In this brief article I will show you why cold calling the way we all know it is dead, and how there’s a whole new way of reaching out which is constantly underrated, particularly by larger corporations and companies. However, by adapting to a couple of these tips, your small business can be prospecting with results unlike any other!

Traditional Cold Calling

What we know as cold calling today consists of getting a list of phone numbers online, from lead generators, bought from a third party (whom you allowed to sell your information by clicking “I accept”) or just about any other way companies can get their call center employees on the phone. Usually you have a group of telemarketers who use a software which dials for them. The moment someone hangs up, the software is already dialing the next prospect.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried being a telemarketer, and I respect them more than most! You have to give every bit of yourself in every phone call, and no matter the outcome you’ll have to start over the moment the call ends, regardless of its outcome. Do this about 200 times in one day and then tell me you don’t respect someone who does this all day, every day.

However, I strongly believe these skills can be put to much better use.

The new way of prospecting

New and better way of prospecting
We live in an era where there is no limit to how you can get in touch with someone if you really want it. From drones delivering parcels, to notifications on phones. It’s a beautiful thing, really. The problem is how many salespeople don’t understand the balance of what’s to vague and what’s too intrusive. Take calling as an example; I don’t even speak with my girlfriend on the phone on a regular basis. I can assure you if you cold call me, I will certainly not want to talk to you. It’s much more intrusive these days, as opposed to those times where phones and written letters where the only ways to communicate from afar.

What I’ve found, and the reason Becama is successful in helping businesses expand their “sales horizons” is how you can warm cold leads up in a way which brings massive value to your product, makes it seem personal and if done correctly, even make your prospect feel guilty for not getting back to YOU.

It’s certainly not rocket science, but it’s not commonly practiced. If you have a lead list, you need to put together an email. The email needs to be nothing short of perfect. You follow up 4 times, at distinct times which I’ll tell you later. If you haven’t heard anything by now, you can call them. However, if you have sufficient a amount of contacts within the company you are prospecting (usually go with 5-10) then you’ll hear back from someone more often than not.

How to write the perfect sales email

How to write the perfect sales email
I have a secret (until now), but deadly formula for writing emails. I’ll also tell you what’s wrong with your sales emails if you’re like 90% of other companies when they prospect; it’s way too long and/or too salesy.

Subject Line

Keep it short. Stick within 3 words, no more than 5. Hubspot have found that even the subject line “(no subject)” has 8% more opens than everything else. However, you may not want to do this as it can come off as unprofessional. An open is only so good if they’re “open” to what they find inside… See what I did there?

Good examples are using something your proposition is targeted towards. If you’re going after a banks’ business accounts, just say “Your Business Accounts.” Or if you want to install security cameras at Chelsea FC’s stadium, just make the subject line “Stamford Bridge.” Lastly, if you don’t have a direct target, just write “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.”

PS: Notice I capitalize all words as this is also proven to get more opens. As is including numbers in your subject line if that’s relevant to what you do.

First Name Only

That’s all you need to write. No “Hi” or “Hello,” no “Dear” or “Ms.” Assert yourself right away, show that you’re not here to smother someone with sweettalk, but that you’ll go straight to the point.

Body

This is the most important thing. The body should consist of three sentences and a link. If you don’t remember anything else, just remember this:

Sentence 1: I am looking to set up a meeting with [Company Name] with regards to your [Target]
Sentence 2: [Insert sexy one-liner about what you deliver, exactly] – No more than 1 sentence!
Sentence 3: A link to a page relevant to what you are pitching. Product page, About us page, or similar.

Ending

 

Always end with a question. This was you enforce subconscious guilt for not responding to your email. I simply end my emails to prospects with:

Would you be available for a chat this week or the next?

Some variations depending on the companies I’m prospecting, but that’s the essence. A simple, informal invitation to a conversation.

Example

Here’s an example for how I reach out when I wrote a template email for the company UBINU. The target was to get in touch with football clubs in order to install a massive solution which is based on proximity marketing to make the most out of the loyal fans.

Email Subject: [Stadium Name]

Email Body

“[First Name],

I am looking to set up a meeting with [Football Club] to discuss a potential partnership. Our technology allows you to contextually engage and interact with each of your fans through automated studying of their behavior and everyday values. Take a look at this video for a quick introduction to scratch the surface of what we can do for : UBINU for Stadiums. (link to intro video on Youtube)

How is this week for an informal chat?”

This is just starting to get into email marketing, but follow this template example and you’ll be off to a flying start, miles ahead of anyone else.

Pro Tip

It’s important to keep track when you’re sending emails to 5-10 people for every company, with about 4 follow-ups per person. I personally use Yesware to do all my tracking. I am not affiliated with them in any way, nor do I get any referral pay, I just genuinely love it for all my emailing purposes!

If you’re worried about people starting to talk and find out you’re sending emails around – don’t be… Just imagine this. How many emails do you get in a day? How many of those do you share with your co-workers? Probably pretty few…. How many emails which you’re not even interested in do you share with your co-workers? Presumably, none…

When I first reached out to Premier League clubs, I picked 10 teams as a trial for the template I just shared with you. I got in touch with 9 of them. Manchester City opened, clicked and forwarded my emails, but I guess they didn’t like it enough to get back to me. On the other hand, I had about 10 contacts per team, and even when I got responses from several of them in the same team, no one ever mentioned I had already been in touch with their colleague, so don’t worry. Be aggressive! You have value to offer, so make sure you find the one willing to listen! This is just one example, where I’ve had similar success rates in many other verticals. Try it!

If you’d like help with writing templates for your company, or would like Becama’s 6 page prospecting guide which includes writing of emails, but also how to use Yesware and find contacts for companies when you don’t have any to start with. Just follow this link to Becama’s contact page and drop me a note. I’ll get back to you in no time.

Call Centers – Should you look into one?

We’ve all been there; we get a call, from a number we don’t know, and in the spur of an adventurous moment, we decide to answer the phone. A representative on the other side tells you they promise to not take much of your time, and depending on their reason for reaching out to you they’ll tell you one of the following:

  • Are you the one responsible for recruiting in your company? (or something similar)
  • Are you aware that you can retrieve a lot of money by letting us handle your PPI claim?
  • We see here that you were in a car accident in the past three years, is this correct?
  • Are you happy with your current energy provider?
  • … and soooo much more!

    Chances are these calls have come from a call center. This means you have a bunch of people who are constantly on the phone, calling to sell or survey. If you’ve called a large company you’ve probably also called a call center where another bunch of people sit to take calls.

    Do call centers work?

    Many look down upon call centers and find it annoying to constantly get unsolicited calls because we left our number on a website three years ago. However, as someone who has actually worked in a call center, I can assure you, they work. When you’re constantly on the phone, making a few hundred calls per day, your skin hardens and the word “no” goes from annoying to synonym for “onto the next!”

    Who works in call centers?

    The call center crew is made up of resilient, ambitious individuals, with an endless pit of energy and drive. You might see them as an annoying bunch, yell at them, use them as stress-release, but the truth is, seasoned telemarketers won’t care. If you said no, they’ve moved on the moment the next number is dialing. This is what make call centers so efficient and in turn, profitable. You’re paying bottom dollar for maximum value. Of course, you need to make sure the telemarketers hired are screened, promising and that you have someone who can follow up on them to make sure they’re meeting targets.

    How Becama helps you

    Becama hosts call center capabilities where instead of having to incur overheads, recruiting and all other associated costs of setting up your call center, you can start by simply starting with one telemarketer working full-time for your company. You pay one monthly price which includes everything; phones, computers, office space, bills, you name it… When you feel it’s time, you can start expanding to more than one full time marketer, getting higher value the more marketers you choose to get for your company. You can read more about our call center management here.

    If you have any questions about call centers, or are looking into the idea, feel free to ask us anything in the comments below or get in touch with us.

    You’ve Got Consulting All Wrong

    People often look at the wrong side of the coin when it comes to consultants – They’re reluctant to bring in outside help because they think it’s a sign of weakness. What kind of leader are you if you can’t even take care of your own social media, create your own marketing strategy, or even implement a CRM for your business?

    But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. There is nothing weak about getting a consultant to provide their expertise in order to grow your business. Before I get into the specifics of why, let’s first all be clear on what a consultant actually is.

    What is consulting

    What is a Consultant?

    The term “consultant” has, for some reason, developed a somewhat negative connotation over the years. Often when I talk to people about hiring a consultant, it’s as if I was waving a string of garlic in front of Dracula himself.

    The truth is, just about everyone has acted as a consultant in one way or another at some point in their lives by providing their expertise. The only thing separating you from someone making a living from consulting is getting paid for your advice. That’s all a consultant is – someone who has a greater level of expertise than the average person. Experience which can come from education, self-teaching, but perhaps most commonly, from having worked in that field and done well.

    That’s it. That’s all a consultant is. Someone who gets paid to provide their expertise. So, why should more companies look at hiring consultants?

    Economics: Specialize and Trade

    When I started Becama, I began consulting in sales, marketing and business development. But I’m an economist by education, which I am eternally grateful for as it has given me a different perspective on a lot of things, consulting being one of them.

    One of the most basic principles of economics is the idea of specialising in what you’re good at. If you’re the best designer the world has ever seen, don’t lose valuable time by trying to also make homemade hamburgers on the side to sell. Instead, let Bob sell his signature hamburgers, which he’s had tremendous success with. If you need burgers, you go to him, just as he’ll come to you if he needs that 30-year-old sign replaced with something more modern.

    If you think about it, this is something we do all the time, but if it’s not our industry, we don’t think about it. We go to restaurants for a nice meal, we go to the bank for someone to handle our money, the car dealership for a vehicle, and so on…

    If you look at it, as an individual or as a company, there is very little we do in-house. But that’s easy for me to say, because who would build their own car to drive around in? Right? Not to mention the costs associated with building your own car, both monetary and time-wise.

    Specialize and Trade

    Why is hiring a consultant any different?

    It’s not. Someone who already has the expertise and experience will not only save you time and money, they’ll greatly help your business (depending on the quality of your consultant, that is). If you run your own business, there is nothing more important for that business than you getting to spend your time doing what you do best, rather than spending time trying to do something you feel you don’t have a grasp of.

    You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself, so if you’re a developer with no prior sales experience, why are you trying to also market and sell the product? Just like a marketer would come to you for development, you go to them to get your name out there.

    What if I Can’t Afford a Consultant?

    When you’re just getting started with your business, the reason you do a bit of everything is simply because you can’t afford paying anyone for their help. Believe me, I completely understand this and I am not telling you that you should hire someone for their expertise if you can’t afford it.

    If you’re in the situation I just explained, I’m happy to announce that Becama has been working on a project which will provide consulting completely free to start-ups. The “BecamAccelerator” will give you the opportunity to strategize with industry experts to help grow your business. I know what it’s like trying to build something with nothing. The BecamAccelerator is simply an attempt to give back to the community which has given me so much over the years.

    Rethink Consulting

    You may have noticed that this as Becama’s slogan, but what does it mean? Rethink Consulting… It means it’s time to see that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Focus on what you do best, let others do the same and work together to grow a truly successful enterprise.

    Consulting and making a deal

    If you’re looking for some expert advice for your business, Becama is always here to help. Ask questions in the comments if you’d like some help in growing your business or if you’d like me to highlight something in particular in my next blog.

    Is Your Business Caught In a Social Media Bubble?

    First thing first, what do I mean when I say bubble? Well, with a background in economics, when I say bubble, I am referring to the same concept as any other bubble you may have heard of, particularly regarding asset prices. A bubble is simply when something carries a perceived, nominal value, which exceeds its “real valuation,” based on fundamental valuation formulas and techniques. Now, of course, I am not speaking about the monetary valuation of social media companies. On the other hand, I am talking about the perceived benefit social media has on businesses.

    Before I go any further, let me just make it clear that I don’t have the slightest doubt that social media is essential for businesses in order to build an online presence. But what if the value we put on our social media account is actually much higher than what our social media accounts are actually worth?

    Who Interacts on Social Media

    I wanted to push out an experiment where I simply posted a question in a lot of different business related hashtags on the platforms Instagram and Twitter. The question was very simple – “What makes you follow someone on Twitter/Instagram?”

    Instagram Case Study example
    Example of Instagram Case Study

    I urged people to reply or comment with their response, hoping to have a solid idea of what really makes a business follow another business account’s social media profile. The reason this was interesting to me is that most of what I do is in the B2B sector, so any marketing efforts usually go to getting other businesses interested and not the end-consumer. I believe social media towards end-consumers and businesses are two different planets.

    What I found was something I had suspected for a long time; lots of likes, retweets and even comments and follows, yet not a single response to my question. Of course, I am no major influencer, but I’d still expect a few helpful souls who’d like to share their point of view. Even with my added incentive of promising to follow back whoever helped me in my study, I saw no activity. In fact, with all the likes I got, it felt like when you post a status to your friends on Facebook, asking for advice/help, and people start liking. I never quite understood that!

    I tried another question on Twitter, just to see. Low and behold, in only 2 hours I had likes and retweets, but no replies.

    Twitter Example
    Example of question asked on Twitter

    So What’s Going On?

    I’m sure you’ve figured out parts of it already, but just in case, this is what happens when in 2017 everyone wants automation. Those who kill it on Social Medias, whether Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, you name it – are those who manually interact and show their businesses to people. Having automated posts, schedules or procedures can be great for saving time and costs, but you will never be crowned ruler of the social medias with any of these tools.

    What I Mean by Automation

    There are a few different kinds of automation. I’ll just look at a few to give you an idea.

    Follow/Unfollow

    This is a service where you have a script of some sort which is built to automatically follow and unfollow accounts in selected hashtags, with hopes they will follow you back. An example of this is “Influx Social” where you can whitelist users you never want to unfollow and then just let the software do its thing.

    Like and Comment

    Other aspects of Influx Social and similar sofwares is that they will like and comment posts in certain hashtags on your behalf. I am near certain this is the source of several of my likes. This could be useful to try and interact with an audience, the problem arises in not being in control of what posts are liked/commented on. An example is if you’ve pre-set a comment “Love it!” and the comment is posted on someone post on breaking news of a terrorist attack. Yea… You may want to reconsider that one!

    Zombiescrollers

    First off, I’ll be coining this term. This is not a software automation, but I’ll be calling it an automation nevertheless. This is a category of social media enthusiasts who do not stop to look, think about or read any posts, they have just learned where to click to like/follow and scroll through as many posts as they can, liking them and hoping you follow back. If this is your current strategy, save some time and go for the software!

    Zombiescrollers social media
    Guess which one of these should be you on Social Media?

    All in All

    Social media can be an incredible tool for businesses, but I do believe we may give it a bit more praise than it deserves in the business to business sphere. Mostly because all businesses think in similar ways – how to increase efficiency, which most often means “How can this be automated.” If you have 1000 B2B companies trying to sell to each other, with 100% of them having automated their social media, just waiting for the leads to roll in, then you have 1000 companies who engage, get followers and pump out posts, all being administered by some lonely server in a data center far from us.

    If there ever was a takeaway from this, it would be to actually take the time to build a real presence. I get annoyed when I follow someone and they send me a “Thanks for the follow! Check out my company at annoyingcompany.com!” Simply because it no longer makes you stand out. We can boil this down to the ancient principle of quality over quantity. If you have limited amount of time to spend on social media, make it worthwhile. Interact with the user and their content, meaning the content they actually post, not a generic “Cool” just to try and get them to come back to you. We are in a social media bubble because so many companies are online, but instead of creating a valuable space of excellent content and meaningful interaction, their only goal nowadays is adding to their following. Because the more followers the better. But is it really so?

    Please tell me what you think in the comments!

    Selling Anything to Anyone

    Hi everyone! My name is Kent Vorland, director and founder of Becama Holdings, or just Becama in trading. I’ve spent the last years as in sales an marketing, working on Wall Street, in San Francisco and now in London. I’ve been dealing with clients on all levels from all over the world, and I want you to be able to do the same by sharing my experiences. In our blog I will be writing about what my headline tells you – how to sell anything to anyone. By “selling” I am not only talking about what to say when you are cold calling a prospect, but a much larger spectrum. Selling is not confined to a transaction of money for a product or service. Selling is getting an idea through. For instance when deciding which restaurant to choose for Valentine’s day, or selling your argument in a debate. If you’re an actor getting into a role, paid or not, you need to “sell it!” Every aspect of your performance, from the words that come out of your mouth to the colour of your shoes.

    Classy Outfit Is always the best

    Tip: Perception decides on impression, but staying professional and classy gets you a long way with most people.

    Let’s take schools as an example. Have you ever thought about what makes the class clown so funny you smile even when they’re just answering the teacher’s question? Or why the best liked teachers are so well liked? These roles tend to display similar characteristics, no matter what school or class you look at. One could go as far as to say they are “selling” their personalities to fit in these roles! The beauty of selling is that no matter what you’re selling or to whom, there are universal factors and applications. Many find it hard to believe that sometimes you need to sell a company in the same way you sell lemonade. Or you need to reach out to someone you’ve never met, in the same way you would reach out to an old friend. But it’s true, and I want to teach you how to apply these same principles to your life, private and professional.

    Don’t forget to sign up to this blog to get updated every time we touch on a new subject or explain new techniques for you to use in your everyday selling. If you have any questions, comments or something you’d like to hear our take on, please feel free to contact us or comment on this blog.

    See you soon and good selling!