Cold Calling is one of those things that not many people like to do it. It can be a lot of fun though. Do I get turned down cold calling? Absolutely; eight days a week! Do I set appointments off of cold calling? Yes. Do I sell things from cold calling? Yes I do.
Why Do I Like Cold Calling?
I really do enjoy meeting new people and talking with them about their businesses and how they got started and seeing them get excited to tell their story. I really enjoy the conversations that I have with these new people that, in my mind, did not exist just a few minutes prior to me walking in unannounced. It is a fun thing to me to talk about business and I really enjoy learning about business. I think that is why I like to cold call on businesses.
Why Do We Fail At Cold Calling?
It can really be an intimidating thing to go in and see people you have never seen or met before. I have seen a lot of people cold calling and I have seen a lot of people fail at it. There are various reasons that people fail at cold calling. The one reason that I see people failing at it the most is from them getting down after rejection because they are taking that rejection personally. It is a hard thing to get as many No’s as you do on the cold calling quest. It can be disheartening and it can absolutely make you doubt yourself, your company, and your product/service. All the No’s can build up and build up. The reason why people fail is because they give up way too early in the cold calling process. They give up before they succeed at setting an appointment or making a sale.
Do Not Take It Personally
This is something that you may have heard time and time again but we have to remember that if we are cold calling on people, especially B2B, we are probably not the first sales person that they have seen that day. They have probably at the very least been called on the phone about something that “will change their life.” They are battle tested and are really good at turning away sales people. I am sure that they do it out of a place of annoyance. How many people try and go in to businesses everyday and try sell something? Everyone loves to buy things but no one loves to be sold something.
Try And Catch Them Off Guard
We have to realize that to be noticed we have to stand out. One way that I try and do that is to catch them off guard. Quick story from a recent drop in that I made. Here I was about to start cold calling. I walk into the very first store and there is a sweet looking older lady behind the counter. She spoke first and said, “What in hell do you want?” I responded with, “I’m sure I don’t want anything in hell, but I do want to speak with you for a moment.” She paused and looked at me and then smiled. She said, “Well alright let’s talk.” It did not turn into a sale but it was fun and it did turn into a referral. She told me about her neighbor and how they needed what I had to offer. This was a story that I would not have had I not been out there cold calling. It is also a different story than it could have been. I could taken her brash opening question personally. That would have been the end of that conversation and probably that cold calling trip I was on. I could have let that get me down and out and that could have ruined my day right there that morning.
We Can Not Choose How People Speak To Us… We Can Choose How We React
I understand getting frustrated while cold calling. I know that feeling just as well as the next person out there trying to sell. I understand that people can be really hurtful and mean. How does that old rhyme go? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me… I know that this is not always true. This comes from experience. I remember a sales lunch that I was going to and the client changed the restaurant 3 times prior to my arrival. I know that this was his way of being in control. I also realized I was probably dealing with a jerk. Right before I arrived to the final restaurant he called me again. I cringed and thought,”He’s going to move the place again.” To my surprise it was a pocket dial. I hear my potential client talking to someone else and he says that he is meeting someone here and that he is going to make sure that he gets a free lunch out it. It was not just what he said that hurt a little it was the way he said it. I knew going through the door that this meeting was over before it started. The potential client did as well but he did not know that I knew. To say that what he had said did not affect me negatively would be a lie. My mother taught to not lie. So I won’t. It did hurt me. I felt used and taken advantage of. I pushed through and actually had what I thought was a good presentation. I was able to communicate my knowledge of the market he was in and why it would be good to do what I was proposing. I was able put together compelling reason after compelling reason to buy. In the end I noticed the potential client looking at his watch. I asked for any questions or any thoughts. He said, “That was weak!” with a slightly raised voice. I was taken by surprise and asked him to explain what he meant. He did not explain. I told him that I was confused because during the conversation he seemed to be engaged and interested. (He was giving the buying signs, nodding, agreeing, expounding on how that would help his business). Then remembering the pocket dialed call before hand, I said, “Let me take care of your lunch.” At this the man stood up and said something to the effect of, he doesn’t need handouts or something like that. Totally flying off the handle and showing his back side for the restaurant to see. He stood looking at me for a reaction and I sat there and waited for more antics. After a long pause I said to him that he can leave, I thanked him for his time and told him I would pick up the check and that I would follow up with him in a week or so. At this he turned and walked out the door. Absolutely floored I sat back down and quietly finished my meal.
This really pissed me off but I held my tongue and remained calm. I chose to not let him make me visibly angry or flustered. I did not choose how he spoke to me but I was able to choose how I reacted. I know that this story was not really about cold calling but the potential client was found through cold calling and was all about sales and how it can be absolute emotional roller coaster. After lunch was over I chose to go out and try and sell something. Selling something will really makes me feel better. That’s exactly what I did. I do not remember the exact way it happened or what was said in the conversation. I walked into a small store and was able to sell something small to them that would really benefit them. The feeling of selling something can likened to a lot of things but I like to think about selling something to winning. I love to win. I really love the feelings I get from winning.
How Do You Keep Pressing Forward
I keep pressing forward out of necessity. I have to feed my family, pay the bills, etc. I also keep pressing forward because I know that I can win and that I can do more than just make the bare necessities. I know that I can really make a difference, not only in my family, but in the clients that I meet cold calling. Recently I was cold calling and was able to meet with a mom and daughter boutique. They were in a word, failing. They were a little irritated with each other and with the way that their business was going. I gathered that because I was able to get in front of them buy catching them off guard and giving them some value even before they met with me. I was able to give them a lot advice and they bought a solution from me that will really allow them to catch a lot more customers. I have been contact with them regularly and the latest on their business is that it is looking up. They are moving to a much busier location that will allow them to get a TON more foot traffic (my advice) and the building is also a lot cheaper in rent (my advice). It really makes me happy to know that I was able to help this family by giving them good business advice and to help them through a tough time. I really do enjoy winning and its not all about money.
But That Doesn’t Answer The Question… How Is Cold Calling Fun?
My answer to that question is this. I have met a ton of amazing people. It is fun getting to know good people and learning about them and their businesses. I have a blast talking with people and finding similarities and differences in myself and in others. It is really fun to meet someone and realize that they may be from a different country, with a different accent, and a different culture but really we are a lot more similar than we are different.
Another thing that I find amazingly fun is when people buy from me off a cold call. Boom! I walk in and talk with them and show them what my company has to offer after building rapport and after talking about their business to find a pain point. Then when it is properly positioned show them the solution and ask for their business. It is a RUSH to be able to do that. I really do love that feeling.
If you have fun with your cold calling please feel free to share below in the comments. Share some of your wins, your stories, and why it is fun. I hope to hear from you in the comments and I really hope that this will help someone today to make more sales. I hope that it will encourage you to press forward and to keep moving forward when times are tough. I hope that you will remember to sell for the right reasons (not always about money more about helping others and when you help others you are really helping you).
In this post I want to just post on that I really like motivational videos. I like to watch them in the morning and they not only get me pumped up but they make me think of things that I need to do that day. Then I prioritize and make my plan. This is one of my absolute favorite videos. Please take a look and see why I like it. See if you are inspired to do something productive and then do it. How do you get over the fear of going cold calling or being bold in a sales call? Just do it. Know that you can do it! You can do it if you believe you can do it!
Good luck everyone. I hope that this will help you today!
So a huge thing to save time and to make sales is to have a plan for your day and be prepared for that plan. Once you have your plan and you have prepared for it. Prepare for it by looking up the businesses that you are visiting that day. Know what they do and who they are. Try and find why they do what they do. This last one may be tough but it can be found a lot of times in their social media or on their About Us page on their website. With this little bit of information you should be able to get out in front someone and talk with them about their business.
I don’t know why people would go out and try and work without a plan. Where do you go if you don’t have a plan? Do you have to sit and think about where to go? This is a waste of time. Do all plans work? No. Does a plan make you sell better? Not necessarily. A plan does help you get in front of more people because you are not wasting time thinking about where to go next.
So my advice today is to make sure to have a plan. Make sure that you know a reasonable amount of what, who and why about each business you are trying to meet with. Make sure to hustle and try and see everyone on your list. Anyone that you don’t see today; go see them tomorrow.
Good luck everyone and happy selling!
PS – I use SalesForce.com to help with my customer relationships. I also use an add on to it, MapAnything to help me route and plan my days.
PSS – I hope that the next sentence is common sense. Respect a business owners time. For example do not go to a restaurant to try and sell that owner during lunch or dinner hours. They will most likely not like you very much for doing that.
I have been asked on a couple of different occasions how I personally sell. I wanted to go over exactly how I try and approach every sale. I am going to try and break it down into steps in a bullet point type of a format. I will try to be thorough but not overly long winded either.
The first thing that I try and do before every sales call is to prepare. I prepare by researching the company. I look at their products. I look at their reviews on Google/Yahoo/Social Networks/Etc. I will look at those to determine areas for improvement (opportunity). I will look at the owners Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed and kind of get a feel for them as a person. This will help me know how to approach them. This will also give me some insight into what they are interested in. That way I can go in with some possible common ground.
When I am in front of my client I will not just dive straight into what I have to offer. Their guard is still up and they will be more likely to kill my ideas for their company. What I do is to try and establish a rapport with them by starting a conversation. This can be about a lot things. I mostly stick to their company and get them started talking to me about their company. Just about every business owner I know loves to talk about their business.
Once I have them talking about their business I will flow directly into their business operations and how they do things. It depends on what I am selling for what I will ask next. If it is software based I will ask about their current software. If it is advertising I will ask about their current advertising or mention their ad that I saw. Whatever it is that you are trying to sell them, ask about their current solution in place. I begin with, What do you like about?” and follow with something like, “Why is that important to you?”. The next thing that I do is ask them if there is anything else that they like about their current solution. I will continue with that until they have no more. In my experience it is usually 2 or 3 things that they really like.
After getting why they like their current solution I will something like this,”Based on these likes I can see why you like this solution. Is there anything that you do not like or that you would like to see improved?” I will then say something like, “Tell me more about this…” or “Tell me why you don’t like this…” I will then follow with, “What would you have it do differently to make it better?” After that I will continue that line of questions till the client has no more improvements to add to their solution.
At the end of all the questions you have had a conversation about that clients business. You now understand what they like and dislike about their current solution. Now the selling happens when you sum it up for them. They have already given you their pains. What they really want at this point of the conversation is to know that you understand their problem. The way that I do this is a really thorough summary of their likes and dislikes. You can say something to the effect of “From our conversation I understand that you really like this because of this, this, and this. I understand that these things make your life easier and that they really help your business. Also from our conversation, I understand that there is room for improvement in this area, this area and this area. I understood that improving these areas is paramount for you and your business to grow and to give you more time to do what is important to you.”
After the summary you can ask for their business confidently by showing the improvements to their life and business if they switched over to your solution. This is where sales can get a bad rap. A lot of people that I know will promise the world and they know full well that their client will not be getting the world. Do not hype your product. Simply explain the benefits and connect those benefits to the areas of improvement for the client. At this point you can say, “I would like to ask for your business.”
Does this work every time? No. Does it help me sell more than if I go in and try and sell on price alone? Yes. The reason that this helps me sell more is because I can connect on an emotional level and not just a money level. What if the customer just wants to talk about price? I simply let them know that our prices are competitive and that I promise we will get to that. I will sometimes say something like, “I know price is important and I promise we will get to that.”
What I want to get across in this post is that you have to connect with your customers. To do that you have to converse with them. You have to ask questions and truly care about their answer. You cannot fake truly caring about your customers. They will be able to see through it. be genuine and honest with your customers. Build your relationships with your clients on trust. Will they all be honest with you? Obviously not. Can you be honest with all of them? Yes. Will you lose a sale here and there because you are honest? Possibly. I know that I have. It is not worth lying to them because they will find out sooner or later that it was a lie and then they will leave your solution/product/company and go to your competitors. After they leave you they will probably tell all their friends about you lying to them and that’s bad for business.
I know that this has been a rant towards the end but this is something that I am passionate about. You don’t have to lie to sell. I hope that this post will help someone sell today! Good luck to everyone and make sure to check back soon for more tips for sales.
Time Management is something that I have written about already but today I want to go into a different direction. I want to delve specifically into planning out my day and how I work much more efficiently this way.
First off I will acknowledge that I am not perfect in this regard. I will share 2 ideas for time management for sales people specifically.
1. Planning around your appointments –
I know that this may be considered obvious but a lot of people make the mistake of setting their appointment and then leaving the area to go somewhere else. I have found that if I plan on going to my appointment and setting aside enough time to visit “3 doors up and 3 doors down” from my appointment I will sell a lot more that day. I also have found that if I can get a referral from my appointment to those 3 doors up and down that I will be able to get in and talk with the business owners tons more often than without the referrals.
To sum it up work in the area so that you limit your windshield time and increase the time in front of the potential customers. I have found that if I visit 20-25 businesses a day that I will get appointments to come back on at least 4-6 of those and then will be able to close around 1-3 of those. That is what I can do this may not be the same for you. You may need to visit 10 businesses to have the same success. You may even have to visit 30 to get the same results. What I am saying is that you need to know your closing ratio and then you need to know how many people you need to get in front to be able to hit your goals. This works for me and has helped me have a plan and focus on the day.
2. Use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Religiously – (ie. Salesforce, Infusionsoft, ZenDesk, etc.
I know that not everyone likes to use a CRM and I understand it. In the positions that I have held, using a CRM is compulsory and no one likes to be told to do things. Think about your significant other or your parents telling you what to do.
Another reason that some of my peers do not like using CRM’s is because they can be used as “Big Brother”. The management can look at your days and your pipelines and the potential customers that you have and then they can use that info against you. So I get it. CRM’s can be used for a not so awesome purpose.
Bear with me for a minute while I explain why I believe that they are absolutely CRUCIAL to succeed in sales. First off they can help you organize. In a previous post I spoke about organizing yourself and how it can help you stay on top of your game. In this post I will simply ask this, “Can you remember all 20-25 people’s names that you met today? What about yesterday? Or even last Thursday?” You can see where I am going with this. Using pen and paper is important but I know without a doubt that to succeed even more than you are without a CRM you have to take that info on pen and paper and put it into a CRM. This way you will be able to recall those customer’s names at will. You will be able to remember to follow up with that guy that wanted more details but couldn’t talk today.
Let me tell you how I use a CRM. First thing in the morning when I am first in the office. I will pop on my CRM and see what I have for the day. I will check to see if I missed anything or if something new needs to be added for the day (email from client, etc.). Then as I go through my day if I have a network signal I can update my CRM throughout the day. If I do not have network I can take organized notes on pen and paper and at the end of the day I will go back into my CRM and update it for the next several days. This way I will have several days planned and I can constantly be updating those days to reflect what is going on with my pipeline.
As always I really hope that this can help you make more sales. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out the home page for more articles to help you sell more.
Comparing yourself to your peers is a normal thing. It is how sales people are evaluated to a point. So in a contradiction to that way of thinking, I say that you should stop looking around at the other people in your office. Stop focusing on them and what they are doing. You need to do you. Let everyone else waste their time looking at each other and you go out and dominate. You go out and visit the extra prospect or make the extra call when they are looking at each other and you will get to the next level.
This is the level where they will all be looking at you and wondering what you are doing. I say let them look. Maybe by observing you they will see that you are a hustler. That you are out there punching the day in the face by winning every day. Then they will see that if they want on that level then they will have to hustle too.
This post is a short one but I hope that this will motivate someone to hustle. I know that if you hustle and get in contact with more prospects then you will have more closes and more MONEY in your pocket. Be sure to check back for more ways to win on www.tipsforsales.com.
What’s Your Center? What Drives You? What Makes You Get Up & Go?
These are some questions that you should ask yourself no matter what career path you are in. Why do you do what you do? Why are you willing to give up 40+ hours of your time? Do you love what you do? Do you love making money? Do you love making money to be able to support your family?
So for me my center is my family. I do everything so that I can support my family. I also love helping people grow their businesses. So I have a primary objective of supporting my family and I have a secondary of helping people. This secondary was something that I learned that I loved from doing it. I didn’t know that helping people to grow their businesses so that they could support their families was so rewarding. For me it was not just about the money that makes my job rewarding. It is also about helping people advertise their business. Most of the clients that I help did not know about advertising or how to grow their business. It is so rewarding to have my customers tell me that the advertising is working for them and that their companies are growing. So these 2 things are what drive me in my sales.
How Do You Find Your Center In Sales?
Ask yourself right now, “Why am I working/doing what I am doing? Why do I get up and go to work in the morning? Stop and listen. What does your brain say in return? It can be anything? It can be purely about the money. It can be about helping people. My mom is a nurse and for her it is about helping people and then she had a doctor ask her to come work with her. Then it became not just about helping people but also to help her friend as her nurse. So it can be about working with your friends. I have been in a sales office that the team environment was so strong that we worked for each other. We wanted to hit goals so we didn’t let each other down. If someone faltered we wanted to be able to help pick up the slack. In that office it was about the team and about having fun as a team. So my advice is to ask yourself what your center is and then listen to see if you get an answer.
Why Is It Important To Know Your Center?
The answer to that is that there are several reasons. The one that I want to touch on today is the motivational aspect of knowing your center. When times are tough what can you look at that will drive you forward? When you are being told no all day long what will make you go and see that one more potential customer or make that one more phone call? What I do during tough times is to take a look through the photos on my phone and look at the wife and kids and I will usually give it one more try. This really does work and it really does help me. I know that it can help you too.
If you have anything else to offer on this subject please share it in the comments section below. I hope that this helps someone sell more today. Remember to continue to check back or sign up for email notification when there is another post on www.tipsforsales.com.
I really just want to share one thing today in this post. It is not really a secret but it is something that is one of the most important things in sales. This sales tip is get your feet on the street. Now you need to use some of the other things while you are out on the street working and looking for future clients. Whether it is taking such great care of your current clients that they give you referrals or if it is something else we have talked about in previous posts. One of the most important things in sales and work in general is to just get out there and do it.
It Seems Logical That Sales Professionals Want To Make Money –
As sales professionals we only make money when we are selling our products. So it would make sense that a sales person would be motivated by this. Unfortunately reality is that a lot of sales people are quick to stop and take a break here or to take an early lunch there. This is a result of a lot of things. It could be a result of that sales person not being prepared for the day and therefore that sales “professional” will not be very motivated to go out and see people. It could be that the sales person has just been rejected and they are down because of that. It could be that they are in a slump and their boss is getting on them in the morning before they go out the door. By the way if a sales manager reads this, please lay off in the mornings. It can kill a day if the sales manager digs into us before we even have a chance to get out and sell. Can it wait till the afternoon or the end of the day? It could be something in their personal lives that is preventing them from getting out and digging for new clients. It really could be anything. I have seen sales people that try and sell one thing (even if it is small) and quit for the day. This is a lazy thing. I touched on this in a previous post.
You’re Not Going To Sell Like That –
You will not sell many things unless you get out there and get in front the prospects. Remember to be positive. Also remember that being positive means you need to be prepared for the day and for the people you get in front of. Work hard but try and work smart. This would mean to try and limit windshield time & be in front of more people. It could also mean that if you are having to drive a lot to try and have set and confirmed appointments so that you do not waste time traveling if you are not going to be seen. So the biggest takeaway for this post though is to get out of the office more and be out in front of more potential customers. I was told a long time ago,”Whatever you do. You be the best whatever it is that you can be.” I know that I cannot be the best I can be in the office. My best is when I meet people face to face and get to know them and build a relationship where I can help them solve problems in their business.
I really hope that this will help someone to make a sale and to help someone today. If you have any other helpful hints in sales, please share them in the comments section below. Have a great day! If you want to be notified of any other sales tips subscribe to receive an email alerting you to a new post. Thanks for reading www.tipsforsales.com.
Is there such a thing as talking too much in sales? I want to try and answer that question in today’s post. I also want to get into a little bit of the why I feel that there is a such a thing as talking too much in sales.
First off like I said before – There is such a thing as talking too much in sales. The type of sales you are in does not change this fact. I have found this to be true through observing other sales people on sales calls. I watched these very bright, vibrant people get in front of their prospective clients and ask questions and then not even wait for a response to the original question. It really showed that they were not listening. It may be nerves for some of these people. Some were newer sales people. But others it was obvious it was just for pleasantries sake/small talk. I found this to be very annoying and I was just there as an observer.
It’s like this. Have you ever been on the other end of a conversation of someone that just will not stop to even catch their breath? How do you feel when these people just talk to hear themselves talk? This gets very tiresome on the other person in the conversation. I have a few people that I work with (professionally & personally) that are like this and it gets to the point where I am just done. I feel like I am being used to dump on or like they really don’t care what I have to say. It seems like they are in it for them and could care less about anything that is not them. This is what I have observed with customers that were talked at and not talked with. They can see that they are not important to these sales people. Once they see you as a salesperson it’s over. In their eyes you are only there to sell something to them. If these sales people could pause after their questions, that would be a good start. Let the other person in the conversation speak. Ideally you want to ask questions and consult with your customers. You want to be able uncover pain points in a customer’s business. You can only do this by listening to your customer. Once they have told you about some pain points, ask more questions about those specific pain points. What is it about this pain that is causing it? What have you tried in the past to remedy this? Is there something in your mind that could help fix this? If you had a magic wand what would erase this problem? Really show that you are trying to identify the root cause for these pains. Once the pain points are well defined you will have a much easier time showing a solution that will solve the root of that problem. The customer will be engaged and will be much more likely to buy from you if can fully define their problem and fully explain the solution that will solve their problem. They will see you more as a consultant with authority in your field rather than just a sales person pushing a product.
I know that the question, “Is there such a thing as talking too much in sales?”, was an obvious yes. I know that selling relies on us getting out there and talking. “Get your feet on the street” is what I hear a lot of to fix sales numbers. I also know that selling is not difficult if you can come at it from the position of trying to help your clients. This is something that I really enjoy doing and it really does help with future sales if your customer base feels like you are looking out for their best interests. This process of them trusting you begins with you talking with them and then you listening to them. I don’t know why some sales people forget this. I will say that those sales people are losing potential customers because they are not listening to them. Do not lose customers because you were not listening. This is such an easy thing to do and it will help your sales performance.
I hope that this reminder of the basics helps someone that may have forgotten to listen to their customers. Sales is not hard. Work hard. Work smart. Care about your customers. With these things you will be more successful in sales. Good luck with your sales today!
There is a way that a lot of sales people fail in sales. I am not saying that you personally are failing in sales or that you are doing this. What I am saying is that people get content after making a sale in a day. This 1 sale gives people a false sense of security. Don’t get me wrong. It is great getting a sale. I have done this in the past and I have also stayed hungry for another once I have made a sale. The days that I make a sale I feel great. It only makes sense that I should be in the field selling when I am feeling GREAT. I have found that people respond better when I am feeling better. I feel more confident on those days and it bleeds over into my pitches. People feel the confidence and subsequently have more confidence in what I am saying. I have had days where I can have multiple sales in a day because of this shift in my attitude. I stay hungry to make another sale.
So how do I do this? What I do to help my sales is to have a set schedule of when I am going to be in the field selling. If I make a sale, great. If do not make a sale, keep going. My schedule is the same either way. I have a set time I want to be out of the office and a set time for lunch and set time to be back in the office to put the orders in. This schedule may not transfer over to your industry. If it does not please make your own and share it in the comments section. This schedule has helped me stay productive a sales person. So a sample schedule for me is to get out of the office by no later than 9:30-9:45 am. I will work until 11:30 and then take a 30-45 minute lunch. After lunch I will stay actively engaged in selling to existing customers, new customers, new leads that I just found, etc. until 4 pm. At 4 pm I will start looking at my day and look to see if there is anyone else that I can see really quickly. If so I will go and try and see them. If not I will start heading back to my office to key my sales into the system. What this schedule does for me helps me stay focused and it has helped me get in front of more people. That in turn will continue to help me sell more. So don’t be content. Keep pushing forward to the next sale.
This was a simple sales tip for you today but sometimes we all need to remember the basics. I hope that this will help someone make a sale or two today. Keep checking back at www.tipsforsales.com for more sales tips, advice and more about me. If you have anything that you do to increase your productivity please share it with us in the comments section. Thank you for reading and good luck today.