CEO & Founder
How to cold call in the 21st Century
Ryan is from Philadelphia on the east coast of the US. He is the CEO, founder of two firms, one is Pereus Marketing and that led onto his other firm Superhuman Prospecting. The second is where he spends most of his time giving outsourced business development to companies. A lot of it is adding more to sales development reps. It ranges from marketing to insurance to finance, really any industry.
He has always been in the direct marketing role in some type of person-to-person format, so he has always considered marketing with sales functions.
Ryan sees good call pick up rates, dependent on the industry and market you are calling into. This can be the size of the company, position they are in, geographic location and each places specific needs.
Companies use Pereus Marketing for 3 primary reasons. The most popular is that they just don’t want to do it in house. Ryan originally started the company for this exact reason – to advance sales as a whole as the telemarketing role has a stigma to it. The negative perception started after roles in things like ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ or ‘Boiler room’. There’s a natural resistance to cold-callers but then added in the scams that were produced from those sales techniques only worsens the perceptions of cold-callers. It changed from someone giving information to be helpful to automatically a nuisance.
Ryan looks to change this perception by generating leads by building trust with the prospects, rather than being aggressive or squeeze them into signing the deal. The way they deliver cold-calls will hopefully in time change the way people perceive them.
The second is they don’t know-how. There’s a serious lack of sales education. If you want to be a lawyer you have to pass the bar. If you want to be a doctor you have to pass the boards. Why isn’t there anything like that for salespeople? Some standard to meet in order for you to enter the profession at some level. So it’s interesting that many people don’t know the best practices. A lot of the time, salespeople use techniques which are bad for both parties.
This is where we have identified processes and methodologies that work if you follow the steps.
Another major hump for cold-calling and prospecting is rejection. It is understandable why it is terrifying. So Ryan’s advise here is to express emotion (sales EQ) but you need to approach the call as if you are coding or solving a math problem. If you can start to adjust your brain to do that, looking at each call as if it’s a single puzzle, the emotion or rejection just becomes part of the puzzle. Look at it like that piece of the puzzle not fitting, so compartmentalise and take the emotion out of it, you can start to see why people might not go forward with you has to do with the way you responded or worked through their problems. It becomes each call is a micro improvement.
Ryan’s tips to get around the ‘gatekeeper’ is to think about them differently or realise that they are a stakeholder in the decision. The way he goes about it is first ‘pass through and engage’ strategy. The strategy that you act confident and get through quickly. If they ask you questions of why or are they expecting your call, you still know that they know enough about the business.
A way to get around those questions is not to lie, as that’s not a way to build trust and these gatekeepers are there to block calls that are untruthful. The key is to be completely transparent and find out the right person you should talk to. This is a position of risk but being upfront will be unexpected and those gatekeepers may actually have influence in the sales.
You need to start looking at the gatekeeper as the way through not the way out. That perception will help you become an ally.
During the peak of the pandemic, Ryan found that a lot of people were not set up to be remote so the calls would go to office lines that were not active. But when they did go through, they were more direct so it would transfer to their decision-makers cell phones. Which ultimately led to fewer conversations and more conversions.
Moving out of the pandemic, he’s seeing more conversations and appointments on a slow incline. Most importantly more consistency.
At Paiger, we’ve seen a change in our strategy to selling since the pandemic, most specifically by selling with empathy. At Superhuman Prospecting they adapted by showing empathy and process to move well out of the pandemic. The expectations then became different.
Ryan sees MQL being converted into SQL with the help of cold calling. Almost the process of passing over a ‘warmer’ lead. After the prospect has had more contact with the business there is a level of trust which has been built already, trust that is hard to build cold. It doesn’t win the conversation but it helps.
Ryan has been trained in the sales mentality but he is selling as a marketer who assumes the trust can be built up so the ‘no’ now becomes a ‘yes’ later.
The sales mentality is to never qualify. There’s a list of people to call but it’s general of the market. You get the interest and then you qualify the lead afterwards via employee no., users etc. This means salespeople taking responsibility for the lead generation. You can’t talk to someone without a phone number, so it’s wrong to assume the salesperson can sell a deal to someone who is qualified purely on email.
They work 90% B2B, although slowly opening up to B2C. It begins as they start to understand the legalities of that. They have begun education on how to interact with the market place by reading up on the acts and laws in place to protect the public.