I’ll be honest – I don’t cold call anymore because, well, it sucks.
I’ve dedicated years to building an inbound lead system (YouTube, SEO, etc) – so I wouldn’t need to cold call.
When I first started out I didn’t have a choice – I had no traffic, no clout and no audience.
I cold called because it was the best method to land clients.
I did what I had to do to help my business succeed.
Cold calling can erode your brand – it’s important to execute this the right way.
Cold calling successfully requires 4 things:
- A strategy to pre-qualify prospects (i.e. not calling random businesses)
- A well thought out process that maps out the most used rebuttals
- An air tight script
- A tough mental attitude – you will hear “no” (and worse) a lot
In this guide, I’m going to give you the strategy, process and script to cold call and close digital marketing clients.
The rest is on you!
1. Prospect for “warm” opportunities
We want to take as much of the “cold” out of this process as possible. We do that by calling people who stand to benefit from our services.
I like to target businesses that are:
- Not ranking in organic search
- Currently paying for AdWords
This guarantees 3 things:
- This business has a marketing budget
- They’re invested in growth
- They understand the basic concept of SEO
We want to be on and off the phone as quickly as possible – we don’t want to spend 20 minutes explaining ourselves.
Finding targets is simple and easy to outsource:
- Create a Google Sheets document
- Build a list of keywords targeting the industry’s or clients you’d like to work with. For example, if you want to work with attorneys some sample keywords might be Miami DUI attorneys, Miami attorneys, etc
- Add columns for contact info
- Pass this off to a virtual assistant (VA) and tell them to fill it based on businesses that are advertising with pay per click ads (PPC) but are not ranking organically on the 1st page
Once they’re done, you’ll have a list of dozens of not-so-cold leads to call.
2. Hold on! Before you pick up the phone…
I just want to cover a few quick pointers before you start firing off phone calls.
- The script is built with the end goal to set a follow up meeting (either in person or on the phone). Therefore, you want to keep the call as quick as possible. Peak their interest and get their permission to set a follow up meeting.
- Speak quickly and confidently. Dictate the pace of the conversation with the tone of your voice and your genuine interest in helping them.
- This call is about them, not us. Don’t beat your chest – focus on how you can provide them value.
- Before you call them, pull up their data in Google’s Keyword Planner. This will help to illustrate how much money they’re spending and how much they’d be saving my switching to SEO.
Always keep in mind you are not a telemarketer – you are a marketing consultant who genuinely wants to help that person grow their business.
Your goal is to set an appointment with one of our specialists – we always want to drive them towards a yes.
3. Dealing with “gate keepers”
A “gate keeper” is usually a person assigned to answer the phones and screens calls, it’s generally a secretary or admin. It’s critical t understand how to get the decision makers on the phone.
→ If you get a secretary / admin
Good afternoon! I’m looking for [business owners name]. If you could let him know it’s [YOUR first name], [YOUR first and last name], thank you.[If they ask what it’s about]: I’m calling in regards to your website.
→ If you get a voicemail
Hello, my name is [Your name] with [Your Business]. I found your business through a Google ad and I wanted to extend this offer from one local business to another. We can drastically lower your monthly ad spend while driving better results through a process called search engine optimization. We’ve ranked over 1,500 websites on the first page of Google searches and I guarantee that we can do it for yours as well. To speak directly to one of our specialists, please call [Insert Number] or visit us at [Insert Website]. Have a great day!
4. Use our cold calling script and process
The process below maps out the exact route you should take when on the phone. Stick to what’s written in the boxes and always try and drive towards your main goal. Be alert and anticipate what they’re going to say next. Always be one step ahead.
5. Sample rebuttals and FAQs
Your calls will never go as smoothly as planned above. People will ask questions and try and force you off script. The following questions are the most common you will receive. The end goal is to answer the question intelligently and politely ask them the question at the end of each. We want them to say “yes” so we can then ask again to set up an in person appointment.
“What is SEO?”
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid organic search results. Other search engine marketing includes targeting paid listings (adwords/pay-per-click). In general, the higher on the search engine results page, and the more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. 70% of all users click on the first page of Google. Is getting a higher placement on Google something you would like to do for your business?
“What are your prices?”
Our prices vary depending on the amount of competition in your vertical – if I were to give you a blanket minimum it is $499/month. Our prices our built on what it takes to get your website to the first page within 30-60 days. With that being said, we ourselves are a small business and we are willing to work with your budget and build a campaign that will still drive results. In addition, unlike others we don’t work on contracts. We work month-to-month so if we aren’t getting you results, you no longer have to pay us. Is this something you are interested in hearing more about?
“Is this Illegal/Is this blackhat?”
We use only industry accepted methods and are committed Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. We do not endorse blackhat methods, nor do we believe in the results they produce. SEO is not illegal, and is a widely accepted industry. I’ve used SEO in the past and it didn’t work. Our website gives actual examples of companies that we have done case studies in the past. These numbers indicate that we have increased the number of phone calls to businesses by 100% in some cases, and increased the number of website inquiries in many different scenarios. Is increasing inbound phone calls something you would be interested in hearing more about?
“We’re already paying for SEO”
I’m looking at Google search results right now and I don’t see your website on the first page. The bottom line is if you aren’t ranked on the first page, the SEO isn’t working. 75% of all clicks in search engines take place on first page listings – if you aren’t ranked there you are wasting money. Is ranking on the first page something you’re interested in?
“How do you get my website listed on the top?”
This is at technical answer, and we normally let the technicians answer this, however: We use white hat methods such as: website backlinking, content marketing, and social media to improve the quality of your website. Would you like to receive more visitors to your website and more customers by using SEO?
“(X Company) offers SEO for $99/month.”
We are aware that other companies are offering SEO packages for $99/month. It is important to realize what you are getting when you sign up for a company like this. This company will merely submit your URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing, and use a cookie cutter system for each website. That is not enough effort to take in order to get your website placed on the top of Google. Is getting a higher placement on Google something you would like to do for your business?
“My brother/cousin/sister/myself is going to do it”
We respects the do-it yourself attitude, and our roots are planted in the entrepreneurial spirit. SEO is not magic, and it can be done at home, however most individuals do not have the expensive software and the man hours that it takes to get a website listed on Google, nor do they have the time. Unfortunately what happens most of the time when people attempt to do SEO is that they misplace backlinks, and cause irreparable damage to their site that will prevent them from getting ranked on the top of any search engines. In some cases Google will actually sandbox the website for a period of 12-36 months so even your current customers can’t find you. We’d be happy to send someone to your business to discuss this in detail.