Episode #403: Amy Franko

Conquer Intentional Cold-Calling
Amy Franko


Amy Franko

Amy Franko is the leader in modern sales strategies. She helps mid-market organizations to grow sales results, through sales strategy, advisory, and skill development programs. Her book, The Modern Seller, is an Amazon best seller and she is recognized by LinkedIn as a Top Sales Voice. amyfranko.com.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

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According to Amy Franko, cold-calling is simply intentional outreach. Whether you know them or not, it is intentional. You have to find a connection point to take a cold conversation and warm it up. Cold-calling is one of the best and highest uses of your time. Learn how to conquer cold-calling in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:52] Is cold-calling still relevant? 
  • [1:50] Is cold calling an art and a science? 
  • [2:56] How Amy prepares for cold-calling
  • [4:35] Amy’s effective opening lines
  • [6:01] How to keep a cold call engaging
  • [7:22] Indispensable tools & technology
  • [9:26] Amy’s top cold-calling dos and don’ts
  • [12:24] How Amy combats cold-call rejection

How Amy prepares for cold-calling

You have to be strategic and intentional with your approaches. Amy approaches cold-calling with three goals in mind: 

  • Goal #1: Pique interest. There won’t be a conversation if you don’t build a connection.
  • Goal #2: Uncover a potential opportunity.
  • Goal #3: Determine if there’s potential for a future opportunity or relationship.

If they’re not a good fit now, do you have ways to nurture them—via marketing and automation—to build recognition and familiarity for the future? 

The preparation sets a successful prospector apart. You have to understand the type of connection you’re looking for. You have to stay agile and confident in a conversation. How you show up in the moment is an art. 

Amy’s effective opening lines

Amy called an organization’s CEO—whose contact information was on her website—on her cell phone. Amy shared that she’d read the piece written about her firm. The article covered their need to build a sales function, which was Amy’s expertise. Amy said she could offer her ideas to improve her business. It was enough to pique the CEO’s interest to continue the conversation.

Amy doesn’t like to script her calls because she comes off as scripted. She likes to write down bullet points to track what she wants to cover. She keeps the rest unscripted and focuses on having a conversation. The result is to schedule a second call to spend more time together. 

Amy’s top cold-calling dos and don’ts

Amy’s pointers are priceless: 

  • Be intentional about your goals and approaches: What conversations are most important to you? What are the best approaches to help you get conversations and get better results? 
  • Tackle outreach early in the day whenever possible (or the time of day you have the best energy and odds of being successful). Amy blocks 30–60 minutes and then she moves on.
  • Check who likes and comments on your posts for potential connections and leads for opportunities. Reach out to them.
  • Don’t blame an empty pipeline on outside factors. If your pipeline is empty, it’s because you didn’t do the work 3–6 months ago.
  • Don’t over-measure. Pick 2–3 key metrics to track and keep it simple. When you over-complicate things you’re creating roadblocks to get the work done. 
  • Don’t forget to ask for introductions or give them. They can be your greatest source for outreach.

Which of these great tips is your favorite? 

How Amy combats cold-call rejection

Amy offsets concerns and objections by figuring out what would resonate with her prospects. She’ll do those things to increase the odds of success. What could that look like? 

She’ll educate prospects on a topic that’s important to them. If they have you as a resource to educate them on trends and things they need to know, they’re more likely to have a conversation with you because you’re providing value. Amy stays on top of current topics of interest to her prospects so she’s always ready for a conversation. 

She has a high conversion rate because she focuses on quality over quantity. It reduces the rejection of the initial conversation. 

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Learn More About Amy Franko

What was a pivotal moment or experience in your career that shaped your approach to cold calling, and how did it change your perspective or strategy?

My sales career has always been around complex solution selling and consultative selling. The pivotal moment was realizing my own definition of cold calling, which is intentional outreach. My approach is to create new connections, educate potential prospects and attract them to me/my work. 

Can you share a specific tactic or approach you’ve used in cold calling that significantly increased your success rate? Please provide a brief example or case study.

My #1 goal is to provide new ways of thinking and education for a prospect. I want them to walk away from our initial conversation having learned something. If that happens, my odds of creating an opportunity with them increases significantly. This approach takes an investment of my time; I commit to staying on top of trends and being well read. 

Cold calling often comes with its set of challenges and rejections. Can you share a particularly tough challenge you faced while cold calling and how you overcame it?

Intentional outreach is equal parts planning and implementation. Take a thoughtful approach to planning your target accounts, key people to connect with, and the media you’ll use. Don’t allow planning and metrics to overshadow the work. The two biggest challenges are getting started and staying consistent. The work of today will be realized in the future. 

What are the top three tools or resources (e.g., software, books, training programs) you consider essential for someone looking to improve their cold calling skills and outcomes?

LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are my top tools for research and broadening my thought leadership. Two of my favorite books are Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, and Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount. 

How do you foresee the practice of cold calling evolving in the next few years with advancements in technology and changes in buyer behavior? What advice would you give to sales professionals to stay ahead of the curve?

Our job as professional sellers is to continually adapt, whether that is to technology or to changing buyer preferences. There’s also a balance to remember the fundamentals. No matter the era, modern sellers are indispensable to prospects and clients. I advocate with my clients to allow for a select number of tools and technologies to support your processes, but they aren’t a replacement for professional selling skills.

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