Predictable University Day 7: Calling Like a BOSS

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In the previous lesson, we learned the basics of email prospecting and started out by getting a few emails out the door. A critical part of the prospecting workflow requires getting on the phones and actually talking to people. Today’s lesson covers how to prepare yourself to get on the phones, because you will absolutely need to get yourself into the right mindset. This is especially useful for anyone that has a reluctance to making phone calls, has never made sales calls before, or has a general fear of picking up the phone and dialling someone they don’t know.

Key Concepts to Learn:

  1. WTFSTC —Think to yourself “Why The F*** Should They Care?” Calling someone who isn’t expecting your call means you have a short window of opportunity to grab their attention. You will need to quickly communicate your value, so look at your call script and ask yourself WTFSTC.
  2. Ask the *Right* Questions — Do your research so you’re not asking questions to answers you can read up on yourself. If you are knowledgeable about their business, their initiatives (that you may have read on their website or in the news), and key aspects of their role, you’ll be able to ask intelligent questions. This will set you apart from the majority of reps calling in.
  3. Listen More Than You Talk — Once you’ve asked the questions, focus on your prospect and listen! This isn’t about how quickly you can get through your script or list of questions. As you listen, you’ll be able to ask better follow up questions build rapport and earn the opportunity to talk more about your product or service.
  4. Nail Next Steps — When you have the prospect on the phone, don’t just end the call without a clear action item on the next touchpoint. If you’re agreeing to another call, pick the date and time right then and book it. If they want to review some documentation, confirm when you can call them back to get their feedback.

Recommendations or Exercises:

  1. Print out Your WHY? — Why the hell are you doing this? When you get the rejection (because you definitely will), what will keep you going? It’s not good enough to just think of your goals and dreams every now and then. It needs to be right there in front of you — whether that’s your family, your financial aspirations, your travel dreams, whatever your reason is; find a picture that describes your why, print it out, and keep it in front of you on your desk as you get on the phones.
  2. Start Making Calls, but in Small Blocks — Set super small goals and reward yourself. Make 5 calls, then take a short break. Then go make 10 calls, and take a short break. Setting small and achievable targets, will help you develop your personal calling rhythm with some motivation behind you.
  3. Learn to Love Little Objections — I’m too busy. That’s too expensive. I’ve already heard about your company. I’m not interested (in the first 5 seconds). You’re in sales, so learn to love these. Prepare to have a response, or start creating a list of ways to handle the objections as you make the calls.
  4. Fear Things First — Knock out the calls you said you were going to make early on in the day or week. Whatever your targets are, focus on meeting those targets earlier than later. The hardest part is getting started, and it gets even scarier as the deadline approaches. Start with the thing you fear the most, and get it out of the way first.
  5. Measure Activity — Use a CRM or even a basic spreadsheet, whatever it is, just have a way of measuring activity. Keep track of how many calls you’re making, the type of responses you’re getting, and any additional insight you’ve picked up on the account or prospect.

Benefits of this Lesson to Startups & Modern Sellers:

  1. Face Your Calling Fears—Using a poker analogy, the first call is really just to throw your chips on the table. From there you can only play the best hand you’ve been given. Sometimes it’ll be a really shitty hand (i.e. prospect gets irate and hangs up on you); other times you’ll get an awesome hand (i.e. prospect has time for you and is coincidentally in a market for your type of solution). Opportunities are found and deals are closed by picking up the phone. Face this fear early on, and start booking revenue faster.
  2. Accelerate Pitch/Value Prop Feedback — Want to test the quality of your value proposition statement or call script? Pick up the phone and call a prospect. Do she get it or did she respond with confusion? Want to test how effective your verbal communication skills are on the phone? Pick up the phone and call a prospect. Did he understand what you just said, or did he ask you to repeat yourself? It’s the fastest way of experimenting, learning, and iterating.
  3. Get To Know Your Buyer — Do you know what a typical day looks like for your average buyer? Does he read the newspaper for an hour every morning, or is he out on the road and only in the office after 1pm? By calling your prospects, you’ll get a better understanding of their schedules and the best times to reach them (both via email and telephone). By tracking this data, you’ll be able to refine your email prospecting techniques as well as future calling blocks to optimize your efforts.

Tomorrow we’ll take the next step in learning about mapping calls, where we learn how to do a little sales detective work over the phone.

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You can learn more about my work at www.salestraction.io and you can follow me on Twitter @RajenSanghvi

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