The Greatest Cold Call I Ever Received

 

“Of course, we can schedule a call. But you need to send me your script because this cold call was too good.” I told Dan McClain.

Dan laughed, “You got it, I’ll send it right after we hang up here.” He kept right on closing me, “What time works next week for that call we’re going to have?”

We got the discovery call on the books. And minutes later, the golden script was in my inbox. 

I had just been on the receiving end of the greatest cold call I had ever witnessed.

 

Cold calling doesn’t usually get the love it deserves. Therefore, most reps do a poor job with it. The well gets poisoned. And most folks think to themselves, “I hate when I get cold-called. It never works on me. We shouldn’t even attempt it at our company.” The truth is: with some creativity, an understanding of human psychology, and decent communication skills, most salespeople can create a cold call that is not only well received by the prospect but might also generate a few laughs. And a genuine connection. Like our interaction above.

Years later, I can still remember everything about the cold call. Where I was when it happened, and what my exact reaction was. 

The call was that good. 

It was around 9:30 am. On Chestnut Street. I was walking back from a morning gym workout to my home office in San Francisco’s marina district. I can recall being in a dynamic mood, the endorphins working their magic on me. My pace was brisk when my phone vibrated in my left pants pocket. Here’s what Dan said to me on that weekday morning, a bunch of years back:

 

This is Dan with ConnectAndSell

I realize I’m an interruption, Do you have about 27 seconds so I can tell you why I’m calling?

We solve the problem of getting the hard to reach people you sell to on the phone by delivering 10X more live conversations than you have today…..all on demand.

I know you weren’t expecting my call today, I wanted to see if I could get 15-20 minutes on your schedule.  Do you happen to have your calendar available?

 

 

 

 

After you’ve read this, take a quick pause if you can. What do you think makes it so good? I know, I know, very Socratic of me. But I’d love for you to say it out loud and feel how it might be received. How would it land for you?

You’ll have your own insights, based on your background and experience. Your own lens on it. Jot your notes down as they come up, even before reading on. And feel free to add your notes as comments to this piece.

Let’s start here when it comes to my breakdown. Dan does a fantastic job taking responsibility upfront with “I realize I’m an interruption”. It’s pre-emptive. He diffuses the situation right away, removing quite a few objections a prospect might have right as he lands. As a salesperson, here, you’re calling out the fact that this call is unexpected and that you might be interrupting someone during a busy part of their day. And that’s likely to assuage a lot of potentially negative emotions from the prospect who has picked up the phone.

Next: the “27 seconds” bit tickles my brain. It’s not a round number, and magically has me thinking, “Why that amount of time and not 30 seconds? Or 60 seconds?” It buys Dan more time with me. And I’m leaning in, fascinated as to why he might need that exact amount of time to speak with me. My mind goes, “How did Dan get so precise that he’s able to nail his spiel time to the second?”

As we lean into our analysis, Dan’s elevator pitch is stellar. It not only leads with a problem a ton of sales folks have, but it also leaves me intrigued. My immediate reaction to it? “How do they even do that? What technology have they built that can deliver 10X the conversations? If they deliver on what he says, this could be a game-changer.” Dan is making a bold claim that has me hooked and wanting to learn more.

Right as he’s got me engrossed in the possibilities of his solution, Dan goes in for the close. He reiterates that he’s interrupting unexpectedly – which disarms me again – and then moves in for the kill. He closes me by requesting for a short call as a next step, asking me if I have my calendar handy. 

What a one-two punch. Sound fundamentals. Dan hits his marks and closes. He’s in and out. Quick.

I just timed myself saying Dan’s script out loud. 24.43 seconds. Beautifully crisp. If someone is busy and you’ve interrupted them, being able to close on a booked call in less than 30 seconds is awesome. Sheer efficiency. You could add another 30 seconds of chit-chat back and forth dealing with calendars and you’re still doing great.

I have to admit that most cold calls are putrid. While, as a sales coach – it makes me a little sad – I’m not going to argue. The good news, however, is that it takes very little to separate yourself from the pack. Apply just some of the elements we’ve gone over above, and you’ll break through, and garner your prospect’s attention. You’ll have them wanting to book an initial meeting with you. And who knows? You might get so good that you start making impressions like the one Dan made on me years ago. Get started, and as always, let me know how it goes.