085: Cold calling to win clients with Olivier Lambert of TactikMedia

On the show this week, I had the pleasure of talking with Olivier Lambert of TactikMedia. Olivier is one of a rare breed who actually enjoys cold calling.

In this interview with him, he talks about how he approaches cold calling and how beneficial it has been for winning new clients for TactikMedia.

I had a great time talking to Olivier. He is an awesome guy with a great story. I hope you get a ton of value out of this interview and find ways to utilize cold calling in your agency.

Starting at zero

Olivier had multiple sales jobs before deciding to start his own company. The problem with all of his other jobs was that he just didn’t really like what they were selling. He could sell for them, he just wanted to offer something good.

He thought that he and his brother could offer something better, and that’s where it began.

But, starting a new agency with no existing or previous clients can be difficult. You have to figure out how to get the first people in the door.

For Olivier, the obvious answer was cold calling.

His philosophy was that he couldn’t be sitting around waiting for the phone to ring on his end. He had to call others. They found a niche that they were comfortable working with, he created a prospect list, and began calling.

I absolutely love this approach. I often hear of agencies starting, and people have no clue how to get their first clients through the door. The hard truth is that you can’t rely on SEO, content marketing, or a lot of the other tools used by developed agencies.

You must be proactive in outreach when you are starting out.

Find the ratio

Most people hate cold calling.

They don’t like hearing no, or they are afraid to hear no.

Olivier told me about a job he had working door to door sales where they had to go to companies, give them the sales pitch, and try to sell in the first meeting.

He said that he got tons of people telling him no. In fact, his close rate was about 1 in every 30. And, in door to door sales, you are hearing no directly to your face.

It was during this time that Olivier got very comfortable hearing no. He began to focus less on each individual response and focus more on the ratio.

The trick to selling more was just to go out and have activity.

If you make 50 or 60 or 100 calls, you are going to have sales. If you are uncomfortable with it, you can start smaller, but you have to get the numbers moving. Because, if you do something enough, you are going to start to get a ratio.

What the ratio looks like now

Olivier shared with me his ratio on a typical week. Below are the numbers.

200 cold calls per week
1 meeting per 50 calls
1 out of every 3 meetings closes

As you can see, this workflow results in about 4 new clients every month for TactikMedia.

With focusing on the results, Olivier has developed an extremely positive attitude toward cold calling. He says it feels like fishing.

In fact, he’s even developed a point system to make a game out of cold calling. He gives himself different amounts of points based on whether or not he has talked to the decision maker, booked a follow up, booked a meeting, or closed a deal.

This is a great way to stay motivated and to measure progress and impact.

Don’t sell on the first call

I got to ask Olivier what he says on these calls, and he has his script down pat. But, one thing that is just as important as knowing what you are saying is knowing what you are selling. And, in the case of a cold call, what you should be selling is simply a follow up meeting.

For an agency like TactikMedia, their product is much too big of a purchase to try to sell on the first call. Instead, Olivier just tries to get them to agree to a short, 15 minute meeting to go over some of the ways they could work together.

In fact, he doesn’t even pitch their full services in the meeting.

Here is the flow:
Cold call: Get them to agree to a meeting
Meeting: Get them to agree to do discovery
Post discovery: Get them to buy your services

This approach gives the team at TactikMedia the ability to assess the client (make sure they are the right fit), figure out their needs, and really present their services in a way that both parties can be sure they are getting the most value out of the relationship.

When I asked him how he developed this approach, Olivier said a lot of the ideas came from the 10K Bootcamp from Ugurus.

It is a 10 week class where you get to learn about sales and how to run a web agency. With that class, he has built out his process, which includes paid discovery, and that has allowed him to sign higher dollar deals.

It was great getting to talk to Olivier and hear about his passion for cold calling. If you are someone who has been thinking about starting to do calls, but you are afraid of hearing no, I hope this inspired you to get out there and get some activity going.

Also, be sure to check out TactikMedia and some of Olivier’s favorite resources below.


Go for No - Richard Fenton
Predictable Revenue - Aaron Ross
Jeffrey Gitomer - Sales Bible, Little Red Book of Selling

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