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Cold Calling for Start-up Founders

As a seasoned sales professional with over 10 years of experience, including six years in start-ups, I have seen firsthand the importance of effective sales and distribution for the success of a start-up. In fact, I believe that the main reason start-ups fail is often not due to a bad product, but rather due to poor sales and distribution efforts. That’s why I am a strong believer in the power of cold calling as a tool for startup founders looking to grow their businesses and achieve success.

In this article, I will outline the top five reasons why more startup founders should embrace cold calling and provide five techniques that introverted startup founders can use to get started.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, cold calling refers to the practice of reaching out to potential customers or clients by phone or email without having any prior contact or relationship with them. It may seem intimidating at first, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be a highly effective way to generate leads and close deals.

5 Reasons Founders Should Embrace Cold Calling

Here are five reasons why more startup founders should embrace cold calling:

  1. It allows you to reach a wide audience quickly. Cold calling allows you to reach out to a large number of potential customers or clients in a short period of time. This can be especially valuable for startups looking to get their products or services in front of as many people as possible.
  2. It allows you to test your messaging. Cold calling gives you the opportunity to pitch your products or services to a variety of people and see how they respond. This can help you refine your messaging and learn what works and what doesn’t.
  3. It helps you build relationships. While cold calling may not result in a sale right away, it can help you build relationships with potential customers or clients. These relationships can lead to future business opportunities down the road.
  4. It’s a way to differentiate your startup. Many startups struggle to stand out in a crowded market. Cold calling can help you differentiate your business by giving you the opportunity to directly connect with potential customers or clients and explain why your products or services are better than the competition.
  5. It’s a skill that can be learned. Cold calling may not come naturally to everyone, but it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon with practice. Introverted startup founders can start by identifying their strengths and using them to their advantage when cold calling. For example, if you are a good listener, use that skill to really understand the needs and concerns of the person you are speaking with.

5 Techniques Start-up Founders can use

Now, let’s look at five cold calling techniques that introverted startup founders can use to get started:

  1. Prepare a script. It can be helpful to have a script or outline of what you want to say when cold calling. This can help you stay focused and avoid awkward pauses or gaps in the conversation.
  2. Practice your delivery. Practice makes perfect, so take some time to practice your cold calling script with a friend or colleague. Pay attention to your tone and pace, and try to sound confident and sincere.
  3. Use open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” response. They encourage the person you are speaking with to share more information and can help you better understand their needs and concerns.
  4. Be prepared for objections. It’s natural for people to have objections when being sold to, so be prepared to address common objections and have counterarguments ready.
  5. Follow up. If you don’t get a response after your initial cold call, don’t be afraid to follow up. It’s important to be persistent, but also respect the other person’s time and boundaries.

In conclusion, cold calling can be a powerful tool for startup founders looking to grow their businesses. While it may not come naturally to everyone, it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon with practice. By preparing a script, practicing your delivery, using open-ended questions, being prepared for objections, and following up, introverted startup founders can effectively use cold calling to generate leads and close deals.

Will you Take Action?

As a startup founder and salesman myself, I can tell you that the key to success in business is to take action. And when it comes to getting your first customers, there is no better action to take than picking up the phone and making cold calls.

I know, I know – the thought of cold calling can be intimidating. It’s easy to feel like you’re bothering someone, or that they’re not going to be interested in what you have to offer. But let me tell you, those are just excuses. The truth is, if you don’t make the call, you’ll never know what could have been.

So, let me ask you – what’s holding you back? Are you afraid of rejection? Let me tell you, I’ve been rejected plenty of times in my career. But each and every time, I learned something new and used it to become a better salesperson.

Or maybe you feel like you don’t have the right skills or experience to cold call. Trust me, anyone can learn to cold call effectively. It’s just a matter of finding your own style and being persistent.

So let me tell you, the key to cold calling and success in business is to take action.

When it comes to getting your first customers, there is no better action to take than picking up the phone and making cold calls. You never know who you might reach, or what opportunities might come your way.

So don’t wait any longer – pick up the phone and start cold calling. The only thing you have to lose is the chance to grow your business and achieve success. Believe in yourself, and take action today. So, pick up the phone and start dialing. The only thing you have to lose is the chance to grow your business and achieve success. Believe in yourself, and take action today.

Are you a startup founder looking to grow your business and increase sales?

Book Cover of the book "Your First Customer – The Cold Calling Guide for Startup Founders" written by Marius Schober

Look no further than my book on cold calling for startup founders. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to get every customer who should buy your product to actually make a purchase. You’ll also discover a lean-selling method to test your product-market fit, identify the right decision makers and leads, and avoid common pitfalls on the phone. Additionally, you’ll learn how to use clever argumentation to win customers, recognize buying thresholds and overcome objections, master trade fair visits, and use LinkedIn and cold emails to complement your cold calling efforts. And that’s not all – you’ll also learn how to build a personal brand to unleash your full potential in sales. Don’t miss out on this invaluable resource for startup founders looking to maximize their sales success through cold calling.

The best? You can read it for FREE or you can get a print version on Amazon.


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There’s No Excuse for Making Cold Calls

I couldn’t believe what I read this morning on LinkedIn. Somebody proposed, if you see an interesting sales prospect on LinkedIn, to not message him and ask for a demo or meeting but instead do the following (quote):

“You have to warm her/him up first:

  1. go to her/his profile
  2. like and comment something witty
  3. one week break
  4. see 2.
  5. wait…!
  6. get him to answer one of your comments
  7. THEN the message comes with a situational speech.”

Why would I do this? If you want to build a personal long-term relationship with this person, I get it. However, if your job requires you to sell, this is – in my opinion – the lamest excuse for not making a cold call ever.


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“Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”

This quote is taken from Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” gave me the chills when I read it. The question Seth Godin answers in his book is: what makes some few organizations, teams, and individuals so successful while others vanish in mediocrity?


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Better Call Everyone Back!

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Upselling Done Wrong

Today I received the felt 100th call from my mobile operator. Let’s call them by name: Telekom. Telekom is, by the way, the German mother company of the U.S. T-Mobile.