#251: How To Take The Cold Out of Cold-Outreach In B2B Sales

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:00]:
In this episode, you're gonna learn why you should stop using sales scripts, how to over come the fear of reluctance, and why cold calling is the secret ingredient to building your pipeline. Welcome back to another episode of the how to sell podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi. I just wanna give a shout out to our long time listeners. Thank you very much for showing up each and every week. And if you're new to the podcast, welcome. We hope you take away some actual insights. And this week, the actionable insights is all around cold calling, and we're gonna talk about to script or not to script.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:42]:
David. Well, let's go

David Fastuca [00:00:43]:
back a bit. Cold calling. There's so much around cold calling dead. Should you even do it? Does it have a place in sales? What what are your thoughts honest thoughts here? Take your your biases out because you do a lot of cold calling. You know, what what do what do you think about that, subject?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:01]:
So the my honest opinion on this subject because it's come and it's not coming from a place. I'm gonna take the bias. I'm gonna take my hat off sales OS Growth Forum hat off for a moment. My honest opinion, the number one way to create pipeline in 2,024 right now is picking up the phone. And I'm gonna say this, it's coming from a place of, if you have a look at and I'm do doing it myself. If I look at the campaigns that we're running, the number one way that I'm generating pipe is through telephone. Right? And even though there are some great strategies that you can employ to create inbound, yeah, If you think about it and we talk about the data, 3% of the market at any given time of your total if you look at the total addressable, but not just your total addressable, of the people that you can actually service, is looking for what you sell, 3%. It's a very small percentage of the market will come in as inbound.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:01]:
So if you're if you're thinking about, well, there's all these companies that I know have this particular problem or I think they have this problem, but they're not reaching out to us because maybe they're still at the unaware stage, then we could be waiting a long, long time. And this is where the outreach process kicks in, Dave. Right? And I get it. Inbound's awesome. But there's also I've got some stats on inbound. It's it'll blow your mind on a campaign that has recently coming to its like, coming to the end. Inbound campaign, to get to the target, it literally took 24 100 phone calls and twin 24 100 phone sales, right, reaching out, text messages, 24 100 text messages. Yeah? And I will share the data in our growth Forum community.

David Fastuca [00:02:57]:
Yeah. So where is this data coming from? Because that sounds like a

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:01]:
amount. It's it's it's 5th on the 5th touch. 4th to 5th touch. So that 5th sequence of outreach because we still use the same cadence. Right? Outreach, inbound cadence. The 5th, even though this topic's not about cadence, but 70 to 80% of people are engaging at that 4th to 5th touch. Phone Yeah. SMS, email.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:23]:
Think about it. 12 to 4th, 5th cluster. So 12 to 15 touches to get that person into a conversation sold. Right? Amazing stats. Yeah. And it's backed up all the stat you know, people argue, but you cannot argue with the data. So let's go back to cold calling. Okay.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:43]:
Well and I did this 2 weeks ago, week and a half ago, in the professional services space, calling CFOs and not CFOs of small businesses, large enterprise companies. We dialed, missed the call, no answer, sent a text, sent an email. Next one, dialed again. Same process. Next one, got him on the call, had a conversation. It absolutely made sense. Let's put some time in the calendar. Right? Bang.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:17]:
Yeah. And the thing is, Dave, if you don't proactively add that part, add that step to your process of reaching out to your target audience that you think might have a need for what you sell or they might be suffering for a from a particular problem, then you just you're waiting. You're playing a reactive a reactive sales process.

David Fastuca [00:04:39]:
I agree with that, with the waiting game. Because you're waiting for them to come. And even with inbound leads, you still need to then pick up the phone and call them. They have shown interest, but still, you know, they might be a 20%, 30% more warmer. Going back to what you're saying there, David sound a little bit robotic, not you, but like the process of of getting that CFO on the phone and then converting them to a book meeting. Now were they following their script? Right? Because this is part of what we mentioned earlier we're gonna cover. And you said not to follow a script? Sounds counterintuitive to what a lot of information is out there.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:16]:
Yeah. Exactly. Let's talk about that. Right? So to script or not to script, and it's interesting. For those that don't like scripts, and I've asked this question literally of 100 and 100 and 100 of people, do you use a script? They're like, no. I can't use a script. You know, scripts don't work. I wanna I wanna sound natural.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:34]:
Yeah. I wanna sound it's gotta be genuine. Okay. Cool. The challenge with that methodology, Dave, when you record those calls and you transcribe those calls, 90% of those calls, people are following a script. Yeah? This is the challenge. You might not think you're following a script, but you are. We all do it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:54]:
The way we run a demo, the way we run a discovery, we're running a particular framework. We're using a structure in the way that we run these calls. And the reason why I wanna say no to scripts but yes to frameworks is because a framework allows you to go, well, this is the structure in which I need to facilitate the call. Yeah. And nobody wants to follow a script where you gotta go verbatim word for word. Right? But if you have a framework, at least within the framework, you know, these are the things that need or these are the stages that need to occur during the call. And you've been on it, my girlfriend's been on it, you know, Role playing that framework before picking up the phone is critical.

David Fastuca [00:06:48]:
Yeah? So, like, is it is it are these just like having a few dot points on a page? Like, talk about what's on this guide you see. You're going from moving away from full, you know, articulate script, here's word by word what you need to sales, to what?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:07:04]:
Write it out, and we've got a structure. We're gonna add the link. So the takeaway for you listening is there will be a link in our show notes where you can get access to the cold core framework that we use, okay, to generate pipeline, but it should be structured from the introduction. What's your reason for calling? And this is the biggest barrier because there's obviously core reluctance. People suffer from call reluctance, Dave, when it comes to calling off. We know this. Loads of sellers, even for inbound leads, they struggle to pick up the telephone. Right? They don't wanna pick up the phone.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:07:38]:
They wanna engage with their lead via email, which is crazy. Yeah. They struggle because there's a a a a an element of core reluctance. So let's first address core reluctance before we address the core framework. Now the challenge with core reluctance, we don't like to have that feeling where I sales, right, or rejection. So we avoid it. We don't pick up the phone because then we can't be in a position where we could get rejected. Okay? So our way of dealing with that is we avoid it.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:10]:
Okay. And what we need to do first is disconnect the emotion from the call. Even if I do call and a person rejects me, they're not rejecting me as an individual. They might not just heard the message that I was putting over the call. And so they're saying, you know what, this message for me is not resonating, I haven't got time for this. And that's gonna be 90% of the people you call, they're not really actively listening to what you say because they're busy doing something else. And so we have to first disconnect the emotion by saying, you know what? When I call someone, there's a good chance they're not gonna be expecting my call even for inbound. People aren't sitting there going, I've put an inbound inquiry.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:53]:
I'm gonna stop everything I do and wait for Dave to call me. They don't they go do something else. So when you call them, you're interrupting them. They're like, sorry. Where are you calling from? Even when you say it's Dave from growth forum, they're like, sorry. Where? Because they're busy doing something else. Yeah. So, again, this is why we have to have a framework that embraces the element of rejection, that embraces they're gonna have a bit of pushback to start with.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:20]:
We've got to incorporate that into our framework. But the emotion part of things, I shouldn't be emotionally if somebody hangs up on me. I shouldn't be emotionally if somebody says to me, no. I don't wanna talk to you right now. Yeah. If I am calling and I've done some research and I've got a reason to reach out to them and they still put a big barrier up and say no. Okay. I live in a world of abundance.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:44]:
There are thousands of other people that I can pick up the phone and talk to next. Why should I worry about that one interaction that might not have gone the way that I expected? So we've got to shift our mindset. Right? That's the first thing. Shift the mindset and the way that we think and approach the call. That'll reduce the call reluctance. Yeah?

David Fastuca [00:10:06]:
Just a quick interruption to let you know about a free resource that Luigi and I wanna hand over to you. This resource has helped lift close won rates to over 73% on average. Plus, you'll get our b2b sales newsletter that drops weekly where you can learn what it takes to build a repeatable sales process and creating a pipeline full of qualified deals. To get this resource, just go to growforum.ioforward/newsletter, or click the link in this episode and sign up today.

David Fastuca [00:10:39]:
Is there anything you do, Louie, to try and get a bit more attention, from Mhmm. The caller on the other end? I know it's hard because, you you know, obviously, it's not David, so you can't see them and what they're doing and if they're attentive or not. But is there anything that you do or say to try and get a little bit more attention from them?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:10:58]:
Absolutely. So a couple of things that we can do and we should be doing in our play, We've the the the we've gotta try to warm these people up. This is why we are building our list in navigator or whichever tool that you're using. There's so many great tools today that helps you build your list. You build your list. You enrich the data. You've got a clear target of of different stakeholders in the account that you're looking to engage with. So you're building that out.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:22]:
Right? You're reaching out to them on LinkedIn. You you are sending emails. You're leaving voice messages. You're sending text message. You're creating awareness about who you are. As a as a as a modern day sales professional, you're also a marketer. Whether you like it or not, you are marketing. You're going top of funnel.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:40]:
You're going out of the funnel. You're going into that unaware phase, and you're trying to create awareness of who you are. Now you know what's awesome about this, Dave? People go, well, that's changed. It's never changed. Great salespeople have always gone out to market and create and made it rain. They've gone out there and they've turned nothing into something. Right? They haven't waited for opportunities to come to them. Yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:12:08]:
And so, you know, where am I going with this is in order for us to really embrace the power of the phone, we've, a, got to understand that the call outcome doesn't determine who I am or the the type of person or my performance. That's 1st and foremost. We've got to disconnect that. Okay? I also am doing research before I'm calling, so I'm not that pesky person that's calling at night from some call center trying to sell me something, some solar rebate program, yeah, that we're all getting those type of calls or some dodgy, you know, with Amazon refund. You know, you've gotta give us your details so you can get your refund even though you haven't bought anything. That's not what I'm talking about here. If I do some research on Dave and I think to myself, okay, Dave's trying to grow his business. He's got a couple of have a look at his website.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:01]:
I've done a bit of research of him, and I think there is a way for me to help him achieve this goal and fix x problem that could lead to x growth. I'm gonna call David, and I'm gonna talk to him about that. That's a reason for me rigging or I found a trigger event or somebody's, you know, referred me in. I have a reason. I have a clear reason. That's where you should get confidence when calling. That's a key part of your framework. Yeah?

David Fastuca [00:13:29]:
You know what this is starting to sound like? It's starting to sound like you got, like, ABM in the marketing world, which is a account based marketing. This is starting to sound like account based selling where I got my targets. I'm generating a bit of interest by sharing some content, giving a bit of insights, sending a few emails or a few connection requests, and all that sort of stuff. Then I'm making the call so there's some relevance, and you can reflect on that and say, hey, Louie. Did you get my last message x y zed relating to so they're almost primed up where okay. Yeah. I know you're Dave. I just haven't had a chance to respond.

David Fastuca [00:14:06]:
Blah blah blah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:14:07]:
Or you're using our great friends at Lucia's platform, and they're showing you which companies are even searching for what you you sales, and it makes it easier to create that engagement. But the core framework, again, step 0 is let's me get my mindset right. I've gotta have the right mindset. It doesn't matter in any aspect of the sales process if my mindset is a bit shady, any aspect that we perform, even for inbound, you're gonna struggle. Right? So we've always gotta get the right mindset in place. Create the right environment. Get the right energy going. Feel good.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:14:40]:
Yeah. Do things that make you feel positive. And as Paul j Meyer says, the great Paul j Meyer, for those that don't know him, pop his name in YouTube. The great Paul j Meyer says, you wanna have that confidence oozing out of you. Right? Because confidence, right, sales is a transference of enthusiasm. You gotta have that enthusiastic energy to transfer onto the other person. So once we've nailed the mindset piece, the next is the framework. The best way to become confident on the phone, the best way to deliver a confident message when you're calling someone with conviction is by being competent.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:18]:
And I've said this multiple times. The smooth talking sales pro on the telephone that can sell ice to Eskimos is not the methodology that we that we support here. The methodology that we support is about saying, I'm competent because I've done my research. I know the buyer that I'm calling. I know the challenges that most of these buyers are suffering. I noticed the outcomes that they're trying to achieve. I've done some research on my list in the buyer persona persona and the people within that organization, and I've got a really strong point of view here. That gives me confidence.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:15:53]:
And then I create my framework and I have my introduction piece. Right? The reason for my call is I've got a point of view. This is what we're seeing. This is a problem that's impacting x results. Do you mind me asking the go to way to decrease any tension on a cold call or any call is asking the permission base. Do you mind me asking drop your tonality? Do you mind me asking based on what I shared? Is this something that's happening within your space within your role?

David Fastuca [00:16:24]:
You know what you're doing here, Luigi? You you're basically taking the cold out of cold outreach. Right? You're taking the taking that away, so it's luke to semi warm cold calling. Right? Which is which is awesome.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:37]:
Yeah. But that's what it should be. Right? Like, we've got enough data points. We've got enough information to help us create a message that's relevant to the person that we're talking to. And people even though decisions people make when it comes to selling and buying is emotion based, they will then justify it with logic. So a lot of the time if we're talking about a problem that's impacting a particular person, that's gonna create a bit of emotion. And then we just wrap it up to say, hey. Based on, you know, based on what I'm hearing, you mentioned that, yes, this is something that you're trying to tackle.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:11]:
I've got some insight on how others have tackled this particular problem. I'd love to share that with you. Right? And also share a bit about how we're helping other companies tackle this problem. And, you know, the worst the worst case outcome for you from meeting with me is you're gonna walk away with some actionable insights. Right? Even if we don't progress the conversation any further. And that kills attention. That kills any relationship tension, task tension. People like, that makes a bit of sense.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:36]:
I'm I'm trying to tackle this problem. You've mentioned to me you've got some insight, which is education, which I can learn something from this. And I'm gonna walk away and I'll be able to apply something even if we don't progress the conversation. So it's mindset like, I'm happy to donate because that's what they're doing. They're giving their time because that's the outcome we're looking for the call. We're not asking them to buy our product and service right there. We're asking them just just to commit a bit of time, Dave. And if they then go, the equation is I give some time, I get some insight.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:18:05]:
You know what? It's a valuable trade off. Yeah. And this is how we want I want people to think about you listening to this episode. I want you to really think about the structure of that call in that process. Right? Take away any tension by saying I'm not gonna ask you to buy something from me. I'm not gonna ask you to make any major decisions in our next call because it's too early to do that. Now if you do call and say this is what we're hearing, this is the problem statement, and they say to you, sorry, David, this problem statement, we've tackled, we're exceeding, we're exceeding all expectations in this area, That's okay. It just means that the problem statement you've referenced isn't relevant to them now.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:18:50]:
You can still get something else. I did that, you know, a week and a half ago on the call. I said, do you mind me asking if that's not something that's key for you now, is this something that's key? They're like, absolutely. Great. That's why I'm calling. Let's talk about x. Awesome. Yeah?

David Fastuca [00:19:08]:
I like that because you what you mentioned Forum, it's that you're addressing the questions that they may not be verbally saying, but are thinking in their head. Yeah. About, you know, Luigi just gonna try and pitch me on this call. They're gonna give a little bit and then try and sell me. But by addressing all those objections upfront that they might be having in their head, you're sort of lowering down the barrier for them to accept the ability to say, yeah. Okay. Let's let's grab 15 minutes.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:19:33]:
Yep. Absolutely. Right? Yeah. But that's what you're doing, Dave. You're completely when you when you do that, remember people, tension will rise when people have to make a decision about something. So what you're trying to do is you're reducing that tension on the call. It's too early to get them to think about change. If you get them if you go from no unaware to I want you to make a major decision on this call, they're like, you know what? We're way too early here.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:19:59]:
You're reducing it. Let's just have a conversation. I'll share some stuff with you. You'll get some value. I'll ask some questions. We'll see if there's an opportunity to progress this conversation. Now in the in the sales qualification world, even if you booked that meeting, it's not classified as a sales qualified opportunity yet, right, or a sales accepted lead. You're having a conversation to determine is this something that's worth investigating further.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:20:28]:
And if you then determine at the next call that, yes, the problem statement is something they wanna look at tackling, they see value in what you have to share, and they say, let's commit to exploring this further, then it's a sales qualified opportunity. Then tick. We've got something to add into my pipeline. Not every conversation will lead to that. That's why you have your relationship funnel. Right? So you that you can nurture them until they're ready or you just keep nurturing them. But out of every batch of conversations and meetings you have, you will get sales qualified opportunities. That starts to build your sales operating system to build your pipeline.

David Fastuca [00:21:07]:
I think that's a good way to end it.

#251: How To Take The Cold Out of Cold-Outreach In B2B Sales
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