“Researching” Calls is Crazy. A Cold Calling Confession…

Does it help or hurt to research companies before you call them?

The right answer is obvious to successful appointment setters. Also, counter-intuitive and opposite of everything you have been taught and want to believe.

You have to stop following the crowd. The crowd is very frustrated and doesn’t have enough qualified appointments.

The bottom line:

I personally have smiled and dialed, sat in the cube, scheduled more than 2,000 C-Level sales appointments in many many different industries.

The truth:

I never once, not ever, “researched” a company before the call. Never. Not once.

What “everyone knows” and accepts as best practice is a main reason why “everyone” is banging their heads against the wall wondering why they can’t set more sales appointments.

Here are the high points… I’ll keep it short.

Your goal should never be to set appointments with specific company A, specific company B or specific company C. Your goal should be to set the most qualified appointments for your time and money investment.

Change your mindset for setting appointments with specific companies to setting appointments with as many similarly situated companies as possible. Who cares which ones they are?

If you call a list of 100 purposely-selected companies you should care a lot whether you schedule 5, 12 or 18 qualified meetings from that group. You shouldn’t care at all about which companies they are with.

Here is the way I thought…

I work a call process 15 hours a week and schedule 10 appointments with no research.

If I research before I call, I am now spending at least half my prospecting time surfing the net, looking at websites, reading tweets, twats and not making calls. So now half my prospecting time is spent researching and 7 ½ hours is spent calling. For research to be worthwhile, I need to more than double my effectiveness to break even. Not going to happen.

Seems obvious to me.

It makes more sense if you keep these things in mind…

1. Your knowledge of a particular company is not what gets you a meeting. It is what your suspect believes you might do for them. That has nothing to do with your knowledge of the company at the time of your initial call. You getting a meeting is about YOUR perceived potential value in the eyes of the prospect, not what you know about the company at the time of the call.

2. It is critical that you correctly profile the companies you call so that you are calling into a group that you know with high probability has a very high percentage of companies that typically have needs that you can solve —, and… it is cost-effective for you to prospect them given cost of setting an appointment, conversion rates, size of average sale and margins.

This is the step where most people lose it. They are much too loose selecting the targets to call and end up working a lower probability group.

3. You are selling the meeting, not your product or service. What works to make a sale is not what works when selling a meeting.

4. What you say is geared toward 1.) your knowledge of common needs, hot button issues and motivations to change vendors, among a group of similarly situated carefully defined companies and 2.) effectively communicating your value. What you say is not specific to any one company.

The bottom line is always… how do you get the most qualified appointments with potential buyers as possible for the time invested. That is what drives what you do and say. Nothing else.

Read more about why I think researching companies before you call is crazy here.

Many times, when scheduling appointments, I would be asked, “Do you know much about us?” My response was, word for word… “ Haven’t got a clue…” It is what I said after that, that enabled a top decision-maker to conclude that it was worthwhile to meet with a rep of the company I was calling for.

If you want… or need to meet more buyers, you need to do what works. Not what you hope would work or what many others think will work.

So put down the Kool-Aid cup and start doing what works, not what is popular.

Let hard math and results be your guide, not wishful thinking.

If you want guidance to meet more potential buyers, call me directly at 978-296-2700 to discuss your situation and some options.

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