Matthew Lampros, the Founder of Sellemental, shared his proven methods for successful cold calling and appointment setting with the CFBC community. We learned how to achieve:
- 4 appointments per hour of calling
- 20% pick up rate (PUR)
- 80% yes rate (YR)
Matthew believes that athletes of the Biathlon, a winter sport that combines cross country skiing with rifle shooting, can help us understand why we aren’t reaching our appointment setting goals.
Cross country skiing is like selling. The appointment is booked and we’re building a relationship through trust and likeability. This requires skills that salespeople have worked hard to perfect: charm, politeness and knowing when to push. These are golden when closing a deal. But, it’s important to turn it off when you’re working on getting that appointment in the first place.
The rifle shot is the cold call. Here, we practice focus, accuracy and most importantly, remaining calm. Too much “chat and charm” while trying to get past reception and book an appointment can cost you. It’s tough for salespeople to get rid of their rapport-building habits on cold calls, but the results are worth the discomfort.
Matthew’s Cold Calling Guide
Cold calling: the act of interrupting something important.
- Shoot your rifle
- Stay in the door. You’ve probably heard “What is this about?” The person on the other end is not genuinely asking, but rather trying to elicit your pitch so that they can reject it. Staying in the door means resisting the urge to sell them and instead asking for a time on their calendar when it won’t be an interruption.
- Keep it casual. “Is Jenny there?”
- Sound non-rehearsed using uh and um
- Cross country ski.
- Use first names and last names.
- Say “in” or “available."
- Be polite and charming. How are you, thank you, please.
This may seem like it goes against the very nature of sales, but that’s the point. To move past reception to your prospect, then move past your prospect’s hesitations, it’s important to not sound like a salesperson on cold calls. Considering the dos and don’ts above, try these steps to book an appointment with a prospect.
Step 1: The Wave
Has someone ever cut you off in traffic? What makes the difference between getting upset or letting it slide? The wave.
That small gesture where a person recognizes that they cut you off remarkably makes you feel better about the situation. The same goes for cold calling a prospect. You’ve interrupted them in some way—they were in the middle of a task, heading to a meeting or expecting a different call. All you have to do is acknowledge that you’re interrupting to make the person on the other end feel at ease.
Step 2: ERU
Educational, Relevant and Urgent. Convince your prospect that speaking with you will be of great value to them using these three elements. Ensure that you’re not here to waste their time.
Educational – +45-55% YR
Relevant – +10% YR
Urgent – +25% YR
If you add all three elements together in a single call, you will see as high as a 90%+ Yes Rate (YR) for an appointment.
Need inspiration for your ERU? The best-selling books we read and the blogs we click on are all demonstrating what we find educational, relevant and urgent. Research the kinds of conferences your prospects attend and peruse the topics on the agenda. Your prospect is paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend an event covering these ideas. If the value you present can ring a similar bell, they are likely to take your call.
Step 3: Ask for Dates
Ask your prospect about four different dates that work on your calendar in rapid fire. This may seem like overkill, but it helps to distract them from any hesitation. People tend to have a 2-week boundary where we are hesitant to make commitments, so first suggest a date further out in the future. Gradually suggest closer dates ending with one for next week.
Golden Hours for Cold Calling
Improve pick up rates (PURs) and overall efficiency by calling only during golden hours. The rule is “first two, last two.” Call a clean list of prospects during these times.
- Monday, Tuesday and Friday during the first two hours of your prospect’s work day
- Thursday and Friday during the last two hours of your prospect’s work day.
By following Matthew’s guidelines, reach appointment goals for the week in a matter of ninety minutes or less. What will your team try?
About Sellemental, Inc.
Matthew Lampros founded Sellemental Inc. to help business people find, get and keep customers. He has worked with thousands of sales representatives to achieve more productive activity rates. As the author of "Pardon My Interruption: How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, Anywhere," his specialties include cold calling, prospecting, time management and more.