B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

8 Second Rule – Wrangling a Cold Call

Posted by Vendere Team on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 10:04 AM

Even if you don’t follow rodeo, almost everyone knows that in order to be considered for the highest prize in some events you must first get past the 8 second clock.  You must ride or at least “stay in the game” for 8 long, dangerous and sometimes hard to navigate seconds.  Those 8 seconds can seem impossible to overcome if you lack the technique and experience needed to counter and control the beast you’re riding.  Just one wrong move and you can get bucked off and land in the  . . . well you know.

Bull riding is a bit like cold callingThe same can be said about Cold Calling (aka Lead Generation / Telemarketing).  Looking at the data I had gathered for a project I was working on last week, I noticed some very interesting trends coming to the forefront.
One of them we will call the “8 Second Rule” - On average this is the amount of time that you have to grab a prospects attention from when they answer your call.  I asked several individuals here at Vendere Partners and we all agreed that this was very accurate. 
Additionally, the questioned was posed, how many times has individuals just starting out make a call and the prospect they are talking with shuts down, gives one word responses, is brief, tries to get off the phone, or even hangs up the phone? This helped formulate the question, what are the best techniques for capturing a prospects attention in those first 8 seconds? So we lassoed together some very useful techniques that we use here on a daily basis.

Out of the Gate

How many introductions start off with “Hello Mr. Jones, my name is John Doe and I’m with company XYZ.  How are you doing today?  Good, the reason for my call today is …………”

That introduction is ok, but here is the issue.  The individual that you are calling receives the same cold call probably 20 times a day.  Learn to separate yourself from the other 19 callers by doing the following.   To start off, I hear a lot of people say “Hello, my name is………. with XYZ.”  Be assertive, you are an individual with a product or service that can help their business grow, so act like it. 

Try calling the prospect by their first name and first name only.  Sir, Mr., Ms., and Mrs. are all subservient terms that give the prospects the power.

It is imperative that you represent yourself in a manner that matches the peer level of the individual that you are speaking with. If you do not, the prospect will not give you the time of day. Match their intensity and manner of speaking.

Example: If they bully you at first, bully them back in a professional way. If they are soft spoken, tone it down and relax a bit.  Watch the responses you receive,  it is amazing.

Always be polite, professional and act like they need to speak with you. Also, try stating your name first and People cold callingthen follow it up with a more relaxed personal question that fits the prospect position and points of interest.
     “Patrick, this is Brandon Johnson with HP, how is this (day of the week) treating you so far?”
     “Good morning Mr. Doe, My name is Brandon Johnson and I am with Toshiba, how are you doing sir?”
Hear the difference?  This change makes your credibility rating go from an average telemarketer to a peer with vital information for their business.

Shakin Hands, Tippin Hats and Good Conversation 

Building Rapport - 8 out of 10 times the prospect retorts an answer to your question and then will ask you a question back – “Good, how are you doing today?” If they do this, you made a good introduction and have your foot in the door. 

At this point I try an “Ice Breaker” and try to make them chuckle, smile or lighten the atmosphere.  For example, if it is Monday, I might say “It Monday, we’re closing in on Friday! Slowly but closing.”  If it is Tuesday, I might say “Got past Monday, so I am good.”  Whatever you say, ALWAYS follow it with a thank you afterwards.

Continue to break up the rest of the conversation with personal points. Just a few here and there will help in developing a great rapport with whomever you are speaking with. This can also work wonders with gate keepers.  

Congrats so far, now they are listening and involved in the conversation.  So go sell them on the product and/or service that will help their company get to the next level. We teach our tele-professionals to navigate these types of situations and have been very successful by following these simple but effective tips. Remember… 8 Seconds is all we have so hold on and get the top prize!

Guest written by Adam Edelman and Brandon Johnson

Topics: lead generation, appointment setting, cold calling

RFI tips for b2b lead generation appointment setting