The Sales Evangelist (cold-calling, prospecting)

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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

How to Double Your Cold-Calling Contacts

 

Cold-calling has always been part of the sales process. Many salespeople can struggle with this aspect of the job but it’s a critical part of gaining new prospects. The more you call, the greater the odds that they will turn into great leads. 

 

David Walter ran a call center for thirteen years and is currently a coach. He is also the author of the book, The Million Dollar Rebuttal and Stratospheric Lead Generation Secrets. David also worked with the American Bank i, and then helped his father sell million-dollar HVAC equipment. The recession then hit, however, and David had to look for another job. 

 

David reads a lot as part of his training and personal development. He credits his exposure to quality books as being a catalyst to the life he has today.  With the culmination of his experience and knowledge, David has been able to revolutionize the concept of cold-calling from the ground up. 

 

Mistakes salespeople make

David did training with SDRs in Plano and made a video series to help them learn more about cold-calling. When they were doing their calls, however, they were just calling the wrong numbers and weren’t getting anywhere. They weren’t able to make any useful contacts. Based on a study, 70% of contact information is incorrect and 55% of the people you call may not be available to talk to. These “dead” numbers can eat up a sales rep’s valuable hours. However, David assures us all is not lost. 

 

During David’s years in the call center he was always on the hunt for the perfect list. The lists were supposed to be verified but he found that it wasn’t the case. He learned his lesson and decided to release the idea of a perfect list. Instead, he opted for a basic format with the names of the companies and put it in a simple CRM like Crmble. He also developed a script that he still uses to get “gatekeepers” to provide needed information. He did this by listening to natural calls and getting back to the basics.  

 

For example, David used to work with a distributorship and it involved him answering calls. He noticed that if a person just used a first name when asking for a contact, the caller sounded more confident and there was an air of authority and familiarity that he’d immediately respond to. David realized he could use this “first name” technique to qualify contacts. 

Ask the basic questions first

David also observed that people often have an easier time if you ease them into answering a series of questions.Confirming an address is an easy way to get someone to open up. Ask your way into more information little by little.  

 

David will typically start at LinkedIn when qualifying a new company.  Oftentimes, LinkedIn has the most updated information about the company name and can access a list of employees to know who he should call. 

 

Cold-calling is not a numbers game

Many sales people perceive cold-calling as the hardest part of the job. In truth, cold-calling can be at the same level as other activities if looked at in the right way. With anything worth doing, it may seem hard at first but with practice and the right instruction, it becomes easier. 

 

In Will Smith’s movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, Will’s character didn’t call his list from top to bottom. What he did was skip names and call randomly. While Walter Ribbon didn’t buy from Will, he got invited to a game where Will Smith was able to build a network with important people. Just know that if your goal is to make an appointment with 15 people, you need to call at least 40 people. 

 

Qualifying your data

Qualifying data is important so sales people aren’t wasting their time. The key to cold-calling is to keep calling the companies at least three to four times a day within 3-4 days. Sales reps hesitate to do this because they’re afraid of burning the list but if you do it the right way,this can be avoided. The way not to burn your list is to make your calls short and as natural as possible.    

 

In addition to using the first name method,  don’t leave a voicemail. Leaving a voicemail can be the cause of burning a list. Keep your call short and sweet and change your opening with each call. 

 

The other strategy David uses is, “Hey, I’m calling for Donald but he’s probably gone for the day.” David mimics a negative attitude that most gatekeepers have and uses it to position them to offer something positive.  They will often want to counteract the negativity.

 

Give that chill attitude 

David also discovered that the less you seem to care, the more people will give you what you need. You don’t want to sound desperate over the phone. With a more laid back attitude you will be more likely to talk to the person you want to talk to.




Prospects may not have needs 

Most prospects don’t actually believe  they need to change. Looking for prospects who know their needs can be like looking for a needle in a haystack yet this is what salespeople are looking for. What can you do as a sales rep? You can realize they are not saying No, they’re saying that they are comfortable with what they have; however, that doesn’t rule out the possibility they need to make a change. 

 

The Power Habit book talked about a remarkable story about Febreze. When it was first launched , the product failed even though it was a good one. They sent researchers out to figure out the reason why. They visited one homeowner with cats in her house. When they entered the house, the putrid smell of cats overwhelmed them. Despite the homeowner using the product, however, the scent remained. The problem was the homeowner couldn’t smell it because she’d gotten used to the smell of her own cats. Prospects can be like these cat owners. They are so used to the same process, they don’t even smell a problem anymore. Your job is to reveal a better alternative and offer something better. Even when they are happy with what they have, you can still offer improvements.

 

How to Double Your Cold-Calling Contacts” episode resources

Reach out to David Walter via his LinkedIn account. You can also read his books to understand cold-calling more! 

If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald directly. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Direct download: TSE_1308.mp3
Category:cold-calling, prospecting -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

How To Get Cold Prospects To Genuinely Listen

 

Every call to a prospect provides an opportunity to get a sale. Your job is to move the odds in your favor and you do this about strategizing the right approach in that initial call. With the right preparation, your prospects will genuinely want to listen to what you have to say.  

 

About 25% of the phone calls you make are answered by the person you are reaching out to. Now that you have them on the phone, however, what do you say to maintain their interest? In cold-calling,  every second matters, every word matters. In this episode, Donald will offer tips on how to excel in cold-calling by grabbing your prospects’ attention, and eventually make an appointment and hopefully, a sale. 

 

Grab your prospects’ interest

Cold-calling can be difficult and when you let your nerves get the best of you you can end up rambling. Before you know it, they’ve hung up on you. You need to do what you can to ensure the call is successful and a lot of that success is going to be based on how you prepare long before the call happens. 

 

If you are getting to talk to people only 25% of the time,  the other 75% of your time is spent going straight to voicemail so don’t waste that opportunity! You can still leave an interesting message for them to listen to. Donald learned that there are two things people want to know - your identity and purpose. Human beings have a primal need to know if someone is friend or foe. Prospects can get very defensive the moment they perceive they are part of a cold call.  As a salesperson himself, Donald is one who listens and engages in conversation and sometimes, he provides tips as well. Donal would always give them the benefit of the doubt but he is more the exception than the rule.  

 

Putting yourself in their shoes

When making cold calls, put yourself in their shoes. Think about what might be on their minds at that moment. If they don’t know you, the person answering the phone will wonder who you are and why you’re calling. In this scenario, Donald employs the POR strategy or Point of Reference. Everyone you’re calling will automatically distinguish and categorize you as either a friend or a foe depending on your initial statement. Your job is to give them a point of reference to extend the conversation. 



Using a referral

One way to provide a point of reference is a referral. For example, Donald wants to call an organization  about sales training. In that first call, he’ll  ask to speak to someone in the finance department.  Once he’s connected he then asks that person who is in charge of their sales training. Once he’s given the name, he asks this initial contact if it’s okay to use their name as a reference. Let’s say Donald is prospecting Dave Smith.  After he calls finance, he calls Dave saying, “Hey Dave, Megan from Finance told me to connect with you about sales training.” Dave will now give Donald the time because he knows Megan, Donald’s point of reference. Dave from sales training is now willing to listen to Donald and hear his proposal.

 

Connecting via LinkedIn

Another point of reference you can use is by initially connecting to your prospect through LinkedIn or some other platform before you make the first call. You can send them an email or  private message. Once this is done, you can open the call with, “Hey Linda, we connected on LinkedIn last week...” This prompts Linda to look at her messages to find you and if your message is well done, your odds are much better that Linda will take the time to listen to you.  

 

Donald had this experience recently. He connected with a prospect on LinkedIn and shared her content because it resonated with him. When Donald made the phone call to her, he was able to mention that particular reference of him sharing the post. They had a good dialogue and their conversation went on for some time. 

 

Through LinkedIn profiles, you can find several other points of reference as well: company content, interests,  hobbies, books they are reading - you can use all these things to build common ground. 

 

The challenge

Think about three different points of reference  you can use in your outreach. Introduce yourself and then drop your point of reference. 

 

How To Get Cold Prospects To Genuinely Listen” episode resources

Share your points of reference with Donald. If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald directly. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Crmble, the easy-peasy CRM for Trello that helps you manage your contacts and leads without investing in complicated solutions, sync all your data, manage custom fields, and get powerful reporting on your sales. Try Crmble now for free at www.crmble.com/tse. This episode is also partially brought to you by Thought Pattern for High-Performance Sales Professionals. It’s a newer course and partnership with the Pacific Insititute. 



This course is also brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Direct download: TSE_1307.mp3
Category:cold-calling, prospecting -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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