There is some good news and bad news when it comes to trying to improve cold calling. The bad news is that trying harder does not necessarily equal improved results. If we are not executing well, more effort will not always lead to more returns. The good news is that there are tactics and methods that we can easily adopt and implement to improve results and one of those is to name drop.
Name dropping on a cold call is the act of throwing out names at different points to trigger some sort of result or action. There are actually two different points and ways to name drop during a cold call.
Name Dropping with a Gatekeeper
When cold calling, a major portion of our time will be spent talking to gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are the front desk attendants, receptionists, or executive assistants. Our goal will usually be to get through them and have them point us in the right direction and name dropping can help with that.
In many cases, a gatekeeper will be assigned the objective of keeping solicitors and cold callers out. With that being the case, they will have their guard up at a medium level when they answer your call. If you present yourself as a sales person, their guard will increase and they will likely try to shut you down.
One way to decrease the gatekeeper’s guard is to name drop other people in the organization that you have either met with or are planning to meet with. When you do this, you will be present yourself more as an insider than an outsider and this can help to improve cold calling results.
Name Dropping with a Target Contact
When we are able to connect with a target contact, we can name drop again to improve cold calling, but there are multiple ways that we can name drop at this level.
Name Dropping Internal Contacts: Regardless of who we are talking to, we can name drop other people in the organization to improve cold calling. Below are examples of this:
“I spoke with Ann from accounting and she said that you were the right person to speak with.”
“We met with Simon and he shared that this is one of the priorities.”
A common challenge with this tactic is that you might not have any relationships or communications to share. When that is the case, you could say some thing like below:
“We are planning on meeting with Mario Gonzales and since you report to him, we would like speak with you first to prepare for that discuss.”
In reality, we can deliver a statement like this even if we have never spoken with the mentioned contact. We could simply know that the person that we name drop is the ultimate decision maker and we have 100% intentions of meeting with them at some point. With that being the case, we have not been dishonest at all when we say we are planning on meeting with the person in a few weeks or at some point in the future.
Name Dropping other Businesses: At some point on a cold call or in a cold call script, it can be good to name drop other businesses that you work with to build interest and establish credibility and improve cold calling. This could involve mentioning the names of some other clients when you describe what you do.
A great example of this is the language software company Rosetta Stone. In their marketing and sales messaging, they mention that the CIA and NASA use their software. When you hear that, your instant thought is that if those organizations chose Rosetta Stone, it must be a good product. If you name drop like this, you will immediately improve cold calling.