The Anatomy of the First Contact


The Anatomy Of The First Contact

The first contact. In fact, that is exactly what Zefram was named after. Once upon a time, in the world of Star Trek, there was a character named Zefram Cochrane. He did something extraordinary – he made the first contact between humans and other intelligent creatures. This fictional story is described in the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996).

Both in tales and in real life, the first contact is always important, but often also overlooked. Just like in many other countries, B2B cold calls happen on a daily basis here in Finland. Many company decision-makers and key personnel can confirm that their phones tend to ring a lot, let’s say on a normal Wednesday morning. Typically, these calls follow a pattern like this:

Caller: Hello, this is Carl Carlson, am I speaking to Boris Jackson?
Boris: Yes, how can I help?
Caller: Do you have a moment to chat?
Boris: How can I help?
Caller: I’m calling from company X, and we would like to offer our software, which is really good for companies like yours. It would really suit you well! According to a study from last year, good services are in high demand in companies like yours…
Caller: Could we schedule a 30-minute meeting with our expert sometime next week?

The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t really offer anything concrete to the recipient. Additionally, the caller’s approach doesn’t change much even if the call doesn’t yield results. They would simply make a new, similar call to another company.

The art of building trust and securing meaningful meetings

When you talk to a stranger to propose a deal, you need to gain a certain amount of trust. Since the other party is not known, it would be fantastic to create an environment that the other cannot easily leave. For this reason, arranging a meeting is a great next step. However, many fail at this point. The seller’s mindset is often: “It doesn’t matter what we talk about, as long as we manage to book a meeting.”

At Zefram, our thinking is different. We believe that the results would be better if we were to announce the goal directly at the beginning and build trust throughout the conversation. Let’s have a look at an example:

Caller: “Hello, my name is Carl Carlson. I called you because:
– I would like to sell you a software that has the potential to streamline your sales process and help you find new clients.
– We offer you predictive analytics that can save your sales team hours of work each week.
– I’ve looked into your company’s profile and based on our current clients’ successes, I believe that our solution could bring similar positive outcomes for you as well.
– My data strongly suggest that your company would be a great fit!
– I would be happy to share concrete case studies and data-driven proof with you in a discussion.
– So, I’m proposing a meeting to present these facts, giving you an insightful external perspective on your business.
– Would a 30-minute slot next weeks Thursday work for you?”

In this example, the agenda is clearly defined. This makes the actual meeting much easier because if they agree to a meeting, they have also accepted the agenda. Trust remains intact, and any doubts about hidden motives are dispelled. Even if a meeting is not booked, it’s still a small victory as we got the chance to tell about the value we are offering, thus leaving the door open for future conversations.

Navigating first contacts with the power of machine

At Zefram, we understand the nuances of successful first contacts. That’s why we leverage AI and data analytics to guide our conversations, build trust, and offer value right from the start. Each successful first contact is not merely a step toward a beneficial agreement. It’s a marker of a newly formed bond, laying the groundwork for shared growth and success.