Why is cold calling difficult? Is cold calling dead? How do you get your message across during calls with prospects? Kevin Dorsey, VP of Inside Sales at PatientPop Inc., breaks down the secrets and strategies of overcoming this task!


by Kevin Dorsey
(VP of Inside Sales, PatientPop Inc.)


Is Cold Calling Dead?
– No. But it is dying.
– Why? Anything left unattended, unfed, and
  unnurtured will die.
– All prospecting channels are dying – they’re
  getting harder and harder to do, which
  means we need to focus on them more.
– Just because it’s more difficult now doesn’t
  mean it doesn’t work.
– People caused cold calling to die because
  they gave up on it too early. 


Why Cold Calling is Hard
Poor training. Many companies don’t give
  good, proper training on how to cold call.
Different buyers. Information is more
  accessible now. Younger buyers also
  prefer messages over phone calls and video
  snippets over hour-long demos.
Noise. More emails and LinkedIn messages.
  Barely anyone calls.
Misaligned Messaging.
Timing and Luck. You need to get the
  timing right to have your cold call answered.
High Volume for Low* Results. One result
  is better than zero. Two is better than one,
  and three is better than two. There are

The Future Belongs to SMART Callers
– Because cold calling is hard, many people
  won’t do it.
– Which leaves a massive opportunity for
  those people who are willing and are able to.

We salespeople are here to do the hard part of the job.
– SalesLoft study: multi-channel approach is
  91% more effective than a single-channel


The better you are at something, the less you have to do it.
If you don’t like cold calling, get better at it so you can do it less. 


Key Cold Calling Metrics
Connect Rate. For every 100 dials, how
  many times do you connect?
Conversion Rate. For every 10 connects,
  how many can you get to agree to a meeting?
  *Connect Rate & Conversion Rate will tell
  you how many calls you need to make to get
  a meeting. If your connect rate is 5%, you’ll
  need to make 100 calls to get a meeting.
  In sales, we do enough of something to
  suck, but not enough of it to get results.
  If you make 84, 88, 96 calls when your
  conversion rate is 5%, then you did enough
  cold calling for it to suck, but not enough to
  get results.
Activity Total. Before you write off whether
  it’s working or not, are you doing enough to
  see the results you’re looking for?

Metrics tell you where you need to focus. 

“Sales is just a numbers game.”
– Yes. But skills are what drive the numbers.  


Cold Calling Best Practices
There are certain things that have been proven to work better.
Tonality. How you sound in the call.
Preparedness and Relevance. Are you
  prepared to make that call and do you have
  relevant information to share?
Permission-based and Questions.
Frequency. Building awareness to your
  prospect. The frequency of seeing your name
  and number increases the chances of your
  call getting answered.
Timing and Consistency. Be intentional with
  your timing and switch it up to find those
Messaging trumps everything. If you get your
  prospect on the phone, but your messaging is
  bad, nothing else will matter. 


Problem-Based Language
– Your messaging needs to be about the
  problems you solve not your product.
  The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
– People don’t care about your product. People
  care about the problems you can solve. Your
  messaging needs to mirror this.
– How do you know their problems? You ask
  questions. BUT if you know your buyer
  persona well, you should know what
  problems they’re strongly likely to have.
– What are the 3 core problems that your
  product solves?


How you sound drives everything. Since they
  can’t see you, they’ll read you based off how
  you sound in the call.
Intro: Lost in the City. You sound like you’re
  someone who needs help
Your questions.
Might make sense – value prop. With what
  you gathered from your questions, offer what
  might make sense to your prospect.
Excited to help – call to action. Most
  important. Master this, and you’ll be so
  much better. 


Speaking the Prospect’s Language
Salespeople say things no one else says.
– Most cold callers sound like cold callers.
– Use the language the customer does.
– Talk to 50 customers, record the calls, ask
  these questions:
  1. Why did you buy? (Your value prop)
  2. What problems were you hoping to solve?
    (Problem-based questions)
  3. What were you afraid of before buying?
    (Unspoken objections)
  4. What’s your favorite parts?
    (Impact Statements)
  5. What’s changed the most?
    (Micro stories and micro testimonials)
  6. How would you describe what we do?
    (Customer language) 


Gap Questions
After the intro, ask 2-3 gap questions.
Gap Questions expose holes/gaps in their current process and are built around the problems you solve.
– Sells without selling and builds curiosity.
Example: How are you ___ so that ___ doesn’t happen?
– Give 3 core leads with the tone of thinking
  out loud 


“Oh no! Scripts are awful!”
– Not true. You should have a script.
– It’s not the script’s fault if it doesn’t sound
  good. It’s up to us to make it sound good.
– Gameplan for your calls. Provides structure
  and serves as a guide.
– It’s your job to make the scripts come alive. 


Intro Scripting – KPIC
– Know
– Problem for Persona
– Impact
– Call to Action
[Know] Hey, KD! It’s Bob from SuperBiz. I
read/saw/heard/spoke to ___
[Problem] A lot of X are dealing with A, B, C
[Impact] Causing X, Y, Z
[Call to Action] Could I ask/Does that sound
like/Have you figured this out already?


Objection Handling – 8 Mile
8 Miling is the art of getting ahead of the objection. (From the 2002 Eminem movie)
– If there is a very common objection you get,
  say it first.
– It takes the sting away, builds trust, keeps you
  in control.
– Most people fold when faced with objections.
    – I know you weren’t expecting this call
    – I know you hate cold calls
    – I know you’re already using somebody
    – I know you’re not interested yet
– Take the objection away and keep in control. 


Objection Handling
“What do you do?” Objection
– The objection we fail the most because we
  start talking about our product
– The usual formula:
  You know how…? (Relevant problem/story)
  That can cause X, Y, Z?
  We help solve that for the right people.
  It might not make sense for you.
  How are you dealing with X right now?
– Keep that ask ready to keep that conversation


Dealing with Rejection
It hurts.
Ways to deal with rejection better:
  – Meditation & gratitude. Helps control
    emotions better
  – Quick physical movement. Get up and
  – Share & laugh. Point out what you did
    wrong and grow. Laugh through it and make
    light of the situation.
  – Watch something funny on
  – Remember: if they’re declining help, you
    can’t feel as bad about that. 

They’re rejecting the help, they’re not rejecting you or your product.

Practice More than You Play
– You should be practicing daily.
– 10-15min. at a minimum
– High repetition and chunking
– You only get one shot when you get that
  prospect on, you have to be ready.

The best practice on purpose, the rest practice on prospects.
Don’t be the rest, be the best. 

The Future
– Cold* calling would be almost completely
  gone in the next 5-10 years.
– Calling will be more dynamic and behavior-
  based. You are calling people because of what
  they’ve done. No more static Day 2, Day 5
– Calling the right people at the right time
  because they did something.
– Emails warm up calls. Calls warm up emails.
  Calls and emails work 100% in tandem.
– More of an outbound marketing approach. 


– Cold calling can be your competitive
– Cold callers will be the Navy Seals of the
– Make sure you’re doing enough of it.
– Master the problems and language of the  
– Questions help you sell.
– Practice more than you play.
– Have some fun!