The best practice cold call is a “pattern interrupt” cold call, where you interrupt the prospect’s normal thinking pattern. This allows you to make a cold call without alerting the listener you are a salesperson.
When the person I’m targeting answers, I first make sure I have the right person by name, asking, for instance, “Is this Bill?” Typically, they will pause and cautiously answer yes or ask what this is about.
I then say, in a conversational tone, “Bill, this is John Asher” (pause a moment while they check their memory for my name).
After a second or two, I will say, “You don’t know me; we haven’t talked before.” Another pause. This creates a blank slate in their mind for our conversation.
Next, I’ll say, “I’m with a company that does ___________ and I’m trying to find the right person at (their company) to talk with about this.”
Sounding like I’m innocently asking for help, I say, “Can you tell me who I should be speaking with?” At this point, after only the first 10 seconds of the call, we are already in a conversation.
Here is a testimonial from one of my sales training students: Brent Howell of MPulse Software:
“The pattern interrupting technique has allowed me to effectively engage the person I’m calling better than 90% of the time. I’ve only been hung up on twice in about three years of using it. I write that off as those guys were having a bad day.”
The secret to making this “pattern interrupt” call effective is 100% dependent on tonality and pacing. Sounds like you are genuinely lost and not like you are on a mission to sell something. People are typically very willing to be helpful if they are approached in the right way.
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