Cold calling gets a bad rap sometimes, and I think it’s mostly because it forces MSPs to go outside their comfort zone. After all, it’s a different skill set, and it takes patience to see results. Making excuses is much easier.
But making the effort and getting started with cold calling can pay off in a big way for MSPs, bringing in a steady stream of leads and keeping your pipeline full. That’s why we’ve heard from so many IT service providers who are interested in learning more about cold calling, and guest blog posts from cold calling expert Carrie Simpson of Managed Sales Pros have been some of our most popular of the year.
Carrie has shared some great advice with us, and here are four tips she’s shared that will help you improve your cold calling skills.
1. Practice, practice, practice
The more cold calls you make, the more comfortable you’ll be doing it. Carrie advises blocking off an hour a day on your calendar for cold calling and sticking to it. This will also give you a chance to work on brushing up the basics, such as asking more open-ended questions or removing filler words like “um” or “actually.” Even if you’re already pretty comfortable with phone calls, there’s always room for improvement.
2. Pitch everyone
You might not always be able to get a decision-maker on the phone—especially during the slow holiday season—but you should still be pitching everyone you talk to, whether they’re technicians, assistants or HR. Carrie recommends using these types of conversations to qualify accounts and see if they’re a good fit for your company. That way you won’t waste time trying to reach someone who doesn’t need your services. Whoever you get on the phone, make the most of it and ask questions that will help you learn more about the company, how they operate, and what their needs might be.
3. Tailor your pitch to your audience
Carrie says that clients ask her all the time if they should focus on a specific offering when they make cold calls, and her answer is “sometimes.” According to Carrie, the determining factor is what level of responsibility your prospect has. For example, technicians will be more interested in specific products and services, but with executives you want to focus on problems and strategies. Understanding the prospect’s role in the business will help you have the right conversation. Cold calling is not one size fits all.
4. Define clear next steps
After a great first call, you can’t sit back and expect the rest to simply take care of itself. Carrie suggests ending each interaction you have with a prospective client by agreeing what will happen next and when. Whether it’s a meeting to go over a proposal or a follow-up call, try to get something specific on the calendar so you’re both clear on what the next steps will be. This will help you avoid having a hot lead suddenly go cold when you can’t reach the prospect to follow up.
These four tips should help you hone your cold calling skills and see better results with this often overlooked approach to lead generation. Carrie has even more great advice on how to use cold calling the right way. Download our new e-book, The MSP’s Ultimate Guide to Cold Calling, to get Carrie’s tips on how to get started with cold calling, how to handle common objections, and how to get through to the right people.