The Inside Scoop of a B2B Cold Caller
Here at VSA, everyone starts out as a caller. Even if we hire someone that we know is destined for a management track, we still start them out as a Client Associate, which is the title we use for our cold callers. In order to work in any position in our company, it is vital you have the inside scoop on what it is like to be a caller. There is simply no way to be effective without this type of insider information.
Recently, we asked some of our client associates for their take on the inside scoop of being a B2B cold caller. Here are some of their answers:
• It’s much more dynamic and exciting than you would think. Because we call on so many different types of businesses on behalf of so many different types of businesses, I learn something new every day. I love that I get an inside look at all these companies and organizations.
• B2B cold calling can be oddly satisfying. Since we’re not trying to sell anything – just trying to set up appointments and move a prospect further down the sales pipeline – it becomes more about connecting people and I find that I really like connecting people.
• The hardest calling programs are the ones where you never get anyone on the phone and the ones that require a lot of navigation to get to the decision maker.
• It can be repetitive and there is a lot of rejection, but when you land that lucky call and find someone who is really interested in your offering, it can be such a rush!
• There are a lot more nice people out there than mean.
• I am always surprised by how willing people are to help you. Whenever I ask someone for assistance during a cold call, they are pretty much always happy to oblige.
• Even though most of the gatekeepers I encounter are overall friendly and pleasant, there are some that have been downright mean. I still have a hard time understanding that. I’d expect it in a B2C cold calling situation, but when I’m calling a business, you’d think that a certain level of professionalism would exist to safeguard against truly nasty behavior. Thankfully, those are few and far between.
• There’s a lot more to B2B cold calling than just smiling and dialing, although that’s certainly part of it. We are so much more than a call center. I speak to business professionals of all different levels and I call on several different programs within a given week. This requires me to be able to shift gears quickly. Being able to navigate complex and large companies is also an important skill set, along with the ability to research the prospects I am asked to call. As a cold caller, I need to be able to learn quickly about the product or offering I’m calling for, as well as the industry and organizations they have me calling to offer it. And finally, I need to have excellent time management skills. There is so much more to what we do here than just cold calling and there are many skills required to be successful at it. I think that’s why we are titled client associates rather than just callers.
• This is a job that requires high energy and a positive attitude. You could make 100 calls that lead nowhere, but call #101 could be that lucky opportunity. If you haven’t been able to keep your energy and morale up during all those rejection calls, you’re going to blow that opportunity for the client. Cold calling is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s finding that one prospect out of many who is actually interested in what you have to offer. You never know which call is going to be the lucky one so you have to be able to treat each one as if it’s THE one.
In conclusion, I’ll offer up one final inside scoop. I don’t know if all call centers do this, but whenever one of our client associates comes across an interesting name – such as one that matches the name of a celebrity or historical figure, or simply one that’s funny or odd – they write it on the Name Board, which is simply a dry erase board hanging up in the hallway outside one of our conference rooms. I’ll bet you never knew, for instance, that there really is someone out there named Joe Schmo?! That is one of my favorites – that and “Nicholas Claus”.