What’s Missing in this Cold Call Opening Statement?

in Opening Statements

Here’s a cold calling opening statement suggestion I read in an online article. It’s no wonder so many people get beat up on the phone when they try stuff like this on a cold call that they think is from a supposed expert.

“Hello, this is Mark Peters with Reclamation Services. We specialize in commercial recycling services, and I’d like to ask you about your company’s recycling policy. Do you have just a moment for a couple of quick questions?”
What critical component is missing?
You win the prize if you answered, WHY the person should take a moment to answer a couple of quick questions. 

In my experience, the most common result of this type of opening is that most prospects, who of course are very busy people–AND who very well might be great prospects–see nothing of value in the call, perceive this as a salesperson wanting to pitch his service, and then quickly brush off the caller. 

But what’s interesting, and this continues to leave me scratching my scalp in amazement is that some people will actually answer the questions in response to an opener like this. But when they do, they still are likely are bracing themselves for the sales pitch. 

Sure they are still on the phone, but they’re tentative, skeptical and guarded as they curtly answer the questions. Like a hostile witness on the stand in a court trial. Which is not the desirable state of mind for people you’d like to persuade. 

In my training programs, I’m all about crafting just the right words to form the optimal message to accomplish your objective. We want to minimize our chance of resistance and maximize our chances for success. And as I’ve demonstrated so many times, one or two words can make the difference. 

Your opening must create the thought in their mind that you might be able to do something for them. This sparks their curiosity and interest, and earns the right to take some of their time, and, puts them in a more favorable frame of mind to answer your questions, since you’ve already hinted at the payoff for them. 

Using my Smart Calling methodology, this missing component can very easily be added, making the example much more effective: 
“Hi, I’m Mark Peters with Reclamation Services. I understand that you have adopted a corporate-wide Green initiative and have been looking at some options. As a commercial recycling service, we specialize in helping metal service centers reduce their waste hauling expenses, get paid more for their scrap, and also help them save money on everyday paper goods. If I’ve reached you at a good time, I’d like to ask you about compliance guidelines you’ve been given to see if I could provide some information…”
A few points that went into the creation of this:

-the caller used sales intelligence, some found on the company’s own site about going “green,” and also by doing “Social Engineering,” which is speaking to others in the prospect’s company. Therefore, he was able to instantly relate to a trigger event relevant in the prospect’s world and made it about the prospect. 

-the caller hinted at three concrete benefits they have provided to similar metal service centers, which would give an economic benefit in addition to helping them comply with their internal green initiative. 

-the caller smoothly transitions into the questions, making it easy for the prospect to participate from a positive, receptive state of mind, like a friendly witness on the stand. 

So, what type of prospect would you rather be dealing with? 

There’s a lot of free sales information readily available online. Be wary of what you read out there. I don’t claim to have all the answers, or any magic phrases, but at least I know what I suggest is going to help you more often than not. 

Would you like to see exactly how to develop your own Smart Calling interest-creating opening, how to do the Social Engineering mentioned above, and also see the mistakes to avoid that are sure to incite resistance? And how about having me review your opening and give suggestions to improve it even further? Check this outhttp://smartcallingonline.com/sca
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joseph Randall April 2, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Hey Art, I appreciate this article that you wrote. I just bought your book 2-days ago “Smart Calling” and I’m really enjoying it because it’s insightful. I’m in the digital marketing/SEO space and I’m currently trying acquire my first client.

I believe your tips, advice, and knowledge will be the reason why I successfully get one. All the best.



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