Cold Calling

Cold Calling or Cold Emailing?

Since the dawn of the digital age, there has been this assumption that, eventually, digital will wipe out all other mediums, making them obsolete. After all, digital is faster and cheaper. Plus, it comes with a truck load of juicy data that can be organized into insightful tools like graphs and charts which, in turn, help to make prospecting and lead generation tactics smarter and better targeted. However, recently, there has been a pendulum swing back to the ‘old way’ of doing things because, with all of digital’s flashy speed and dynamic data, it can never replace the power of human connection.

When it comes to the question of cold calling vs. cold emailing, there are some who fall strongly and squarely in one camp vs. the other. While the arguments for both can be complex and nuanced, in a nutshell they go something like this:

Those in favor of cold […]

10 Tips for Successful Cold Calling

As a B2B call center, we make cold calls all day long, every day. With each call we make, our goal is to set an appointment for our client so they can potentially close the sale with the new prospect. The following is a short list of what we have learned over the past sixteen years.

1. Work Past Your Fears: Many people have an innate fear of cold calling stemming from a preconceived stereotype of cold callers as annoying, intrusive people who try to sell you things you don’t need or want. To get past these assumptions, challenge them with statements that will not only help you overcome your anxiety around cold calling, but are also more aligned with the truth. An example would be: “Cold calling is informative. It lets my potential customers, whom I care about, learn about my great product or service that I know will […]

By |April 12th, 2017|Cold Calling|Comments Off on 10 Tips for Successful Cold Calling|

Transitions: The Hardest Part of Cold Calling

Two months ago, I began taking Yoga classes. Through my early practices, I discovered that I need tremendous improvements in my strength, balance and flexibility. But most importantly, I discovered that I have really choppy transitions from one pose to the another. Instead of flowing, I am lurching after each position hurrying to get into the next.  It’s very awkward.

How does this relate to appointment setting?

An effective Cold Caller is able to transition smoothly throughout an entire call – no matter where the prospect takes the conversation. Starting at the introduction, and moving to a conversation, posing great questions, overcoming objections, asking for the appointment and qualifying the lead. It’s all one fluid string of communication points that create a smooth and natural exchange between two people.  No lurching.

Just like it’s hard for me to learn graceful Yoga transitions, it’s hard to teach a new Client Associates how to […]

By |January 18th, 2017|Cold Calling|Comments Off on Transitions: The Hardest Part of Cold Calling|

The 3 Must-Have Competencies for Your Outsourced Appointment-Setting Firm

By Valerie Schlitt

Call it what you will—Inside Sales, Appointment Setting, Demand Generation, Lead Generation or Cold Calling—it’s a critical business operation that helps companies fill their sales pipelines, and one that companies are increasingly outsourcing.

The goal of a telephone lead generation program is to find qualified and interested sales opportunities.  These opportunities will be presented to the sales team who is responsible for converting them into paying clients.

For a growing number of companies, Inside Sales (as this function is increasingly called), is a necessity. It is often the single biggest steady source of qualified leads in competitive markets. But companies often do not want to make the required investment in this operation, so they hire an outside firm to carry out this role for them.

As a result of increased outsourcing demand, and the relative ease of setting up shop, an entire industry has blossomed. Just search “appointment setting” online. […]

By |October 24th, 2016|Appointment Setting, Cold Calling|Comments Off on The 3 Must-Have Competencies for Your Outsourced Appointment-Setting Firm|

Do Physicians Need Cold Calling Skills?

VSA, Inc. is a NJ based cold calling and appointment setting firm that helps companies increase their sales. Hour after hour, day after day, the VSA team makes telephone calls and sends emails on behalf of clients across the country.

The team’s goal is to find interested decision makers, qualify their needs and set sales appointments. VSA staff become an extension of their clients. The senior level executives believe they are talking to someone sitting in the client’s office, not in an outsourced organization.

Mainly, VSA employs a team of experienced employees with deep inside sales skills, and the company has strong employee retention.

But, some former VSA employees do not continue in sales. Instead several have decided to pursue professions in law, architecture, medicine, teaching, finance, neuroscience and foreign policy. To be sure, it’s not the VSA experience that caused the career shifts. In fact, […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Cold Calling, Press Releases|Comments Off on Do Physicians Need Cold Calling Skills?|

Looking Back: How Cold Calling Has Changed

When VSA first started in the outbound lead generation business, we only made telephone calls. We didn’t send emails or even have dedicated return phone lines. Still, we were successful; just 15 years ago we could reach decision makers much more quickly and easily than today.  A lot has changed, however, and we have adapted our programs and expanded our toolset to remain successful.

While making outbound telephone calls is still the cornerstone of all of our campaigns, we now include personalized emails and voicemails. We also make sure we have staff on hand to answer return phone calls immediately, because we have learned that that may be the only opportunity we get to speak with the decision maker.

Those tools form the baseline for all programs, but many of our clients also track website traffic and provide us with specialized hyperlinks that will send prospects to a specific microsite. In […]

By |June 18th, 2015|Cold Calling|Comments Off on Looking Back: How Cold Calling Has Changed|

Cold Calling: Is it a Sales or Marketing Activity?

I’ve wondered this for a long time.  Is cold calling to set sales appointments a marketing or sales activity?  Here’s my analysis and conclusion.  What’s yours?

Sales is all about solving problems, often at a personal level (even in B2B Sales).  Let’s say that a potential client needs to streamline business operations to cut costs and meets a company who offers software to accomplish just that.  Now, there’s a real foundation for a sale, not to mention a great conversation about the personal benefits of saving the company money (and becoming a hero, or saving your job, or getting a promotion)!  Conversely, it is virtually impossible to convince a business owner to purchase that cost-cutting software if he sees no need for it – even if a problem really does exist. Why would the owner spend money on something he or she doesn’t think is a problem?

In our business – […]

By |May 21st, 2015|Cold Calling|Comments Off on Cold Calling: Is it a Sales or Marketing Activity?|

Calling right or Calling often

Here’s a question.  In lead generation via phone, is simply making calls more important than the quality of those calls?  We all know there is no correct answer to this question, but I’d love to start a dialogue about it. Does B2B cold calling to find qualified leads work just because we do it? Is it due only to chance and the sheer repetitive nature of making targeted phone calls that we will eventually reach a qualified, interested prospect?

Or, does it work (as I’m sure we all want to believe) because everything is well-planned and well-executed, callers are trained and the results carefully tracked?

My firm is an outsourced boutique B2B lead generation and appointment setting firm. We’ve been doing this for 14 years. I write a blog about how to do cold calling “right”, covering topics like how to carefully choose a list, train callers, overcome roadblocks, and so […]

By |April 23rd, 2015|Cold Calling|Comments Off on Calling right or Calling often|
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    A short case study: the impact of tweaking a cold calling campaign

A short case study: the impact of tweaking a cold calling campaign

This week I’m going to talk about one of our ongoing calling campaigns (details have been changed to protect our clients’ privacy) to show some concrete examples of how creativity and persistence make our cold calling programs successful.

A Boston-based company needed help reaching senior-level decision makers (CEOs and CFOs) to promote their new high-ticket software for streamlining administrative and office support tasks like scheduling and payroll. The company’s internal sales team could not handle the volume of prospecting calls needed and did not have experience navigating corporate hierarchies to reach CEOs and CFOs, so they started a pilot program with VSA a few months ago. Even though we were still in the early stages, we could feel that we weren’t building up enough momentum in reaching prospects using our traditional methods. We wanted to explore more effective methods of reaching these elusive decision makers.

We know the value of reaching […]

By |April 1st, 2015|Cold Calling|Comments Off on A short case study: the impact of tweaking a cold calling campaign|

How the Messenger’s Tone Can Affect Cold Calling Results

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well prepared or eloquent a caller is if they don’t have a cheerful, positive tone of voice while on the phone. Even when all other elements of a successful cold calling program are in place, a caller’s voice can make the difference between an appointment and a missed opportunity.

For example, take “Jane”, a cold caller who is smart, focused, and calling a very targeted and highly qualified list. This would seem to be an obvious success, however Jane has a voice that is a bit irritating on the phone; she often sounds high-pitched and uptight, even though she doesn’t mean to sound that way. Often she sounds as though she is frowning and comes across as somewhat hostile if she doesn’t get the response she is hoping for from the prospect.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have “Joan”, equally qualified and calling […]

By |March 29th, 2015|Cold Calling|Comments Off on How the Messenger’s Tone Can Affect Cold Calling Results|