Breaking Cold Calls: Cook Up Your Cold Calling Game with AI Roleplay

By: Kathy Enriquez-Nguyen
March 5, 2024

Cold calling is nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing, yet, it is still one of the best channels to reach prospects. It allows you to reach your clients directly and not have to wait to receive a response from them, if even. In a world of instant gratification, you get one shot at making a good first impression and cold calling allows you to add your personal touch. By adding your own touches and working on your delivery, you set yourself apart from the crowd. Especially since prospects are constantly bombarded with automated cold emails and LinkedIn connection requests.

Today, we’re jumping into the secrets of what makes a successful cold call, with our AI roleplay software taking center stage. Using samples from our video below (Feel free to skip the video if you can’t handle Saul Goodman’s sass 😉), we’re here to break it down and explain the reasoning behind our words. So let’s buckle up because we’re going to cook up a recipe that Walter White would be proud of!

1. Pattern Interrupt & Ease of Conversation

A pattern interrupt is the unexpected act of taking one’s mind from one space to another. It’s a technique that is useful for sales. Set yourself apart from the crowd by saying something unexpected. You can even say “Hey, this is a cold call” rather than just pitching right off the bat. Also, by saying something different, the prospect may pay you a bit more attention to what you’re going to say seeing as you have already acknowledged it’s a cold call and they know what to expect. Your goal is to create a more positive experience for the prospect.

Another good way to warm them up would be to ask them if they’ve heard of your name before like we did in the sample below. Whether they recognize it or not, you can tailor your response.

A different point but if you keep your question to a yes or no, it’ll make for an easy conversation. Soon you will have prospects “say your name”!

“Saul: Hey, Saul Goodman, Speedy Enablement

Michael: Hey Saul, this is actually a cold call. The reason for my call is because we work with a couple of similar sales organizations like yours in Albuquerque and help them prep their reps to have the best sales conversations with prospects. By the way, this is Michael from SellMeThisPen. Have you heard our name before?”

2. Match Prospect’s Energy

In the crazy world of sales, your energy is everything and you want to match your prospect’s energy. It’s not about Breaking Bad; it’s about breaking through. If they’re enthusiastic, go nuts and have fun! Be Saul Goodman in this case, energetic and full of rizz. If they’re more laid back, maybe tone it down a bit. You may want to channel your inner Heisenberg for this, show your calm and focused side. Just don’t be a Jesse and annoy people.

It’s all about reading the room, having a real conversation instead of reading a script and most importantly being human!! Our only rule is to have fun and AI roleplay will allow you to practice your calls as much as you want to become a chemistry master by the time you’re ready to make your first live call.

“Saul: No, I haven’t heard your funky name! SellMeThisPen, ha! What is that you do?

Michael: It is definitely one of those names, we get a lot of love and hate at the same time but hey people don’t forget it! Haha!”

3. Reflecting Prospect’s Language

In addition to matching your prospect’s energy, pay attention to their language and use of words too. It’s important to never assume something about your prospects. Simply just ask and have them elaborate on certain words when unclear to you, it will also allow you to build a connection with your prospect. This will keep them talking and be more clear with their problem.

In the example below, you repeat back the word “everyone”, but do it in a form of a question. Who are the everyone they are referring to? There are billions of people in this world, surely they couldn’t have spoken to every single one of them. This will get them to open up to you and tell you what they mean.

“Saul: Michael, it is interesting but everyone promises the same thing?

Michael: Sorry Saul, you said everyone?”

4. Account Research

When it comes to research, you need to learn how to strike a balance. There will be days when you could be doing hundreds of cold calls and will be asking yourself “Who the hell has time for that?!”. But researching doesn’t mean you’ll be writing up essays about each person you’re calling, it’s as easy as hopping on LinkedIn and just taking a peek at a couple of posts to see what they’re up to. This will give you a purpose and angle when you call.

This also shows your prospects that you care enough to take a bit of time to learn about them and will respect you for it. They may even give you a bit of time to get to your pitch.

“Saul: Yeah, I receive a lot of calls and emails from tech companies promising the same. What’s so different about you?

Michael: Saul, I am not sure who called you in the past so I cannot compare! But I noticed one of your sales managers Jessie Pinkman just hired three pretty green reps and I’m just calling to see if you’d be open to learning about an unusual but effective idea that might help you folks fasten your ramp time by 3x while making sure reps deliver best sales conversations with clients.”

5. Budget Objection

It’s easy to lose hope when we hear someone saying no and that they don’t have the budget. But keep in mind, that this a cold call and nobody really thinks about budget from the get-go. Believe it or not, people will spend money, if the solution you’re offering will solve their problems. So the goal is to understand the reasons behind the objections. If we dig for a reason, we can work our way through the problem with them.

You also want to understand if the objection is a real concern or if the prospect is trying to respectfully get rid of you. If you’re in the later stages of the sales and you hear the objection, that’s because there’s a good reason they’re bringing it up. But from the first call, simply just dig in and understand the reasoning before assuming there’s no money to be spent.

“Saul: Look man, I like the fact that you took your time learning about our business but we have a budget freeze on all tech-related stuff.

Michael: I don’t doubt you man, 2023 is been crazy for everyone. But if I am not overstepping my boundaries, have you ever seen a non-budgeted project get funding if the problem you’re facing is making a big enough impact on the business?”

6. Share Customer Pain Points + Client Story

Everything needs a conclusion, whether it be movies, books, or hell, even this blog post, a sales cold call isn’t any different. It’s like putting a bow on top of a present. So how do we do that with a cold call? We wrap it up by sharing client stories, who have similar problems and are using our product. Sharing a client story lets your prospect have a bit more confidence in you and see there might be value in speaking with you a tad longer.

Keep in mind that a cold call isn’t meant to sell them the product, it’s to get them to meet with you again. The goal is to get your prospect interested enough to meet with you again and learn what others are doing to solve similar challenges.

“Saul: You've done your homework, I'll give you that. Reminds me of a younger, less handsome me. But I still don’t know exactly what is that you do.

Michael: Well, we work with sales enablement leaders at companies like POLLOS HERMANOS AND SALAMANCAS CORP, who really care about increasing revenue by upskilling their current sales reps and properly ramping new hires. They typically say managers don’t have enough bandwidth to coach reps individually and since enablement teams are getting smaller and smaller they can’t spend a ton of time on call recording reviews to find areas of improvement. We built an AI Coach to solve these challenges. Now would that be a terrible idea to book a call for next week so you can learn more about how others actually leverage this technology?”

7. Power By Numbers

In sales, power lies in numbers, not just prices, but the number of people involved. Increase your chance of success by adding other decision-makers to the next call. Why? We want to avoid surprises along the way, by adding in decision-makers early, we can detect if everyone is aligned and we can deal with concerns early on. Another reason why we would add another decision-maker to the call is that sometimes the person we are talking to may not have all the purchasing power, even though they helped us get through the hoops. Think of them as allies, when we are not in the room with decision-makers, they can vouch for us.

When it comes to booking the next call, you need to also let the prospect feel that they’re the one in control. Nobody likes you making decisions for them. On top of adding in other decision-makers on the next call, you want to make sure that the next call can happen. There are a few ways to do that through how you phrase things that may avoid them saying no.

You can ask “Would it be a terrible idea to book a call with you?” instead of “I suggest we book a call.” Not many will say “Yes, it’s a terrible idea” but most will say no if you’re suggesting something. So make them feel at ease, don’t force anything and let them feel they also have control.

“Saul: Works, I can do it at 1 PM ET

Michael: Sure, before I send the invite, do you think anyone else from your team might benefit from attending the call?”

Conclusion: Breaking Boundaries, Breaking Bad Style

Now armed with the secrets of a successful cold call and AI roleplay as your weapon, you will become the Walter White of winning deals with all the practice you will be receiving. Continue to practice with your AI roleplay buddy, it doesn’t have to be perfect but it will help you be on your way to being less scared of doing cold calls. Break bad on traditional sales approaches, embrace the uncertainty and level up your sales game. Say my name!

Be well prepared for any sales conversation.