Intro to “3 cycles of 3” cold call outreach process

If you want decision-makers to pick up the phone with frequency, you need to call in accordance with what I call the “three cycles of three.”

Let’s take a step back and look at the basic marketing principles and outreach realities that drive theses steps.

1. On average, it takes 9 or more dials to get through to a decision-maker at a large company. Nine is a minimum. Twelve to fifteen is a more reasonable range.

2. Basic marketing 101 says people have to be touched by us multiple times before they grasp our message. It is known as the “Rule of 7.”

So, we have two realities we must adhere to in order to generate conversations.

A. Make at least 9 dials to each targeted decision-maker.
B. “Touch” them about 7 times.

When you have your coffee in front of you, your CRM open and you are staring at the phone like it is going to bite you, what does this mean?

This is what the “3 cycles of 3” looks like as to each decision-maker.

Day one. Call the company to identify or confirm the decision-maker. Schedule that record for a call the next day.

Day two. Place 3 calls to the decision-maker. During the first two calls you DO NOT leave voicemail messages or try to convince the gatekeeper to put you through.

With your 3rd dial you now leave “touches.” Your touches would typically be a voicemail and Email. In limited circumstances a snail mail touch can work.

Note: I am not a big fan of general mailing to set appointments. Great way to lose a ton of money fast. In all my years I have never, never seen it work.

Once you leave your touches, you then schedule the next call three business days later. Then you will repeat the process of day one. Three outreach attempts with no attempt to leave a message or “get through” the gatekeeper on the first two attempts. On the third attempt, leave your touches.

Why three days? Common courtesy says once you leave a message, you have to give someone a few days to respond.

Day 5. That scheduled call comes up on your CRM/contact manager activity list. You do the same thing you did during the first cycle. Dial your decision-maker three times. The first two dials you leave no touches. No voicemail, Email, nothing.

During these first two dials, avoid engaging the gatekeeper. No trying to convince them you should be put through.
On the 3rd dial you leave your touches. Your voicemail, Email, and rarely a letter. Schedule for a 3rd cycle in 3 business days.

Day 8: Do it again. 3 dials. Do not touch or engage with the first two dials. 3rd dial leave your touches.

Unless you have objective info that this prospect is worth more time, you have reached the point of diminishing returns and schedule this record to begin the three cycles again in six months.

Why do the 3 cycles of 3 increase the odds that your decision-maker picks up the phone?

Remember the FACT cited above that it takes on average at least nine dials to get a top-dog to pick up the phone?
You have dialed nine times.

Remember the “Rule of 7?” Well, you comply because at the end of every cycle you left multiple “touches.” A voicemail, Email, possibly a letter. So if you use just voicemail and Email for touches your decision-maker received 6 touches.

All carefully crafted with consistent credibility and benefit statements so that your targeted decision-maker can “get it.”

Nine dials and seven touches, on average, are what it takes to have a conversation with a targeted decision-maker or generate a response from them. On average. If your typical call process does not adhere to these rules, you have no right to expect a conversation. You have turned off the oven before the goose is cooked.

Many appointment setters will call multiple people a few times and then stop, thinking it is not working. Wrong. You stopped before the cooking was done.

If it takes an hour to bake a cake, would you peek in after 10 minutes and say “This isn’t working,” and shut the oven off?

If you buy a car with six cylinders, would you choose to run it on one and then complain and moan that it sputters and doesn’t work?

The 3 cycles of 3 is your baking process, it is the engine that is the core source of your appointment setting success.