Sell to Win

Cold FaceTime: Creepy overreach or the ultimate pattern interrupt?

David Vallance
Contributor, Sell to Win
David Vallance
Contributor, Sell to Win
The facetime logo, frozen over with ice.

You’ve heard of cold FaceTime, right?

It was all LinkedIn was talking about for months. Instead of cold emails or calls, you’d dial someone via the FaceTime app, jumping straight to a face-to-face conversation.

At the time, most people thought it was a meme.

But some sales reps saw its potential.

Those salespeople are using cold FaceTime as the ultimate pattern breaker. They’re winning their buyer’s attention, booking meetings, and closing revenue. If you want to follow their success, this guide will show you how.

Is cold FaceTime creepy?

Cold FaceTime had a miserable introduction to the sales industry. When folks started talking about the tactic, the LinkedIn community went wild.

Some just couldn’t believe sales reps had the guts.

Ryan Boulter's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime

Others joked about what tactic would come next.

David Zeff's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime, he jokes that "Cold Kidnapping" is next

Buyers and sellers piled on FaceTime, calling it creepy and invasive. But when the dust finally settled and the hot takes cooled, folks began to wonder whether it really was all that bad.

Junior Lartey, an AE at meeting analysis tool Pickle, put it best, comparing FaceTime pushback to the resistance older tactics once faced: “When receptionists were created: ‘I would never cold knock.’ When email was created: ‘I would never cold-email.’ When cell phones were created: ‘I would never cold-call.’ When texting started: ‘I would never cold-text.’ When face-timing started: ‘I would never cold-facetime.’”

Those old tactics—cold knocks, cold emails, cold calls—are normal now. They’re probably standard tools in your sales toolkit. According to one poll, seven in 10 sales reps already call their prospects’ personal cells. If you’re already calling a prospect’s personal cell, is FaceTiming them all that different?

Some highlight the video component. Speaking to a prospect while they’re having breakfast is one thing. Watching them work through a bowl of Cap’n Crunch is another. If you think a cold video call is too intrusive, long-term sales manager turned consultant Kyle Vamvouris has a suggestion: use FaceTime Audio Call.

“The way I view it is that FaceTime Audio Calls are the exact same thing as calling somebody's phone,” he says. “I treat it like a normal cold call.”

Kyle’s tweak gives his reps another channel without stepping into territory they consider creepy or invasive. It’s a win-win.

At the end of the day, whether cold FaceTime becomes a standard sales tactic isn’t going to be determined by its creepiness. What matters is whether it lands meetings

Ellen Terlizzi's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime
And we had to include this gem. 👏

Does cold FaceTime work?

The short answer is yes.

But here’s the long answer.

The cold FaceTime frenzy was in full swing when Alex Nelson’s Slack pinged. Up popped a screenshot from LinkedIn. This screenshot, in fact.

Sean Tynan's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime not being popular

Along with the image was a simple message from Alex’s manager: “You gotta do this.”

Now, you have to understand that Alex is a rockstar sales rep. He was the highest-performing SDR in his first job out of college and followed it up with a President’s Club gold award in his current role at PandaDoc. He isn’t afraid to hustle, experiment, and innovate.

So he copied the exec’s email into FaceTime and hit call.

One conversation later, Alex had successfully booked a meeting with the Vice President of Sales at Sourcemap.

Alex’s isn’t the only success story. We’ve heard from many reps who’ve successfully landed meetings (and closed deals) via cold FaceTime. Some conversations went so well that their prospects even called them out on LinkedIn.

Jonathan Pogact's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime

Okay, Wilton’s call was nine months ago. Back then, cold FaceTime was still novel and exciting. Everyone was talking about it, but very few reps were actually trying it.

So what about more recently?

Sean Tynan's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime, saying that he answers almost half of them

Sean’s original LinkedIn post made him a prime target for gutsy sales reps. Instead of telling them to get lost, he accepted as many as possible. (He still does apparently.) In a separate post, he even shared how one call inspired him to buy a new piece of software.

These stories are encouraging, but stories are easy to cherry-pick. Data-minded reps will say, “This worked on a handful of prospects. Where’s the proof it’s scalable?” To answer that, I want to share a poll PandaDoc ran on LinkedIn.

A Linkedin Poll about Cold Facetime

The first two results might not surprise you. Prospects love email and like calls. But what about the FaceTime stat? More than one in 10 respondents said they would prefer to receive a cold FaceTime than any other channel.

That’s encouraging, especially when you remember that cold FaceTime calls aren’t going to exist in isolation. Reps will try email, then phone, then social, then FaceTime. (Or a different combination of those channels.) FaceTime doesn’t replace other channels. Instead, it gives sellers another shot at reaching someone.

“You're gonna see an increase in connect rates,” explains Kyle Vamvouris. “There's a big difference between calling the main office line and calling somebody's cell phone number. FaceTime is essentially the equivalent of somebody's cell.”

Katherine Caldwell's Linkedin Post about Cold Facetime
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Proven cold FaceTime scripts

When you’re thinking about dialing your first cold FaceTime, it’s going to feel pretty daunting. What happens if your prospect actually picks up? What’s your goal? What do you say? Times like these, it helps to see what other reps are doing.

So we found sellers and sales teams experimenting with FaceTime and asked them a simple question: When you’re calling prospects on FaceTime, what’s your go-to script?

Here’s what they told us.

Basic cold call script

When Kyle Vamvouris says he treats cold FaceTime like a cold call, he means it. His consultancy Vouris has a go-to cold call script (published below), which he encourages reps to use on both phone and FaceTime.

Part #1: Introduction

Hi, this is [name] from [company]. How’s it going?

<Prospect response>

Part #2: The path

That’s great to hear. The purpose of my call is [value proposition]. I think we can help you, but I’m not 100% sure. Do you mind if I ask a few questions and let you decide if we should chat?

<Prospect response>

Thanks for your time. Typically, we help companies with [challenge #1] and [challenge #2].

I’m curious, which of those resonates with you?

<Prospect response>

Part #3: Finding the gap

Let me ask, why do you think that is?

[Follow-up questions until you find the root cause]

Part #4: The ask

Thanks for filling me in, [name]. From what I’ve heard, you are trying [what they’re trying] to get [whatever challenge resonated]. Why don’t we do this: Let’s set up some time to have a conversation about your current setup and some of our offerings that will help you achieve [their goals].

<Prospect response>

What does your availability look like tomorrow?

Kyle treats cold FaceTime as a supporting channel. He always defaults to phone and email, but will try FaceTime in two situations. One, after three or four unsuccessful touches via email or phone. And two, when he simply can’t find a prospect’s workplace contact details.

Both situations give Kyle another bite at the cherry, another chance to make his pitch before he consigns a lead to the bin. It’s that grit and determination that separates superstar sellers from the pack.

Whale hunting last-ditch touch

Matthew Roberts was several sequences deep when he began to wonder whether he’d ever make contact with his prospect, the CEO of a large security platform. The frustrating thing was his CRM was showing the CEO had more than 10 opens across four or five emails—many of them personalized one-off messages.

“He was very engaged with the content, but I just couldn't get in front of him,” says Matthew, business development lead at Mosaic. “There was nothing else I could do… so I tried this crazy shot.”

That crazy shot was a cold FaceTime.

Here’s how it went.

Part #1: Introduction

“Hey, it's Matt from Mosaic.”

Part #2: Acknowledgement

“I know it’s absolutely insane that I cold FaceTimed you, but I really appreciate you picking up. ”

Part #3: Context

“I've been trying to get in touch with you. I called you last week, but you mentioned it wasn’t a good time. So now I'm here, on your screen, putting a face to the name.”

You know what Matthew’s prospect did? He burst out laughing. He loved it. He promised to introduce Matthew to his head of finance and set up a demo.

Looking back, Matthew describes the tactic as a “hail Mary.” He says he wouldn’t use cold FaceTime at the start of a sequence because it’s high-risk. Sure, this prospect liked his approach but it’s easy to imagine someone biting his head off, too.

Instead, he suggests reps wait until they’ve exhausted all their regular channels. When their white whale is disappearing over the horizon, then it’s time to break out the last-ditch cold FaceTime.

Alternative follow-up channel

Despite his post likening cold FaceTime to now-standard sales tactics like cold calling and cold emailing, Junior Lartey is cautious about the tactic. He says he wouldn’t use FaceTime for truly cold contacts.

“Cold being we haven't had any conversations and I'm still trying to get in front of you,” he explains. “Once someone enters the funnel, it's possible that FaceTime makes sense.”

But he’s had success switching to FaceTime when a prospect gives consent to a conversation or requests a callback. For example, he recently texted a prospect and they responded with “Call me.” Instead of jumping on a voice call, Junior opted for FaceTime and a face-to-face conversation.

“I figured [his call request] was a strong enough invite so I FaceTimed,” he explains. “It was much less ‘cold’ because I was given permission to reach him. You don't really need permission to cold-call, but [having] permission for cold FaceTime seems to be most successful.”

The verdict

Cold FaceTime isn’t a sales silver bullet. It’s not going to fix a broken sales strategy or turn a novice sales rep into a superstar. When you peel away the myths, memes, and LinkedIn frenzy, you’re left with what it is: a sales tactic. Use it well and you’ll boost your connect rates, land new meetings, and close more revenue.

According to Kyle Vamvouris, the difference between success and failure comes down to confidence. “Have you seen those kids on YouTube who carry a ladder and bluff their way into venues?” he asks. “If you walk with confidence and carry a ladder, no one’s going to stop you.”

So dial your prospect on FaceTime, channel Kyle’s “ladder energy,” and see how cold FaceTime works for you.

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