Should I Only Be Cold Calling Prospects I Convert Most Easily?

Hi Gavin,
I am wondering if you could help me with a problem I currently have. I work for a web development company. We supply our services to designers and web design agencies. In recent weeks I have been calling a list of graphic designers and a list of web designers. For the graphic designers I normally seem to get an appointment from 1 call in 10 (ish), however for the web developers/agencies it seems to be 1 in 25.
I have two questions, firstly, do you think it is worthwhile to contact web agencies where their objections are that they do the website prgramming themselves?
Secondly, if it is, in your opinion; how do you get around the fact that the majority tell you upfront they do it themselves and it is a core business? What would you say to get them to engage further? 

My opinion is my time would be better spent calling design agencies where they may need our services, but i am interested as to what your opinion on the matter is

Thanks for the question. Without more detail this is quite a difficult sales training question and the sort of scenario I will be discussing in my new No Fear Cold Calling teleseminars which will be launched soon.

First off, let’s deal with the question of which client type to ring. The answer to this is not simple as it might seem. Cold calling different clients at different times is going to get different results. You need to pay attention to this and is just one of the reaons why it is important to record your personal sales results so that you know what your success and conversion ratios are for every step of the sale.

I work with many companies where they work on generic figures as ratios. This is fine for beginners just starting out or when you have nothing else but it is important that you start to collate your own information as quickly as possible. Knowing your statistics allows you to ask questions like this one and also to monitor the market, find skills areas in which you can improve and calculate likely results ahead of time.

Anyway, on the face of it, it looks like an open and shut case. You should be ringing the clients where you are getting a 1 in 10 return first. This seems a good investment of your time and a fair result which, with skills training and "call warming", you will be able to improve over time.

That said, 1 in 25 is not bad either and there are plenty of successful cold calling industries where 1 in 25 would form the basis of a very successful business.

Here’s the snag however…

Your conversion ratios are not the only figures in play here. What I have just said ONLY APPLIES if the deal sizes in both clients are the same, if the lifetime value of the clients are the same and if your meeting to sale conversion ratio is the same. To really know that your 1 in 10 clients represent a better use of your time you would need to know the average deal size, the lifetime value of a client and your conversion ratios.

Consider this, if the average deal size in the web agencies was 3 times the size of that in the designers who would now represent the best use of your time? Has that changed your mind?

What if the deal size was the same but the frequency of purchase was 5 times as high thus making the lifetime value of the client higher? Unless you’re desperate for business now that may well change your plans too!

Or what if your conversion ratio was better in one than the other? You’d then need to look at "why" but again that could change your plans.

So, in brief, you’re on the right tracks but make sure that you have all of the figures to hand before making your decision and know that the web agencies will still make good prospects when you have finished!

With regards to the objection that you are getting. I am not surprised that they are saying that. It would seem the quickest way to get rid of cold callers like you! But you have the advantage here because you know that objection is likely and you can plan and prepare for it. What you need here is a good reframe objection handle which allows you to back off into questions.

Ask about what they design, when, where and with whom. You are looking for gaps, challenges and problems with the way they currently do things. You need to find a way that you can add value to their existing approach. Remove this objection and that alone might siginificantly change your ratios!

For more on objection handling check out my book "Objections! Objections! Objections!" and make sure that you join my newsletter as I often talk about objection handling.

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