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PROSPECTING


How to Make Fear Your Friend When Cold Calling


CHRIS BEALL


The phone is making a comeback in B2B selling. Why? There are at least four reasons.


1. Though email is still cheap and efficient, research by HubSpot (and others who know and care) shows it has become much less effective as the pandemic drove up sales email volumes while open rates and reply rates dropped drastically.


2. Many companies in many indus- tries have been disrupted, and a phone conversation is one of the few ways to learn who is still working, where they are working,


and with what responsibilities and concerns.


3. The longer-than-expected time spent at home appears to have made more people open to hav- ing a conversation with a strang- er, partially because of their need for social contact.


4. While travel by planes, trains, and automobiles is returning to nor- mal, hybrid work is here to stay. That means meeting prospects at their workplace, or even nearby,


46 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 SELLING POWER © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


without an appointment has be- come permanently problematic. So, sales professionals need to become more efficient and effective on the phone to keep their pipeline full. And that means becoming an expert cold caller, because you can’t have an unscheduled follow-up con- versation – much less an appointment on your calendar – without a first, unscheduled, cold conversation. Therefore, phone skills, especially cold conversation skills, are at a premium. Our company, ConnectAndSell, con- nects millions of B2B sales conversa- tions every year, so I have the luxury of listening to many thousands of examples of what not to do. My conclusion from all this listening and analysis is that most reps have a flawed model for a cold conversation. As a result, they try to take projects on a journey that leads nowhere. I hear


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