Can You Adapt Winning Energy Switch Cold Call Opener?


We’re back inside Swansea’s Third Largest Call Centre.

Here’s the opening pre-credits scene from the second BBC fly-on-the-wall series.

“Just giving you a quick call-up in relation to helping lower the cost of your energy bills by finding the right tariff available to you. Are you the bill payer?”

“I certainly am.”

Cue Usain-Bolt-style arm movements by above pictured animated agent in full flight.

There’s no context here. So tricky to judge against business objectives, as they say. Yet is there any merit to take from this into our b2b arena?

Whilst I find these 7 seconds delightful, they are not so easily translated into business buyer pitch best-practice.

The first thing to say is that any self-announced “quick call” is bound to be instantly viewed as a cold call. Shackles destined to raise accordingly.

As for the enticement of “lower the cost”, they’ve clearly gone straight for the core cash benefit. In a commodity case, you can see the appeal. In solution environments though, there’s a slew of surveys out there that corporate buyers are aware just how expensive changing suppliers can be. Chowing both time and money. To adapt a phrase de jour, ‘conscious uncustomering’ is costly. Even the notion of a 20% price cut may reportedly not be enough to tempt a switch.

Then there’s “find the right” solution for the prospect. Which kind of suggests that they either may not have the best one at the moment, or that there’s is a now better option only relatively recently open. Again, in procurement-land, any distinction between ‘optimum’ or ’new’ would perhaps need stronger suggestion.

Finally, we have the “are you” the actual person I need to be speaking to, or are you just wasting my time on the phone right now, mister punter? Well. Asking someone this straight out is a recipe for disaster. Even when on a deal with tempo building, asking it can still lead to the misleading response, “yes”. All manner of reasons apply. From wanting to save face to delusionally thinking that they are the decision maker.

As you may know, I have my own preferred cold call structure.

There’s is a typical numbers game approach. Throw enough mud at the wall and some might stick. With the same time honoured folly as a standard direct mail campaign which elicits a 1½% response rate, a hundred dials a day of this heralds a specific expectation of ‘leads’.

The old school rep in me rather admires the zest and delivery of the call centre lady’s 30 words. Yet whilst that may suffice in a consumer focused boiler room, there must be another way in our world.

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