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Stefan Boyle is the founder of Marketing Republic. His business, based in Watford, works with clients to provide sales leads, far more qualified than can be got by telemarketing companies. They deploy an approach named Cold Calling 2.0. This approach creates a greater depth of engagement with new clients. Each prospect receives personalised emails in addition to calls for those who have engaged.

It’s all about starting new conversations.

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Stefan is a printer by trade. From a child, he wanted to be a printer. He worked for his Dad’s printer firm. Working in printing, he discovered how reluctant his sales people were to cold call. The problem wasn’t his sales teams, the problem belonged to himself. He needed to help them to find sales leads. He didn’t have the right skills and processes.

Stefan learned online marketing. He became a sales and marketing sponge. He started to think about the ideal client. Your ideal avatar.

When you look at YOUR client base how many are like this?

“Nobody starts a business to say, what I really want are clients who continually complain, who drive me down on price, who never pay on time, and just moan about everything and it’s a soul destroying activity.”

This phrase was a lightbulb moment. He noted that his own marketing company’s collateral was poor. He focused more on design. This got him thinking about how he could add more value to clients. He moved to online lead generation. It coincided with a reduction in print in 2008. Change was forced upon him.

His bigger picture was he needed more customers. It wasn’t about producing brochures to be send out. He wanted to go further. One book helped him more than any other, and introduced him to cold calling 2.0.

Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross – available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA

He tested the approach in this book. And cold calling 2.0 worked. So much so that Stephan now provides it as a core service to customers. He calls his cold calling 2.0 service OUTREACH.

So, what is cold calling 2.0?

Cold calling doesn’t work, particularly in B2B. There are many many barriers to protect the person you want to talk to from the old fashioned cold call. The key feature of cold calling 2.0 is that by the time you actually make the call it is actually quite warm.

Start with data. Profile your ideal customer. Build a database. Send a simple non-HTML email, saying “Dear Mr A, I’m looking for the person who does XYZ in your business, please point me in the right direction”. Via an email conversation, set up a call, On the call you are qualifying in and out, and agree the next steps – for him this is a hand-over to his clients.

This has become his number one service. He starts conversation. His job title is now, Chief Conversation Starter.

What does OUTREACH stand for?

(Contact Stefan about his training course for those who want to run this in-house.)

O = Opportunity. All about your pitch. Varies by job profile or marketplace. You might end up providing the same solution but you vary the message. What is their biggest pain point? We all make assumptions about WHY people buy from them. Are you clear why your clients deal with you FROM YOUR PROSPECTS PERSPECTIVE.

U = Understand. Know their decision-making process. How you start the conversations. Make sure your approach resonates with your marketplace.

T = Testing. Put in practice. Test the data, sectors, location, a whole range of aspects to continually test. Test every element of it relentlessly.

R = Research. The database. If you want a sector, are there enough prospects out there? Is there a big enough market? Stefan hasn’t been able to make list-broker data work. Stefan researches his own data. It is far better to research the market, understand them. Predictable activity is key. A certain amount of activity creates a certain amount of income.

E = Email. This is when you start building a campaign. Start with 5 emails. First one looks for a referral. Next one is “when is a good time for 5 minutes”. They find emails from the public domain. All this is about targeting senior executives. They get 30% response often. A response, not for us, remove us, or a positive response. Sometimes Stefan’s firm disqualifies people. Above all they remain courteous. His break-up email – makes people smile. A nice humorous.

A = Acquire. Starts a positive conversation. It’s not a 10-minute pitch. They position at the same level as the person you are calling. Are we right for each other? They start to build understanding of the prospects current position. When will they let a contract? They build intelligence.

C = Call. It’s the key questions you use. Ask pertinent questions about the problem they have about the solution you provide. Go back to your ideal customer profile and think about the problems you solved them. Tie in the questions to your ideal customer profile.

H = Hand-over. They are the front 10% of their client’s sales process. When you hand over to a sales person, make sure all the intel is correct. Tick all the boxes that a sales person needs to be able to close the sale. Ask what do your sales people want and then work backwards so they can make best use of the information from the previous steps. If I’m talking to senior people, ‘do you have budget’ is often not appropriate to ask, because they will make the budget available if your solution makes sense for them.

How would you implement cold calling 2.0 in the next 100 days?

#1 Get your ideal customer profile completed.

Target the right people. Look at your best clients. The bottom line. Do they value what you do. Talk to them. Sectorise big databases. Why do you work with us? Would you recommend us? All this helps you with your messaging.

Then go out and find more of them.

#2 Testing

Stefan Boyle uses LinkedIn. He recommends you optimise your profile so it talks to your IDEAL CUSTOMER. Reach out on LinkedIn by reaching out to a hit list, they fit your ideal customer list. Test, refine and scale.

#3 Telephone Strategy.

Define what you want from the telephone call. Be clear about your outcome. You are interrupting people, so be clear about your outcome, what does it look like?

How to contact Stefan Boyle

Contact Stefan Boyle:

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The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby