Want to win every cold call? Here’s how.

Prospecting is the foundation of all Business and the single greatest tool for any Business owner to learn how to master!

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Prospecting is probably one of the most underrated forms of Business Development in the marketplace today… why? Because it’s not an easy skill to learn, it is something that takes years to truly understand, develop, and master, and takes a thick skin in order to make it in the game!

It is however, the single most useful skill that any Business owner or Sales Professional will ever learn and something that cannot go ignored!

I remember looking back fondly during my early years of selling! I was selling Alarm systems door to door as a young man, it was my first real breach into Sales and Marketing, I had my gear all set up! My goals were set, I had the mindset of a champion, my sales process was memorised, I had everything!

After a two week long extensive boot camp I had finally gotten the chance to really go and knock on some doors and sell something! This was a pure commission job after all and my bank account was looking a little bit empty! It was definitely a scary moment!

I stood there… at my first door… excited and little bit nervous, and shrugged my shoulders, swallowed my spit, and went for it…

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

I waited a couple of minutes realizing that there was in fact someone behind the door as they slowly shuffled up, the door handled turned, and in front of me was what seemed like the biggest human man I had ever met in my entire life.

Of course this intimidating giant was going to be my first prospect…

Why couldn’t I have had the sweet old grandma that was going to feed me cookies after I sold her a new system!

I began my rehearsed pitch… but… the only thing I could muster was…

“My name is Matthew… I’m with (ABC company)… we sell alarm systems… do you want to buy one?”

The man tilted his head sideways… looked at me awkwardly… and said… “Nope.” And proceeded to slam the door.

I stood there for a moment looking at the color of the door in slight disbelief! “How the hell did I manage to screw that up I thought?” As I slowly walked away and down the path to what would not be my next door for another 2 hours…

I sat down on the curb thinking… analyzing everything I had done wrong… everything I could have done differently…

I re-wrote down my pitch… studied it… memorized it and moved onto the next one!

This one was a little better, a middle aged lady who was really quite polite in telling me to piss off when I look back on it…

That entire day would be followed with me knocking on 100 doors, I figured if I wasn’t going to sell something… I was at least going to find a way to win somehow… and that… was the first two lessons I had ever learned about the art and science of prospecting.

Lesson 1: Look for the win in every situation —

This is a long haul game! In no way will the art of hustle, the science of the grind, and the beauty of an incredible work ethic ever show through more than your ability to prospect!

You’re going to put in long hours for almost no results, I can about making 200 calls in a given day (assuming I’ve already populated a list), and earn around 10–12 appointments out of it, the result…

12 appointments, 10 will show, 2 wont, and 3–5 sales.

Let me be the first person to tell you a simple truth about prospecting, it’s not easy work. Period. There is no magic formula to this. It’s simply a matter of working your face to the pavement and making more calls than anyone around you.

With all of this grinding, if you don’t have the right mindset, this could be the most taxing thing that you are ever going to do! When I first started making 500 door knocks a week, I would see myself into approximately 15 doors that week and MAYBE clear two sales if I was lucky.

Here’s the reality, you’re going to have to find a way to keep yourself motivated! You’re going to have to find the win!

So, how do you do that?

You look for the win in every single call you make. If you’re calling over the phone, you’re going to have to find some way to further the call, that can be done in a few different ways.

  • Making the appointment or the sale — of course, as sales Professionals this is what we all want! It’s what we should be aiming for every time we make that call.
  • Gaining a subscriber to your newsletter — This is the next phase, having a client willingly subscribe to your offerings is a marketing channel that oftentimes goes ignored — but the fact remains… no matter what it is you are selling, if you have excellent email copy and great conversion metrics, you’re going to sell 1–3% of everyone you send an email to! This means if you have a $1000 product, you’re going to make $1000 to $3000 every… single… time… you send that email to a list that is larger than 1000 people. Not bad conversion if you ask me and something that makes for an easy payday!
  • Gaining further information — this is simply a matter of list building but a win nonetheless. Given permission to collect your clients information and contact them in the future is as good as it can get if you’re not getting anywhere on the call! You should always be looking to the future and your next call should not be a surprise!
  • Getting permission to make the next call — simply telling them that you’re going to give them a call in the future is the least most effective method for cold calling, but you are gaining a win regardless, and this is the absolute bare minimum you should be striving for in every cold call scenario!

Too many Sales Professionals new to the Profession find absolutely no joy in making the call because they do not seek out ways to actually make the call a win! This is a missed opportunity in our field and in my opinion is the number one reason why people ultimately leave the Business in the first place!

There is however another lesson in all of this and another point of winning that often goes missed…

Lesson 2: Productivity wins

I don’t care what profession you are in, we all want to feel like we’ve accomplished something at the end of our day. We all want fulfillment, we all want to feel like we’ve won on some level.

My step dad was a Welder by trade, he preferred calling himself a “Metal fusion technologist” but the one thing about him that I am never going to forget is the pride he took in creating something, the hours he worked, the overtime he put in, and the perfection and speed at which he created that particular item that day!

If you have a single inch of work ethic inside of you, this kind of pride is what we are looking for!

For me, to this day, it’s making no less than 100 calls per day! I will forgive myself a little bit if I’m entering into a brand new market that I’ve never touched and I have to physically research every company I’m about to call, but this is my bare minimum!

Anything over and above that is a reason I go home, crack a beer, and celebrate a productive day!

You HAVE TO find the small wins in every single day, otherwise you are going to burn yourself out, you’re going to find that your work is absolutely joyless, and before you know it, you’re going to be moving onto something else!

Set a target for your day, strive for it, and make something more because of it!

If you own a Business, set the minimum for your team, but more importantly sell them on the reason why, show them this article if you must, but you have to sell them on why they are doing it!