The “Three Cycles of Three” Cold Calling Process

The “3 cycles of 3.”

A critical part of your call process necessary to get decision-makers to pick up the phone.

If you want decision-makers to pick up the phone with frequency you need to call in accordance with the “3 cycles of 3.”

Lets take a step back and look at the basic marketing principles and call realities that drive this step.

1. On average, it takes 9 dials to get a decision-maker at a large company to pick up the phone… at least. Medium size companies… about 6 dials.

2. Basic marketing 101 says people have to be touched by us multiple times before they start to grasp our message. It’s 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.

So 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 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, Email, possibly a fax (don’t laugh at fax, it can lift your results 10% or more) and in rare limited circumstances snail mail.

Note: I am not a big fan of 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 that call for another cycle of calls three business days later. 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 on day 2. Dial your decision-maker 3 times. The first two dials you leave no touches. No voicemail, Email, nothing. During these first two dials you DO NOT engage the gatekeeper. No trying to convince them you should be put through. No explaining what you do. Buh-bye gatekeep. Brush em. On the 3rd dial you leave your touches. Your voicemail, Email, and maybe a fax or rarely a letter. Schedule for a 3rd cycle in 3 business days.

Day 8: Do it again. 3 dials. No touches or gatekeep engagement on 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 3 cycles in 6 months.

Why does 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 9 dials to get a top-dog to pick up the phone? You have dialed 9 times.

Remember the “Rule of 7?” Well you are in compliance because at the end of every cycle you left multiple “touches.” A voicemail, Email, possibly a fax or 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.”

9 dials and 7 touches, on average, is 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 prospectors 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 calling results.

Now, the 3 cycles is a foundation of calling but I’m sure you have other questions.

Why no messages on so many calls?
What do we say to gatekeepers?
When do we engage gatekeepers?
When might more than 3 cycles be reasonable? Less?
How do I know I am calling the best targets?
What does my day look like when I have 50, 100 or more records in various stages of this call process.

Smile when you dial,
Scott Channell

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